Facing the resource curse: Norway’s Oil for Development Program. Final report.
Oil for Development (OfD), begun in 2005, is a comprehensive program addressing resource, financial and environmental dimensions with a focus on capacity development in the public sector but including larger sector governance concerns. It is a flagship program in Norway’s development cooperation as it addresses a strategic sector at high policy, institutional and organisational levels.
Results have been most important in the resource sector by strengthening institutional frameworks and key public sector actors. Environment often suffers from lack of local capacity and will, and by not investing enough in building larger local partnerships with non-state actors. Organisational development may be fragile as capacity building has been too limited to specific actors rather than addressing larger labour-market imbalances, and the governance concerns have been too public sector focused.
The petroleum sector is increasing in importance world-wide: the number of producer countries is growing, including in poor states with weak governance systems, and prices remain high. The threat of the “oil curse” where private companies and corrupt elites capture most of the benefits for themselves is posing global governance challenges, including to democracy and gender gains. The importance of OfD is thus greater than ever, and should be supported and developed in light of this.