The Revenue Watch Institute is a non-profit policy institute and grantmaking organization that promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. Through capacity building, technical assistance, research and advocacy, we help countries realize the development benefits of their natural resource wealth.
RWI is the only organization dedicated exclusively to addressing the problems of countries that are resource rich. These are countries where poverty, corruption and armed conflict too often converge.
Revenue Watch began in 2002 as a program of the Open Society Institute and focused on Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Iraq, especially on how authorities collected and used the money earned from oil. RWI became an independent organization in 2006, as our founding donors—the Open Society Foundations, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Norwegian Oil for Development Fund—saw rapidly rising demand and need for our work.
RWI is based in New York, with registered offices in London, Lima, Peru and Accra, Ghana, and an operational presence in Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria and Tanzania. We work in more than 30 countries.
RWI takes a comprehensive approach to improving the governance and development of natural resources—an approach that involves all parties. We help societies examine every stage of the development of oil, gas and minerals, from the decision to begin exploration, to organizing production, to revenue management, to policies for spending and for economic development.
A mainstay of RWI's work is the development of civil society capacity. RWI provides financial and technical training and support to more than 50 partner organizations on every aspect of oil, gas and mining. RWI’s regional knowledge hubs, created in partnership with local academic institutions, offer more intensive support. We are a founding member of the international Publish What You Pay Campaign, and support national PWYP coalitions in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and North America.
Through our advocacy, RWI is spearheading the global campaign to develop global standards for transparency and accountability in the minerals sector. RWI is also a leader in the development and implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and has been since EITI's inception.
RWI provides technical assistance to governments in drafting mining and oil laws and in improving revenue management. RWI has pioneered projects with local and district governments in countries where the national government shares revenues from natural resources.
Through its research, RWI is building a body of literature on best practices in the management of revenues, including contracting, oil fund laws, fiscal regimes for mining and effective parliamentary oversight. RWI also publishes the Revenue Watch Index, analyzing transparency practices in more than 40 countries that are among the top producers of petroleum, gold, copper and diamonds. RWI is also creating digital tools to allow users to analyze and share data that can help advance better governance.
Revenue Watch works with policymakers, companies and with international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. Our collaborative approach has allowed RWI to serve as a catalyst for dialogue, bringing diverse parties together to improve governance and accountability.