Published December, 2016:
Published as a chapter in: Coleman, D., Rajabifard, A. & Crompvoets J.
Spatial Enablement in a Smart World. GSDI Association press, 2016. Access the full chapter online.
Many countries will rely on the extractive sector to generate the inputs and revenues necessary to advance progress towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs). While the last decade has seen a strong push for financial transparency in the extractive sector, it is becoming equally necessary to also include the social and environmental performance of the extractive industries across the entire value chain. However, to maximize the value of this broad range of data for improved stakeholder dialogue and decision making, a geo-spatial approach is needed for effective data integration, management, analysis, and monitoring. This requires capacity building to extractive companies and to the various transparency initiatives to ensure that reporting and disclosure data is spatially enabled as well as inter-operable, open, quality controlled and published to a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that is publically accessible. Ideally, this SDI can then inform and benefit many stakeholder dialogues, support reforms in natural resource governance, promote more equitable benefit-sharing, and enhance the performance of monitoring of the sector at the concession level. We discuss here the benefits and challenges of SDIs in the extractive sector. This is done using the experience gained by the authors in the design and implementation of a new Open Data Platform for the Extractive Sector called MAP-X (Mapping and Assessing the Performance of eXtractive Industries) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.