Mega investments in the extractive industries – including oil, gas, and mining – have the potential to be a springboard for development in many low- and middle-income countries, through major tax revenues, technology transfer, infrastructure development, employment and capacity building. However, reaping those benefits is challenging, and more often these investments have been a source of corruption, social degradation, resource dependency, and environmental catastrophe. How then can resource-rich countries faced with this double-edged sword make informed decisions about how to effectively leverage these resources for economic and social development while mitigating negative externalities?

In order to leverage natural resources for development, countries face a number of challenges related to the development and enforcement of a robust legal and fiscal framework; revenue forecasting, management, and allocation; development planning and implementation; infrastructure design and regulation; supply chain development; vocational training; and environmental protection; among others.

CCSI tackles this complex challenge with policy-makers and practitioners in an annual Executive Training Program on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, held each June at Columbia University in New York City. The 2015 training will take place from June 8th through 19th, 2015.

The program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills to promote the responsible development of the extractive industries sector in resource-rich developing countries and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. The two-week training emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of resource-based development. By working through real case studies and with practitioners and experts in the field, participants will be able to apply analytical tools and frameworks to the unique context of the extractive industries in their country.

For more information, or to apply, please visit our website. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2015. 




CCSI, the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute recently published an outcome document of a one-day roundtable focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of large-scale foreign investments. The roundtable, which was held in April 2014 at Columbia University, provided an opportunity for collaborative reflection on the development of HRIAs, as well as on ways to enhance HRIAs as a framework and tool for both human rights advocacy and human rights risk management in respect of foreign investments.

HRIA outcome document cover pageBy sharing the outcomes of the roundtable, this document aims to support HRIA practitioners, company officials, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders focused on human rights and foreign investment in further reflection on the objectives and methods of HRIAs. The roundtable examined the various practices comprising HRIAs, and the discussion underscored that many of the challenges associated with carrying out an HRIA are common to multiple stakeholders, albeit borne out in different ways. This outcome document describes some of the primary ways in which HRIAs are undertaken and outlines the salient issues and key challenges that practitioners have identified.

CCSI and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic are continuing to follow up on this roundtable in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights. For more information, please contact us at ccsi@law.columbia.edu