Technical Assistance Projects
Because Libya is a revolutionary situation, the formation of new leadership and institutions is a priori more open and makes it more feasible for RWI
and other transnational civil society organisations to engage in technical assistance projects. One short trip is insufficient to establish the probability of
counterparts in the new Libyan state supporting all of the projects suggested below. The list is instead compiled from a combination of perceived need
and the informal contacts held during the assessment.
Consultancy on State-Owned Enterprise models
Sector Partners: Civil Society, Libyan SOEs, the Libyan government and the IFIs. Scope: medium to long-term (at least 12 months).
Debate is already vibrant in Libya's oil sector about the future structure of the industry. As outlined above, the relationships between the different actors
– the IOCs, the SOE operating companies, the holding NOC, other parastatal entities such as the LIA, and the core government ministries themselves –
were far from stable before the revolution. While in theory all options may be on the table in terms of how the industry should be structured and
governed, in practice the attachment to an oil industry which is nationally controlled and owned is likely to be high. Yet the fact is that NOCs vary
enormously in structure and effectiveness themselves, from Saudi Aramco and the Gulf NOCs operating only within their own borders and accountable
only to their autocratic rulers to the “I-NOCs” such as Statoil and Petrobras, which have become global players in their own right and are partly
accountable directly to the public through the markets. RWI has the credibility and trust to propose a long-term consultancy which would convene
comparative research and trusted NOC experts and enrich the debates which will happen in the Libyan oil industry without a material interest in any
particular outcome. The project could first, at the invitation of the Minister of Oil, convene a workshop, then allocate it specific applied research as a
result of the outcome of consultations during that workshop, and report back within a specified period, say six to nine months. The objective would be
to stop short of specific policy recommendations, simply to provide a wide knowledge base to inform such debates and to make all parties aware of
potential trade-offs in policy choices.
Sovereign Wealth Fund consultancy
Sector Partners: the Libya Investment Authority, Dr Ashby Monk and the IFIs. Scope: medium to long-term (at least 12 months).
The acting head of the Libya Investment Authority Rafik al-Nayed has expressed an interest in receiving technical advice from Ashby Monk, the
director of the Sovereign Wealth Fund research institute at Oxford University and research director for Stanford University's Collaboratory for
Research on Global Projects. Dr Monk is also adviser on special projects to the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, the SWF for the
Canadian province that handles about $70 billion in assets, roughly equivalent to the LIA. We put the two in contact and Dr Monk has also expressed
an interest in consulting to the LIA. While the LIA has already commissioned a wide range of professional advice on specific topics, Mr al-Nayed said
he would welcome the advice of an SWF expert who combined both academic breadth of vision in the subject with hands-on experience. Project
design could be as simple as engaging Dr Monk for a short trip to Libya, any scope of subsequent advice or consultancy to be determined by mutual
LIA Corporate Governance – Public Communications
Sector Partners: the Libya Investment Authority, Acktionaers Forum. Scope: Long-term
Meetings at the LIA revealed that they were actively working on a public communications strategy but had not yet defined any strategic approach to
this. Management were caught between the recognition that broad communications would be an essential part of a more transparent LIA, and indeed
perhaps essential to its ability to ringfence and enforce rules relating to its investments in the face of pressures from any future government, and the
perception that free public debate on such sensitive topics as management of the LIA was likely to be too emotional to be constructive, with personal
accusations, recriminations, and so on. We suggest that RWI could propose a middle ground by engaging a German company Aktionaersforum1 to
provide its online platform which is specifically geared to structuring dialogue between stakeholders and management in a corporate setting.
Aktionaersforum has recently handled, for example, discussions between Siemens and its shareholders, and an association of minority shareholders
with a range of publicly-listed German companies, including some where there are controversies such as over dividends or quarterly earnings. The
online forum is adapted to structure moderated debate, giving corporate management the central role in being able to respond to stakeholder queries
and introduce new threads and information, yet ensuring genuine dialogue through management by a trusted third party. The online-led nature of the
debate is crucial to the Aktionaersforum model, and would be perhaps also to the LIA whose stakeholders would be spread across many institutions and
possibly also time zones. An initial project step, subject to LIA interest, would be to fund a trip by Aktionaersforum to Tripoli to meet the LIA and also
the World Bank and IMF representatives who are advising the LIA on some aspects of transparency, to evaluate if there were scope to define a pilot to
test the concept of using an online platform to structure dialogue on a particular issue of corporate governance relating to the LIA. If such a topic were
identified, the LIA could proceed to negotiate with any company geared to provide such a service on a commercial basis.
Mainstreaming Transparency Consultancy
Sector Partners: Libyan private sector, the Libyan government, the IFIs and UNDP. Scope: Short-term feasibility study leading to long-term.
With the oil industry, and economic planning more generally, in flux, there is a real need to mainstream transparency into economic and policy
planning. It is important to emphasise that this I not RWI or the transparency movement taking policy positions on other issues of industry
management. Nevertheless, it is clear that transparency is a major element in determining public benefit from any policy. There must be a particular
emphasis on present and future ability to enforce any codes or rules that are adopted. For example, the NOC under Shukri Ghanem adopted unified
standards for tendering and procurement within the state oil sector under the old regime, and yet the widespread view of industry insiders is that this
happened during a period in which corruption got worse. There should be systematic regard to the possibility of online systems to manage procurement
and the potential benefits of any policy should be gauged against its complexity, on the grounds that complexity itself has repeatedly resulted in lack of
transparency (in the case of Libya, arguably, through the adoption of dynamic pricing of crude exports during the last five years). The IFIs, who are
advising on a range of economic and fiscal policies including in the oil sector, are clearly key here. Initial project design could involve a senior oil
industry expert consulting with them and the relevant government ministries on whether longer term activities would be welcome.
Economic Diversification Planning
Sector Partners: Libyan private sector, the Libyan government, the IFIs and UNDP. Scope: Short-term feasibility study leading to long-term.
Economic diversification has already been a topic of long discussion in Libya2. In the last decade it formed the basis for a discourse of modernisation
led by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Shukri Ghanem. Clearly, though, most economists believe limited progress has been made3. Although many
institutions are involved in diversification processes, RWI brings a particular expertise4 and an ability to engage atekeholders necessary for broad
consultation and planning, such as civil society (which we would strongly recommend include representatives of the Libyan private sector here). An
initial step in prooject design would be a simple mapping of where economic diversification policies have reached in Libya, with a view to publication
in English and Arabic, to present a public “point zero” on the issue after the revolution.
Media-led project designs
In line with the conclusion that independent Libya have grown fast and are could quickly become influential, therefore representing the cutting edge of
Libyan civil society, the following project designs are suggested.
Basic Journalism Training
Sector Partners: Libyan media, Libyan private sector, the IFIs. Scope: Medium.
There was high interest among the journalists we met on the assessment in learning more about the oil sector in order to be able to cover it effectively.
Four separate groups – Wifaaq newspaper, al-Kalima, Libyan magazine and the 212group – would be interested in taking part. A 12-month training
program could act as an entry point with a relatively low barrier to entry, and allow a closer look at the media landscape in order to identify champions
of the sector as they emerge. It is important also to recognise the distributed nature of independent journalism in Libya at this point. I would therefore
recommend a 12-month program with four trainings in, respectively, Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi and another city of the east (Baida or Tobruk). Each of
the courses would be story-led, that is to say the delegate journalists would either arrive with a story they wanted to follow, or the first day would be
dedicated to allocating them one. The rest of the week would then be a combination of following individual stories and general tuition in the basics of
the oil industry as appropriate to the ensemble of stories being pursued. After all the regional workshops, there would be a prize ceremony in Tripoli for
2 Cf http://www.amazon.co.uk/Libyan-Economy-Diversification-International-Repositioning/dp/3642079814/
3 CF IMF Article IV reports from February 2011 http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pn/2011/pn1123.htm#P18_437 and September 2009
4 Cf “Economic Diversification: Dynamics, Determinants and Policy Implications”, by Akram Esanov, draft, 2011, which concludes that factors promoting economic
diversification as a whole may be significantly different from export diversification, although the two are often considered as almost coterminous.
the best story.
Industry-Specific Online Publication
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society, Libyan media, Libyan private sector, international NGOs skilled in focus groups and . Scope: Long-term
It was clear during the assessment trip that there was a need within the Libyan industry for platforms and fora that channel debate within the country's
30,000 professionals. Like most countries with a large oil sector, Libya had sector-specific publications before the revolution but they seem to have
been mostly glossy magazines and commercially driven. RWI could play a strong role in assisting in the establishment of an independent online-based
publication by and for Libyan oil professionals. We met three oil professionals who are also online activists (Sami Zaptia, Hala Bougaighis and Nuri
Fello) who could be suitable editors of such a publication. The role of RWI would be in providing start-up help for an online platform – for instance, a
reliable open source content management system which could provide features as requested in initial consultations, some guidance on writing and
independent news sourcing.
Conceivably some form of partnership could be established with international oil sector publications, such as the Petroleum Economist (whose reporter
Derek Brower has covered Libya extensively recently and is interested in encouraging local journalism), or Ben Lando of the Iraq Oil Report, who is
seeking to expand across the Middle East region. The platform could be bi-lingual although English is the lead language of professionals in Libya's oil
industry and would facilitate international partnerships as well as a focus on professional issues. By providing an independent and informed space for
debate within the industry, the project would also furnish the basis for a more broadly informed Libyan public and institutions such as parliament,
through the interactions of experts convened and shaped by the platform with the public at large. A 24-month commitment to such a project if the right
partners were found would not be inappropriate.
The aim would be to assist a publication into being over that time which was Libyan-owned and led, independent from major holding interests in the
oil industry, and financially sustainable. The weight of the sector offers reasonable potential there if the site produced engaging content and
perspectives, whether through advertising, offline spin-offs (event management) or recruitment arms of the industry.
Civil Society Companies Other
Project Gvt IFIs Scope
Private Sector national
CSO Media Libyan Foreign State
TA 1 State-owned entities advice workshop X X X X M-L
TA 2 Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund consultancy XP
TA 3 Corporate governance X P
TA 4 Mainstreaming transparency X X X X M-L
TA 5 Economic diversification X X X X M-L
MD 1 Basic journalist training XP X X M
MD 2 Reporting Guide XP XP X M
MD 3 Industry-specific publication XP X X X L
MD 4 Wikileaks X P
MD 5 Text mining X X X
CB 1 EITI coalition building XP
XP X S-->L
CB 2 Joint study trips XP
CB 3 Natural Resource Charter workshop (regional) X X X X X X S-->L
CB 4 OilSim XP
(X) (X) S-->L
CB 5 Parliament X X M-L
TA=Technical Assistance Xp =partner identified S=6 months or less
MD=Media Driven M=approximately 12 months
CB=Capacity-Building L=24 months +
S-->L= short term leading to longterm
M-L= either medium or long term
Libyan Oil Reporting Guide
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society, Libyan media, Libyan private sector. Scope: Middle-term
Declaration of interest... OpenOil has developed a prototype for this project.
Attached in the annex is a prototype for the Libyan Oil Industry Reference Guide in PDF format (A small print-on-
demand run is underway). This reference is produced by OpenOil under a Creative Commons license5 and available
to RWI and any other partner to reproduce. The English edition of the prototype will be distributed inside and
outside Libya to elicit interest in full development and translation of the guide, to serve as a resource for Libyan
reporters and civil society. The guide is modeled on a similar project conducted for UNDP in Iraq in 2010.
The book is a version of a website6 produced by using the Mediawiki software used to power Wikipedia7. A project
taking the guide forward is in two discrete stages.
The first, over a course of three months, is in the development of the guide to a level sufficient to distribute, and its
translation into Arabic and wikification and printing. This rapidly provides a reference guide with much detail and
context missing from ordinary reporting, acting as a tool for reporters covering the industry without much
The second stage, over a subsequent nine to 15 months, would involve taking the prototype as the basis to introduce
the wiki to Libyan journalists and civil society activists and, over that time, to first share and then transfer editing
and administrative rights on the Arabic side of the wiki. In this context the wiki leads in the process of forming a
knowledge community about oil in Libya, using collaborative publishing as the means to gel the community. Three
trainings at various stages of wiki use are interspersed with periods of support by remote over the wiki platform
Declaration of interest... OpenOil has developed a prototype for this project.
Series of Wikileaks-based stories
Sector Partners: Libyan media – Ibrahim Shebani (the Libyan), al-Kalima, the 212 group. Scope: Short.
The full cache of cables from the US State Department was released by Wikileaks in the same week that the Gaddafi regime fell from power in August.
Among the 251,000 cables there are at least 100 from the US embassy in Tripoli covering the oil industry in Libya. A review of them8 shows that they
7 Use of the mediawiki software allows quick adoption of a wide range of editing and technical protocols across multiple languages, as all Wikipedia documentation is available.
But while Wikipedia rules and settings are used as default, there are specific customisations, such as in closed editing rights and user configurations.
8 For a summary of the main cables cf http://openoil.net/2011/10/13/libyas-oil-industry-and-wikileaks/
highlight many of the features of bad governance and corruption that have dominated the industry, and indeed all economic activity in Libya, in the last
few years. As such they present both a public information and a journalism training opportunity. Going forward, it will be important longer term to
focus journalists and civil society on policy more than personality, and not to focus solely on the excesses individuals and the First Family in the
previous regime. However, in the short term there is a strong public appetite to uncover as much as possible as quickly as possible about the way things
have been run, and the availability of the material in the cables provides a ready teaching opportunity. An international journalist could be assigned to
work the cables into feature stories for syndication among Libyan newspaper, online sites and magazines that wished to take them. The material in the
cables could be fleshed out by background interviews and context, in collaboration with Libyan journalists. The resulting series of stories would likely
engage public attention to a great extent, increase the confidence of local journalists to cover the oil industry, and provide some kind of rudimentary
map of the major institutional players in the oil landscape. The project would last three to six months.
Text Mining of Libya Investment Authority Positions
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society, Libyan media, a foreign specialist provider of automated business intelligence techniques. Scope: Short.
Management of the LIA are attempting to set a precedent of openness by recommending to the NTC that an external enquiry be set up to examine the
management of the sovereign wealth fund under the Gaddafi regime. There is now discussion apparently among decision makers over the form and
sequencing this investigation would take, but there seems to be consensus on the fact that it would involve forensic accounting to trawl through the
LIA's investment portfolios around the world. The business intelligence community is busy trying to work out who to approach within the Libyan
government to win this high profile business9. Done well, such an investigation will span many jurisdictions and bring much wrongdoing to light.
Meanwhile, however, there is a lack of clarity about how the process will be agreed and then implemented, complicated by the NTC's general policy of
keeping senior technocrats in their positions unless and until specific credible evidence is brought against them. Thus new managers are left having to
try and win consensus for ways forward in transparency among groups of stakeholders who may include those implicit in the old regime 10.
Against this background, there could be real value to conducting a parallel search and visualisation of the LIA's global portfolio carried out by using
public domain data sources and applying semantic Web techniques on them. Using text mining programs such as are used routinely for business
intelligence, for example, it would be possible to start with a list of say 50-70 known LIA investees and cull a large sample of stories about them from a
business news database such as Factiva or Lexis Nexis. Deployed in the right way this could yield a set of relationships brought by the textual analysis
software which could then be visualised, and sets of these visualisations distributed in both Arabic and English. A local partner in either the media or
civil society would need to be engaged in the process and some SWF sector expertise probably applied to defining the terms that would be most
effective in revealing low profile relationships and investments from the LIA portfolio.
This parallel public process would act as a relatively cheap form of insurance in the public domain that the institutional investigation would not be
stalled, or particular institutions and individuals protected or exempted. In the worst case scenario, it would be the floor beneath which the official
9 Conversation with Philippe Vasset, editor-in-chief of Intelligence Online, published by the Paris-based company Indigo Publications, October 7 th.
10 This is not to cast aspersions on the NTC's decision, nor even to question its efficacy. It is merely one of many examples in which Libya's new leaders are seeking to learn from
the mistakes in Iraq, in this case, the mass ideological de-Baathification carried out by coalition forces of all Iraqi institutions in 2003, which many observers consider to have
fuelled the then infant insurgency.
process could not credibly sink. In more promising environments, it would complement and bounce off an official process.
Capacity Building Project Ideas
As Libya is starting from zero in terms of civil society and media, the need for capacity building is large. The main variables to consider are how to
sequence activities to gain closer information about the sectors, without being too closely tied to one or a few specific institutions, through activities
which offer a value in their own right.
EITI Coalition Building
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society, Libyan media, Libyan private sector, the government, the IFIs. Scope: Short leading to long.
Interviewees from all sectors responded strongly to the idea of Libyan candidacy to EITI. Decades of isolation have created a widespread yearning to
belong to international norms and institutions, and activists and oil sector professionals who expressed scepticism about other possible initiatives, such
as transparency of contracts or assistance by international NGOs in general, supported the idea of EITI membership. EITI represents a natural entry
point with civil society and for the transparency movement more generally. The round table now scheduled for December should include at least a
representative from the Secretariat and RWI could use the meeting to convene interest in forming a civil society coalition. Although EITI must be
declared by the government, and the NTC has repeatedly declared that its mandate is limited, momentum from NGOs, media and local business could
help set the scene. It is important to note too that both the Libyan private sector and state sector showed strong enthusiasm, and so it might be possible
to extend an alliance learning about the EITI process beyond civil society as defined purely by NGOs. Project design would involve three workshops
across the country – in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata – would lead to a convention in Tripoli. Government participation would be sought as early as
possible. A media component would encourage extensive discussion on local broadcast channels. One goal would be to encourage full consideration of
how to configure a Libyan candidacy in terms of aggregated and disaggregated payments, physical metering, and so on11. Another would be to engage
stakeholders across the whole country, including in areas not typically involved closely in the oil industry, such as Misrata or Zuwara.
Joint Study Trips to Oil Sector
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society (Transparency Libya and Protectors of Black Gold), Libyan media (Kalima, Wifaaq), Libyan state oil sector
(Agoco, Azzawia Refining Company). Scope: short leading to long.
Libya's unusual situation of a nationally controlled oil sector under long dictatorship has created an ususual opportunity. Visits to Azzawia, Azzuetina,
Agoco, Waha and Akakos all revealed a strong enthusiasm to connect to the new independent media channels that are coming, and Libya's embryonic
civil society. Management in Azzawia and Agoco specifically responded well to the idea of hosting groups of civil society actors and journalists for
week-long familiarisation trips. These would involve two days in company headquarters meeting a range of staff, and a trip to the field, whether to
oilfield installations or pipelines or refineries. RWI could manage the trips and the connections between the two sides, using an international trainer to
11 Cf Galeb Efendiev who stats that it is rare for countries to switch to disaggregated reporting once they began an EITI process with aggregated, conversation, June 2011.
complement conversations between civil society and the oil sector with background lectures. The trips would culminate in a round table with the
director of the SOE, generating media coverage. The goal of the study trips would be to network between the state oil sector and media and civil
society, to grow sources for the latter and build their capacity to understand and analyse the industry, and also in part so that when disputes on issues
arise there are numerous channels open across Libyan society through which dialogue can take place with mutual respect. The project could trial a trip
at the most promising SOE (perhaps Agoco, based in Benghazi) and extend the model to as many SOEs show willingness to host such trips.
Natural Resources Charter Workshop
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society, Libyan media, Libyan state oil sector, the government, IFIs. Scope: short leading to long.
As a country which has been isolated from best practice for a long time, Libya could be involved in seeking good governance and transparency
expertise in a number of different fora and from a number of different players – technical assistance from the IFIs 12, the impact of current and future
regulation in home countries of major extractive companies13, and advocacy and campaigning efforts from transnational civil society. The Natural
Resources Charter could represent a unifying overarching framework under which all project initiatives can be understood. The charter could also
represent some opportunity to create Arab region-wide networks if similar projects were begun in Egypt, Morocco and other countries. Project design
would prioritise funding a local partner to host what would be a high-level multi-disciplinary research colloquium in effect, becoming Libya's
institutional mirror of the NRC. An assessment trip might be needed to locate potential partners such as universities, colleges and research institutes in
Tripoli and Benghazi. Once identified, a long-term plan would be drawn up to build capacity in the local partner to localise core NRC materials and
engage in public outreach.
OilSim – learning oil industry basics through video game
Sector Partners: Libyan civil society, Libyan media, Simprentis training company. Scope: short leading to long.
Declaration of interest... OpenOil is partnering with Simprentis to develop a new version of OilSim, expanding it to incorporate the NRC.
OilSim is a multiplayer, online video game developed by a Danish company Simprentis14 to further public education and understanding of the oil
industry. It has been played by 25,000 people in 43 countries since it was first developed in 2003, and every year is run as a high school challenge in
the UK, Norway and Denmark, as well as by civil society and within the oil industry in countries such as South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Kazakhstan,
Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico.
A project design would select run three workshops with OilSim for civil society and media across Libya (the platform is available in Arabic). State oil
companies and the government itself might also engage in a parallel program but at their own expense. The initial workshops would provide an insight
as to whether a national championship would be appropriate, and extension into Libya's education system. OilSim currently exists in two modes:
12 i.e. ROSC accounting standards from the International Monetary Fund or various initiatives from the World Bank's Oil, Gas and Mining Group.
13 i.e. Dodd Franks section 1504 and parallel EU legislation in process to mandate project level reporting.
players can adopt the role of an individual oil company seeking to explore and produce oil, or a national regulator seeking the best allocation of
resource rights and management in the public interest. Declaration of interest... OpenOil is partnering with Simprentis to develop a third version of
the game which would model the role and system dynamics of being an entire host government, seeking to optimise exploitation of natural
resources with other public policy issues such as the environment, labor and community rights issues, and transparency and good governance of
the government take, using the tenets and principles of the Natural Resource Charter.
Sector Partners: Libyan parliament, the IFIs. Scope: Long-term
RWI in other countries such as Iraq and Yemen has shown the importance of working with legislators. According to the draft transitional constitution
there could be an elected assembly by the end of 2012.