The Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) have much in common. These global multi-stakeholder initiatives both aim to deepen open governance and transparency and share a number of strategic and thematic objectives. With more than 30 shared member countries, they offer a powerful platform to drive positive governance outcomes.
As the two organisations embark on their second and third decades, our shared visions become even more crucial in addressing the challenges of an increasingly volatile world. OGP’s new 2023-2028 strategy aligns with many aspects of the new EITI Standard and the EITI’s strategic priorities. A significant number of OGP action plan commitments focus on the extractives sector, usually with high ambition and stronger results compared to other commitments. These commonalities present a valuable opportunity for collaboration and collective action, particularly for anti-corruption and the energy transition.
Deepening open and inclusive governance
Both OGP and the EITI emphasise the importance of digital transformation to promote data-driven policymaking, knowledge-sharing, and citizen engagement. While our initiatives have accumulated large amounts of useful data, such information can be challenging for stakeholders to access and understand. We can do more to ensure civil society and policymakers are accessing, harnessing and analysing this data to promote greater accountability and inform the policy decisions that impact citizens now and in the future.
We also share a focus on safeguarding and expanding civic space to enable greater accountability of decision-makers amid growing constraints on civic engagement and political rights. Our organisations are committed to gender and inclusion, striving for greater engagement in decision making across the gender spectrum and as beneficiaries of open government and transparency work. Embracing diversity leads to more effective governance and unlocks the full potential of our member countries to tackle complex challenges, including corruption and the energy transition. For example, gender-disaggregated employment data in the Philippines and Senegal have prompted debate on how to engage more women in the country’s extractive sectors.
Collective action against corruption
Anti-corruption efforts are now central to the EITI Standard, with mandatory reporting on beneficial owners and contracts. In collaboration with Open Ownership, the EITI is actively working to deepen beneficial ownership transparency in ten EITI countries, most of which are also OGP members. Progress in this area can inspire the creation of open registers of beneficial owners across different sectors, as the case of Nigeria has shown with the release of the country’s first national register in May, building on a portal on the extractives sector. OGP can contribute by developing action plans that leverage this work, particularly given the EITI Standard’s lower threshold of 10% for beneficial ownership reporting.
Furthermore, all EITI member countries are required to publish details of new contracts with private companies, providing an additional tool to fight corruption in the extractive sector. OGP action plans can complement these efforts in other sectors, through commitments to disclose contracts with, and ownership of, infrastructure and service providers supporting energy and extractive projects to ensure investments benefit citizens and governments and are not siphoned-off for corrupt ends.
Addressing energy transition and governance risks
In recent years, the EITI has shifted its focus to tackle governance and corruption risks in the transition to a low-carbon future, especially concerning critical mineral supply chains required for sustainable energy sources. Reporting under the revised EITI Standard includes aspects such as licensing, contracts, and commodity sales, which all have a bearing on supply chain transparency. By addressing corruption risks and attracting investment, these efforts benefit both producers and consumers. Moreover, the EITI’s support to countries dependent on fossil fuel production emphasises the need for forward-looking planning as reduced global demand and competitiveness of oil and gas could have an adverse impact on revenues. Fresh EITI reporting requirements on reserves, subsidies, production, forecasts, and greenhouse gas emissions can inform public debate on energy transition policies.
EITI reporting raises public awareness about the choices and trade-offs associated with the energy transition and the potential for renewable energy sources. For example, Senegal’s EITI reporting highlights the significance of a changing energy mix in shaping future energy consumption and export earnings, especially with increasing focus on natural gas production, which the country views as a “transition fuel”. By expanding domestic energy access and low-carbon energy sources, countries can start achieving their climate commitments while planning for revenue streams that support infrastructure and public services in the longer term.
Standing together for better governance
The convergence of OGP and EITI priorities on anti-corruption and the energy transition presents a significant opportunity for progress. Stronger reporting in these areas can inform and help build out OGP commitments that emphasise the transition to a green energy future. Such commitments can strengthen EITI implementation and reinforce shared outcomes. Where possible, our initiatives should continue to identify scope for greater complementarity as we pursue and deepen shared agendas. By leveraging each other's strengths, resources and networks, we can work together to foster a transparent, accountable and sustainable future for all.