Citizens have a right to know what is being done with their natural resources, from the decision to extract to the granting of concessions; the impact on lives, livelihoods and land rights; the environmental and social impact assessments, the management and sharing of resource revenues, among others.
Research shows that information that is timely, disaggregated and relevant to various actors can result in positive impacts. It enables citizens to understand the industry and its socio-economic impacts, helps to demystify myths about job creation, promotes objective discussions among stakeholders and empowers citizens to engage with the project processes and decisions. An informed and engaged public will also help balance power asymmetries where local actors are excluded from national-level decisions that impact their daily lives.
It is within this backdrop that Strathmore Extractives Industry Centre (SEIC) conducted a national level information needs assessment to elicit a basic understanding of the informational needs and challenges that various stakeholders experience in Kenya’s extractive industry so as to inform the rebranding of the Information Centre for the Extractives Sector (ICES) into the Extractives Baraza.