Guidance note 2 on developing an EITI work plan, including template
The EITI work plan forms the foundation for all EITI activities in implementing countries and ensures that implementation activities are targeted to deliver the results desired by stakeholders. Based on the EITI Standard and discussions about challenges and priorities for the extractive industries, the multi-stakeholder group, in consultation with key stakeholders, should develop a work plan that sets out why the EITI is being implemented and what issues the EITI process will seek to address. The EITI is relevant in different ways as between countries. It can, for example, be implemented to address specific concerns about corruption or lack of trust, to address quality of expenditure issues, to attract foreign direct investment, or simply to bring all key data about the sector together in one place.
Requirement 1.5 of the EITI Standard sets out a number of requirements on what the work plan must contain. This note explains requirement 1.5 in more detail, and proposes a five step approach for how a work plan could be elaborated namely: (1) Identify national priorities for the extractive sector; (2) Define objectives for implementation; (3) Agree the activities needed to achieve the objectives; (4) Endorse and publish the work plan; and (5) Monitor and revise. The note draws from experiences gathered thus far and provides examples and suggestions for further reading.
- EITI work plan requirements
- Guidance and examples
- Define objectives for EITI implementation
- Agree the activities needed to achieve the objectives
- Endorse and publish the work plan
- Monitor and revise
Annex 1: Work plan template
Annex 2: Infographic on developing a work plan
Requirement 1.5 of the Standard requires that the multi-stakeholder group maintains a current work plan, fully costed and aligned with the EITI reporting and Validation deadlines established by the EITI Board.
The work plan must:
a) Set EITI implementation objectives that are linked to the EITI Principles and reflect national priorities for the extractive industries. The multi-stakeholder group is encouraged to explore innovative approaches to extending EITI implementation to increase the comprehensiveness of EITI reporting and public understanding of revenues, and encourage high standards of transparency and accountability in public life, government operations and in business.
b) Reflect the results of consultations with key stakeholders, and be endorsed by the multi-stakeholder group.
c) Include measurable and time bound activities to achieve the agreed objectives. The scope of EITI implementation should be tailored to contribute to the desired outcomes and impact that have been identified during the consultation process. The work plan must:
i. assess and outline plans to address any potential capacity constraints in government agencies, companies and civil society that may be an obstacle to effective EITI implementation;
ii. address the scope of EITI reporting, including plans for addressing technical aspects of reporting, such as comprehensiveness and data reliability (4.1); and
iii. identify and outline plans to address any potential legal or regulatory obstacles to EITI implementation, including, if applicable, any plans to incorporate the EITI Requirements within national legislation or regulation.
d) Identify domestic and external sources of funding and technical assistance where appropriate in order to ensure timely implementation of the agreed work plan.
e) Be made widely available to the public, for example published on the national EITI website and/or other relevant ministry and agency websites, in print media or in places that are easily accessible to the public.
f) Be reviewed and updated annually. In reviewing the work plan, the multi-stakeholder group should consider extending the detail and scope of EITI reporting including addressing issues such as revenue management and expenditure (5.3), transportation payments (4.4), discretionary social expenditures (6.1.b), ad-hoc subnational transfers (5.2.b), beneficial ownership (2.5) and contracts (2.4). In accordance with Requirement 1.4.b (viii), the multi-stakeholder group is required to document its discussion and decisions.
g) Include a timetable for implementation that is aligned with the reporting and Validation deadlines established by the EITI Board (8.1-8.4) and that takes into account administrative requirements such as procurement processes and funding.
Source: EITI Standard, p. 18-19
Simply put, the work plan should define and explain:
- What the MSG wants to achieve through the EITI: Which issues does the MSG want to address and why? How does the MSG aim to meet the requirements of the EITI Standard?
- How the MSG plans to achieve these objectives: Which actions will it take? Which activities will it organise? How will it surpass obstacles? What assistance may it need?
- When the MSG plans to undertake these activities.
- Who is responsible for the activities.
- How much the activities are expected to cost and how the process will be financed.
The EITI International Secretariat proposes the following five-step approach to developing a work plan:
1. Identify national priorities for the extractive sector
According to the EITI Standard the work plan must “set EITI implementation objectives that are linked to the EITI Principles and reflect national priorities for the extractive industries” (Requirement 1.5.a), “reflect the results of consultations with key stakeholders” (Requirement 1.5.b). In order to identify national priorities for the extractive sector, the MSG is advised to:
- Identify and consult EITI stakeholders regarding their views on the priorities for the management of the extractive sector. Consultations could be conducted through national or regional workshops, or through an active and open invitation to all citizens through national and local media.
- Consider government policies or strategies for the extractive sector, public debates about issues in the extractive sector, and analysis and research undertaken by government, media, NGOs, companies or other institutions.
- Review the EITI Principles, the Standard and the findings of Validation reports or EITI Reports where available, including any recommendations following from these reports.
- Consider any existing reform efforts aimed at improving extractive industry governance in the country.
Subsequent to the consultations, the MSG may wish to categorise and prioritise the issues identified with a view to agreeing priorities to be addressed through the EITI. In order to ensure relevance of the EITI process, the MSG may wish to emphasise data that can inform any major debates or concerns related to natural resource management in the country. The MSG is also encouraged to consider whether the issues identified can be addressed by data provided through the EITI, or whether complementary measures or other instruments are needed. In doing so, the MSG may wish to review the EITI Principles and the EITI Standard to explore how the issues identified fit with the overall goals of the EITI.
Examples of resources that can help identify priorities for the extractive sector:
Case study: identifying challenges and priorities
On 7-9 October 2013, some 30 government, industry and civil society representatives from Albania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Ukraine gathered in Astana to discuss the EITI Standard and share views on what they want to achieve through the EITI in their countries:
Case study: Making the EITI relevant in Mongolia by addressing environmental aspects
Environmental aspects of natural resource management are considered important to many EITI stakeholders in Mongolia. Extractive companies therefore disclose details about funds transferred to the government for environmental rehabilitation. Mongolia’s 2012 EITI report also includes a survey on the implementation of environmental protection and remediation activities (technical remediation, top soil remediation, and biological remediation), on the basis of reports provided by the Mongolian Mineral Resources Authority.
Based on the priorities identified, the MSG should develop objectives for implementation. Objectives should set out what the MSG wants to achieve through the EITI, and should thus reflect the priorities identified. In formulating objectives, the MSG is advised to:
- Consider applying a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) design.
- Consider complementing the objectives with a short narrative explaining the rationale.
- Consider how objectives relate to existing recommendations from Validation and EITI reporting.
Examples of work plan objectives:
According to the EITI Standard, the work plan must “include measurable and time bound activities to achieve the agreed objectives. The scope of EITI implementation should be tailored to contribute to the desired outcomes and impact that have been identified during the consultation process.” (EITI Requirement 1.5.c). Once the objectives have been defined, the MSG needs to decide what activities it plans to undertake to reach its objectives, including:
- Ensuring that the work plan contains the activities necessary to achieve the objectives and to implement the recommendations from Validation and EITI reporting.
- Ensuring that the work plan reflects necessary activities related to the various aspects of EITI reporting, including disclosure of contextual information, technical aspects of reporting, such as comprehensiveness and data reliability, and plans for communicating and disseminating EITI data.
- Identifying potential constraints (capacity, finances, legal, administrative) that may affect implementation of the activities.
- Assigning responsibilities for the various activities.
- Elaborating a time frame for implementing the activities. The timeframe should take into account the deadlines established by the EITI Board for production of EITI Reports, annual activity reports and Validation. In developing the timetable, the MSG also needs to take into account administrative requirements such as procurement processes and funding.
- Estimating the cost of the activities and identifying how these will be funded.
At this point, once there is further clarity on and definition of the objectives and activities, the MSG may wish to revisit the question of prioritising. The constraints, activities, costs, etc. could be applied as criteria in establishing which objectives to aim for, and in which order. A matrix such as provided in Annex 1 could assist in such a prioritisation exercise. A template for outlining actions from EITI Report recommendations is also available in Guidance Note 20 on Developing, implementing and monitoring recommendations from EITI reporting.
Examples of work plan activities linked to objectives:
Objective: Provide timely, comprehensive and reliable information about how licenses are awarded in [country]. This will enable stakeholders to understand on what basis rights to exploit natural resources are granted.
Activity 1: Produce an overview of blocks that are being awarded in [country’s] 10th licensing round, including the applicable process, criteria (if any) and guidelines.
Activity 2: Publish a list of bidders.
Activity 3: Produce a template for disclosing information about how each block is awarded, in accordance with requirement 3.9 and 3.10 of the EITI Standard, and collect information from the relevant parties.
In accordance with requirement 1.5.e, “the work plan must be made widely available to the public, for example published on the national EITI website and/or other relevant ministry and agency websites, in print media or in places that are easily accessible to the public”.
The MSG may find it helpful to organise the work plan in a format that is easy to use, monitor and revise, such as a table or a diagram. A template is provided in Annex 1.
The MSG may wish to attach narrative reports, or other documents complementing their work plans, including:
- A Gantt-chart, presenting a project schedule;
- A long-term work plan as well as a one-year excerpt;
- A running calendar, with dates of activities and events;
- A set of Key Performance Indicators, to monitor progress, performance and impact;
- A communications plan.
Example: Philippines’ work plan
The Philippines EITI (PH-EITI) website contains a detailed narrative description of how the work plan was elaborated. The website also explains the issues that PH-EITI aims to address, the rationale behind the objectives, the planned activities, and how the different elements of the EITI process link to other reform efforts:
The work plan is a living document, which must be reviewed and updated annually:
Requirement 1.5 of the Standard requires that the multi-stakeholder group maintains a current work plan (…)” which must be “reviewed and updated annually.” (Requirement 1.5.f)
“In reviewing the work plan, the multi-stakeholder group should consider extending the detail and scope of EITI reporting including addressing issues such as revenue management and expenditure (5.3), transportation payments (4.4), discretionary social expenditures (6.1.b), ad-hoc subnational transfers (5.2.b), beneficial ownership (2.5) and contracts (2.4)”. (Requirement 1.5.f)
“The multi-stakeholder group is encouraged to explore innovative approaches to extending EITI implementation to increase the comprehensiveness of EITI reporting and public understanding of revenues, and encourage high standards of transparency and accountability in public life, government operations and in business.” (Requirement 1.5.a)
In order for the work plan to be useful as a management tool, the MSG is advised to consider more regular updates and revisions. The MSG could, for example, agree to revisit briefly the work plan during each of its meetings to take stock of progress.
Revising the work plan is also essential to reflect lessons learned and integrate the recommendations for improvement, as for example presented by the Independent Administrator:
“The multi-stakeholder group is required to take steps to act upon lessons learnt, to identify, investigate and address the causes of any discrepancies; and to consider recommendations for improvement from the Independent Administrator.” (Requirement 7.3).
And requirement 1.5(c)iv
“[The work plan must] outline the multi-stakeholder group’s plans for implementing the recommendations from Validation and EITI reporting.”
The MSG may thus find it useful to update the work plan subsequent to the publication of the EITI Report and Validation.
Annex 1: Work plan template (download excel file)