Weighing Benefits and Risks

Revenue Streams and Models

The Issue

BAs can cover a wide range of issues and benefits can be accrued in monetary and non-monetary terms. However, these terms are not always legislated, and the actual terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. This brief covers both the transfer of funds and the governance of funds and expenditures at the community level. Choosing how to structure financial benefits is one of the most significant strategic choices a community will have to consider in the course of BA negotiations.


As voluntary revenue-sharing systems can be complicated and uncertain, BAs provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to be involved in the establishment of clear and transparent mechanisms for managing and regulating the allocation of funds (Sarkar et al., 2010). These mechanisms can add much needed clarity to the allocation and management of funds over the long term, improving accuracy, transparency, and the sustainability of development activities (Sarkar et al., 2010). 


Success may rely on strategically planning and implementing expenditures around certain development areas to maximize community benefits. Ideally, BA budgeting and expenditure management should be linked with existing local and regional development plans and defined early in the process (Sarkar et al., 2010). 


Ultimately, financial benefits provided to communities should be predictable, stable, comprehensible, and sufficiently adapted to the project and the community. Additionally, they should be founded on recognition of and respect for the community’s aspirations (Loutit, Mandlebaum and Szoke-Burke, 2016, 82). Non-financial benefit sharing encompasses a wider spectrum of benefits, including employment, training, business development, and infrastructure and/or support services.

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