A number of studies suggest that natural resources can have a negative impact on the developing prospects of countries, a phenomenon that has been labelled the resource curse. In particular, recent studies suggest that this resource curse is related to the institutional level of resource rich countries.

This paper reviews international initiatives to address the resource curse, with an emphasis on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and petroleum-related aid initiatives. We argue that these initiatives only to a limited extent reflect the implications of the resource curse literature. Suggestions are made on policy and further research needed to improve the effectiveness of international foreign policy initiatives in terms of addressing institutional problems underlying the resource curse.