Local content is a development strategy aimed at increasing the benefits from the oil and gas sector and translating them to other sectors of the economy. While this strategy has been widely adopted in Africa and Latin America, little is known about why local content strategies have been successful – or not - in specific country cases. Mapping these factors is challenging since every country demonstrates particular conditions and these factors might function differently depending on the context.
In this paper we compare the experiences of seven Latin American and seven African countries in order to identify common factors that can help explain the achievement of positive local content outcomes. We argue that using a comparative strategy makes it possible to identify conditions that are present across cases that are very different from one another in many important respects, but that have all managed to achieve success in the implementation of local content frameworks. Because these common factors exist in such different contexts and yet lead to similar outcomes, we have some confidence that we can make policy recommendations for other countries and regions based on the findings of our analysis.