Resource wealth brings a unique set of challenges often known as the ‘resource curse’—challenges which political parties with informed and comprehensive policy positions are well positioned to help address.

Political parties have an important role to play in ensuring that natural resources are managed transparently, accountably and in the long-term best interests of their countries.

According to research by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), where there is free and equal access to political power, there are stronger laws, institutions and practices in place to help realize the full value of resource extraction and to manage the resulting revenues.

The purpose of this Guide is to examine the role that parties have and can play in resource governance, and to assist political parties looking to develop strong policy positions across a wide range of political and technical topics. The Guide builds on the lessons from a 2015–16 project in Ghana on the development of resource policy positions for political parties, and is informed by six country case studies as well as a broad body of good practice in party engagement and resource governance.

The Guide is the product of a collaboration between International IDEA and NRGI. Both organizations are committed to supporting political parties to develop and follow through on evidence-based resource policy positions.


Publication date
05 April 2018
Number of pages
Natural Resource Governance Institute
978-91-7671-146-0 (PDF)
978-91-7671-146-0 (Print)



Foreword (Michelle Bachelet)


Executive summary

1. Why political parties are key actors in resource governance

2. How political parties in six countries have influenced resource governance (Case studies: Norway, Israel, South Africa, Ghana, Malaysia and Peru)

3. How political parties can develop policy positions


Appendix: Technical terms and definitions

Annex: First retreat agenda from the 2015–2016 multiparty process in Ghana

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Political parties and natural resource governance

A practical guide for developing resource policy positions
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