As part of the research project "Financing Social Policy", UNRISD is currently commissioning papers for a project on "Social Policy in Mineral-Rich Countries". The project will explore the links between mineral wealth and social development in mineral-rich developing countries.
If the lack of sufficient and stable revenues is considered a major problem for social policies in developing countries, those countries that are richly endowed with natural resources, especially oil and gas, should presumably be fortunate. During the last years, many of these countries have experienced a mineral “bonanza” (especially due to skyrocketing oil prices), which potentially could produce a sort of “big push” for the development process. And yet there is considerable evidence that many resource-abundant countries have not been able to utilize their resources to induce a process of sustained economic growth, let alone social development involving equitable distribution of the fruits of this natural wealth and overall improvements of the welfare of the citizens.
Why do some mineral-rich countries manage to channel their resources into sustainable economic and social policies, while others do not? What are the factors that impede resource-rich countries in the South from investing more of their wealth in social development? Can boosting mineral rents open fiscal space for transformative social policies while at the same time promoting democracy, social inclusion and economic development?
To address these questions, UNRISD is commissioning four thematic papers and four country overview papers for a workshop to be held in April 2008:
1. Social Policy and State Revenues in Mineral-Rich Countries;
2. Economic Policy in Mineral-Rich Countries;
3. Institutional Change and Developmental State Capacity in Mineral-Rich Countries;
4. Development and Growth in Mineral-Rich Countries;
5. Mineral Rents and Social Development in Norway;
6. Mineral Rents and Social Development in Chile;
7. Mineral Rents and Social Development in Indonesia; and
8. Mineral Rents and Social Development in Nigeria.
Please note that the workshop will be closed to the public. However, upon conclusion of the project, publications will be available to download free of charge from the UNRISD website.
To view a detailed description of the project, please click on the link in the above right-hand corner of this page.