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Why the new Validation model matters to EITI countries, industry and civil society

12 February 2021

The EITI is introducing a fresh approach to assessing countries’ progress in EITI implementation. Starting April 2021, countries will be evaluated according to a revised Validation model, where they will receive a score based on three components: “Transparency”, “Stakeholder engagement” and “Outcomes and impact”. The Validation process will also seek to capture the views of a wide range of stakeholders and will reward countries on the effectiveness and sustainability of EITI implementation.

The changes are the product of extensive consultations and careful deliberation, led by a Board-appointed working group. Three members of the working group share their thoughts on how the new Validation model supports EITI implementing countries, and why it’s important for the EITI’s future:

Cielo Magno, Associate Professor, University of the Philippines' School of Economics; Bantay Kita Philippines

EITI Board member for civil society

With the revised Validation model, we have sought to capture a more nuanced view of a country’s progress in implementing EITI, with a renewed focus on stakeholder engagement, outcomes and impact. This focus on stakeholder engagement, outcomes and impact is of course crucial in ensuring that the information released according to EITI’s transparency requirements can be used in a way that is meaningful towards improving the natural resource governance of each individual EITI country. 

We welcome certain specific improvements to this more nuanced Validation model. A broader narrative section on civic space will provide important contextual information about the environment for civic engagement. Public calls for input prior to Validation will widen the scope for involvement of parties outside the multi-stakeholder group (MSG), helping to ensure a wide and diverse array of voices have an opportunity to be heard, and the EITI Board now has the ability to tap outside expertise in the case of complex Validations. The participation of outside experts will also help in the robustness of the Validation process.

Finally, we welcome the emphasis on effectiveness and sustainability of the EITI process, where countries can now be rewarded for an EITI process that is nationally relevant, inspires real-world changes in policy and practice, and encourages wider citizen participation of affected communities. 

Ian Mwiinga, National Coordinator, Zambia EITI

EITI Board member for implementing countries

Firstly, I think the new model is a revolution for EITI implementing countries in that it provides a clear mechanism that recognises progressive improvement in the implementation of the EITI. Potentially, the new model has the capacity to focus on impact of implementation, while at the same time reducing the burdens of "compliance" which will enable the implementing countries to deepen their innovation.

Secondly, the new Validation model recognises the need to have different timelines for corrective measures, so that countries are not always on a catch-up mode but more focused on addressing the needed reforms. The new Validation model recognises that some corrective actions might take more time to be implemented compared to others. This provides an opportunity for implementing countries to not only focus on immediate results, but also factor in the sustainability of the EITI.  

Finally, as with any new model, it will be crucial to document lessons learned from the new approach to inform further refinements to the Validation process.

Stephen Douglas, Senior Adviser to the President, Exploration & Production, Total

EITI Board member for extractive companies

The EITI Standard, the global reference for transparency in extractive activities, has evolved over time as new themes have emerged and the Board has created or adapted its requirements to address them. The methods of validating the progress of implementing countries in applying the EITI Standard needed to keep pace with these changes. I am delighted by the Board’s approval of the new approach to Validation because it leaves space for implementing countries to meet the multiple demands of the EITI Standard guided by their own national priorities and, within broad limits, to progress on each component in a way compatible with their goals and capacities.