University of Oulu

Päivi Lujala, Christa Brunnschweiler & Ishmael Edjekumhene (2020) Transparent for Whom? Dissemination of Information on Ghana’s Petroleum and Mining Revenue Management, The Journal of Development Studies, 56:12, 2135-2153, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2020.1746276

Transparent for whom? : dissemination of information on Ghana’s petroleum and mining revenue management

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Author: Lujala, Päivi1,2; Brunnschweiler, Christa3; Edjekumhene, Ishmael4
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
3School of Economics and CBESS, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, UK
4Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE), Accra, Ghana
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-04-24


Greater transparency has been proposed as an antidote to mismanagement of natural resource revenues in resource-rich, developing countries. The dominant transparency narrative in policymaking attributes a key role to the public: once citizens gain information, they are predicted to use it to demand better resource governance. Whether the public receives the available information in the first place, however, has not been scrutinised in a large-N analysis. This article examines Ghanaians’ information sources and information-seeking behaviour using a unique survey with over 3500 respondents. Although Ghana has actively pursued transparency in its natural resource revenue management, most Ghanaians have poor access to understandable information as information is disseminated through channels that the intended receivers normally do not use. Non-elite citizens and those with limited English skills were least likely to have heard about natural resource revenue management, compared with elected duty bearers, traditional authorities, other opinion leaders, and those with an interest in the issue through working in mining or living near an extraction site. The results suggest that the conceptualisation of transparency may be too simplistic, and that the expectations linked to transparency in enhancing natural resource governance may not materialise through the mechanisms hypothesised in the literature.

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Series: Journal of development studies
ISSN: 0022-0388
ISSN-E: 1743-9140
ISSN-L: 0022-0388
Volume: 56
Issue: 12
DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2020.1746276
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This work was supported by the Research Council of Norway under Grant 231757; International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) under Grant TW8R2.1002; and the Academy of Finland under Grants 309206 and 314143.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 309206
Detailed Information: 309206 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
314143 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.