Extractive industries represent a major part of the local economy in many rural parts of Peru. Royalties and tax revenues from extractive industries are, by law, in part returned by the central government to the local areas where the mines are located under a program called the Mining/Oil Canon. Many low-capacity rural municipalities are not able to spend all the funds they are due, and the funds they do receive are often distributed through patronage and graft. Although information regarding mining/oil funds is publicly available, there is a general perception among civil society actors in Peru that the public is not well informed about accountability issues.
Given that a major barrier to accountability appears to be access of information, as part of this research study an information treatment will be implemented to test its impact on attitudes towards political incumbents and extractive firms as well as citizens’ participation in accountability processes such as public meetings of accountability (roughly translated as “asambleas de rendición de cuentas”) and mayoral recalls.
Through informative workshops implemented in 40 communities across 9 districts in the administrative department of Piura, the objective of this study is to answer two questions: 1) How does access to information about the distribution of mining royalties affect attitudes and accountability towards political incumbents, mining/petrol firms and the central government, and 2) how to does this information affect participation in district meetings regarding budgeting and execution of mining/oil canon spending?