Thinking and working politically: Lessons from FOSTER in Nigeria – Lucia, Buckley, Marquette and McCulloch (2017)


This paper seeks to identify and evaluate the factors that drove the successes and failures of the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform (FOSTER), a development project designed to transform Nigeria’s governance of the oil and gas industry.  It explains what FOSTER’s experience can tell us about TWP, particularly in challenging political and sectoral contexts.  FOSTER was one of the earliest projects commissioned by DFID with a TWP focus. It was a development project designed to support reform of the governance of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and strengthen accountability.  To achieve this, it worked with national government, as well as with the private sector, civil society organisations, parliament, and the media. The project undertook political economy analysis regularly which allowed it to identify any changes in the local environment which could either block progress or create opportunities for reform. It built strong relationship with key stakeholders which facilitated informal channels of influence.  The first phase of the FOSTER programme was also unusual in that the local team did not have a formal counterpart and therefore could choose which domestic actors they would work with.  This allowed them to focus on engaging with local actors who were committed to the success of the reforms being pursued.