In partnership with Fundacion Foro Nacional Por Colombia, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) organized a resource revenue management workshop for trainers in Bogota, from 16 to 20 March. The workshop convened approximately 30 participants from countries including Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Burundi, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Peru, Tanzania and the United Kingdom. They included staff from NRGI, staff from partner organizations, and independent consultants.
The workshop was part of NRGI’s response to demands for training and technical assistance on cutting-edge resource governance issues, including efficient and accountable distribution and management of oil, gas and mineral revenues, an area where demand for assistance and training from resource rich countries largely outstrips NRGI expert capacity to provide responsive support in a variety of geographic contexts and to different stakeholders simultaneously. NRGI’s ambition is to help form and then work with a global network of practitioners who are able to deliver trainings on this issue.
For the first time, we decided to open our organizational training of trainers to partner organizations and independent consultants based in a host of locations, often beyond NRGI’s reach, and who already work with a variety of stakeholders. NRGI has identified opportunities to work with some of these external experts in future training efforts that we or others in the natural resource governance field will be spearheading.
A week after the event, we spoke to workshop participant Rafael García, from Transparencia Mexicana, A.C., to gather his impressions of the training.
Tell us about your role and work at Transparencia Mexicana.
Transparencia Mexicana is a civil society organization that fights corruption in Mexico. We design specific actions or interventions that can have significant impact on reducing risks of corruption—“micro actions” that have “macro effects.” Personally, I focus on research and strategic communication. I gather and analyze data and translate it into specific communication products, such as articles, briefs, and infographics, that are helpful for informing society and key leaders about corruption challenges or structuring TM’s interventions. Currently, I am focusing on energy, extractive industries, public procurement and management of conflicts of interest.
You have just attended NRGI’s training of trainers on revenue management. How did you find the course and was the course relevant to your work?
I would definitely have regretted missing NRGI’s course. The course is designed to both yield a deeper understanding of revenue management, as well as to improve capacities to share knowledge. Last week I learned more about the link between areas of research I’m focusing on and revenue management issues. Moreover, it was a valuable space for thinking over the important of communication skills, specifically those related to training.
What technical issues covered in the course did you find particularly insightful and perhaps relevant for your work?
The technical issues covered in the course are fascinating, but what I found particularly useful was that I was enabled to map the dots of revenue management and start linking them within the context in which I work. Participants raised questions, NRGI team members presented facts, and we analyzed experiences from different countries. At the end, such a mix gave me a broader perspective. In other words, when identifying the relevant decision–political, social, economic and environmental–on revenue management, there are many different angles and alternatives to consider.
Beyond improving technical understanding, the course seeks to improve participants’ training practice. What might you do differently when organizing trainings or delivering presentations?
To start, I will change my planning approach. When you have to organize a training or deliver a presentation, you normally begin preparing it based on what you want to achieve or what you think you are expected to do. As a consequence, you lose out of sight what matters the most: your audience. Based on a better understanding of the audience I will try to tailor my presentations and materials and will apply different techniques that were discussed during the training to achieve better results.
Any other useful takeaway from the workshop?
I was particularly surprised about the mix of participants. I got to know interesting people, who are genuinely concerned about these issues and also committed professionals. I hope this network can grow and further advance on a broader and more innovative agenda.
Matteo Pellegrini is NRGI’s capacity development director.