The overarching goal of this project is to induce a policy dialogue at the national and international level on whether or not current regulatory approaches to impact assessment of natural resource extraction projects in Africa promote sustainable development. The general objective of this project is to conduct research – complemented with a strong capacity building component – that will inform and facilitate a policy dialogue, and ultimately policy change, for strengthening the application of impact assessment as a regulatory mechanism to: (i) avoid negative effects of natural resource extraction projects on public health; and (ii) to actively engage natural resource extraction projects – and any other large infrastructure developments – in the SDG 2030 Agenda, and thus development in Africa.
We will address the following overarching research questions in four purposefully selected African countries:
- What is the current institutional setup for regulation and implementation of the public health dimension in impact assessment of natural resource extraction projects?
- What effects of natural resource extraction projects on health-related targets and associated indicators of the SDGs can be observed at the national and local level?
- Which of the indicators included in the SDG 2030 Agenda might be utilised for monitoring natural resource extraction project-related impacts and to what extent are they included in regulatory frameworks?
- How do natural resource extraction projects interact with, and have effect on, local health systems?
- What are costs and benefits of natural resource extraction projects for local and national health systems?
- What influence do natural resource extraction projects exert on health equity in affected populations?
- Which policy options can be proposed for mitigating negative health externalities of natural resource extraction projects and reinvesting corporate tax for working towards the SDG 2030 Agenda in public-private partnerships?
- How can acceptance and political feasibility of intersectoral policies that regulate impact assessment, including transparency and accountability, be increased?
- Which are the key determinants that explain commonalities and differences in health impacts related to natural resource extraction projects in the project partner countries?