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June 01, 2014
LCPS and NRGI: Building the Capacities of Arab CSOs to Advocate for Good Governance in the Oil and Gas Sector

From June 1 to 6, the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), formerly the Revenue Watch Institute, provided training on the Fundamentals of Oil and Gas Governance to 30 representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia. The core objective of the training is to equip CSOs with the knowledge to monitor and report on the performance of the oil and gas sector, provide effective oversight, and ultimately be able to advance policy for that sector.

Experts and practitioners in the field delivered a five-day training course covering the following topics:
- Fundamentals of Oil and Gas (delivered by Carole Nakhle, Energy Economist, Director, Crystol Energy (uk) and LCPS Research Fellow)
- Challenges and Opportunities (delivered by Laury Haytayan, MENA Senior Regional Associate, Natural Resource Governance Institute)
- Legal Framework and Understanding Contracts (delivered by Amir Shafaie, Legal Analyst, Natural Resource Governance Institute)
- Fiscal Regimes and Allocation of Rights (delivered by Carole Nakhle)
- Roles and Responsibilities in Sector Governance (delivered by Julien Courson, Capacity Development Officer, Natural Resource Governance Institute)
- Macroeconomic and Political Challenges for Managing Oil Revenues (delivered by Jad Chaaban, Associate Professor of Economics, AUB and LCPS Research Fellow)
- Rules for Revenue Management (delivered by Nadine Abou Khaled, MENA Economic Analyst, Natural Resource Governance Institute)
- Natural Resource Funds and Inter-Agency Revenue Flows (delivered by Andrew Bauer, Economic Analyst, Natural Resource Governance Institute)
- Revenue Sharing between National and Local Governments (delivered by Sami Atallah, Executive Director, Lebanese Center for Policy Studies)
- Local Content (delivered by Walid Nasr, Board Member, Lebanese Petroleum Administration)
- Social and Environmental Issues (delivered by Ricardo Khoury, Head of Environmental Division, ELARD)

This foundation course is a product of the MENA Natural Resource Governance Hub, a joint initiative between LCPS and NRGI, which aims to support and build the capacity of policymakers, civil society and journalists from the MENA region on various aspects of the governance of oil and gas. The overall objective of the Hub is to provide policy knowledge as well as promote effective and accountable management and monitoring of extractive industries in the region that improve the welfare of citizens. Furthermore, this initiative encourages the active involvement of citizens and civil society in the decision-making process.

NRGI brings a wealth of experience to the table, having already helped to establish similar hubs in Africa, South America and Asia. For LCPS, the creation of a Hub forms part of a larger program on the oil and gas sector that we are leading, and one which includes developing policy research, building the capacities of CSOs, as well as creating and sustaining an advocacy network - all of which are intertwined - to serve the overarching goal of enhancing accountability and transparency in the oil and gas sector.

The importance of effective management of the oil and gas sector cannot be underestimated. Governments must strive to get the best deals from oil and gas companies in order to optimize their take from the sector and must then successfully manage the accrued revenues so they can diversify their economies, create jobs, reduce poverty, and attain sustainable growth. Achieving these successful outcomes in the MENA region, however, requires active and informed oversight by citizens, civil society and media, a factor that has been lacking to date, and one which the Natural Resource Governance Hub seeks to address.
Follow the links below to listen to participants talk about their experience in the training course:
Wadie Beskini: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbtZWiSay9k
Amira Halabi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYiu8aG8_0Y
Alan Khudar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3OIdSBAd4I
Ayman Horchi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAOT0KrzxkI
Fattoum Oueslati: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHGDht1zD8E

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