Coming Soon: Liberian Concessions Dataset
Tracking all types of development investments in Liberia
As official development assistance becomes a smaller fraction of financial flows to the developing world, AidData has begun to track other types of development investments, including foreign direct investment (FDI) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
To this end, AidData has worked over the last several years with the Concessions Working Group in Monrovia to develop a first-of-its-kind dataset of all known natural resource concessions granted to investors in Liberia from 2004 to 2015. We have systematically categorized 557 concessions along 43 different dimensions, including the names and nationalities of the investors, the nature of the rights granted to these investors (exploratory or extractive), and the presence or absence of contractual commitments to undertake corporate social responsibility activities (e.g. building schools and health clinics). We have also developed a novel, polygon-based (rather than point-based) geocoding methodology that identifies the specific tracts of land granted to concessionaires (investors) to explore, develop, extract, or sell natural resources.
With funding from Humanity United, we have collected these investment-level data by standardizing and synthesizing several official sources of information on concessions in Liberia (including the Liberia National Concessions Portal, the Mining Cadastre Administration System of the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy, and long-form contractual agreements between concessionaires and the Government of Liberia made available through the Liberia Extractive Industries Initiative). We have supplemented these official data with open-source data. Once a final battery of quality control checks has been implemented, AidData will place this dataset in the public domain.
AidData and the Concessions Working Group have also recently used this dataset and a quasi-experimental method of causal inference — called geospatial impact evaluation (GIE) — to estimate the impact of natural resource concessions on local economic development outcomes in Liberia.