EITI Board meeting, Oslo, Day 2

Key decisions on assessing EITI progress in implementing countries.

Today, EITI board members and stakeholders closed the loop on the revisions to its global Standard. On the second day of its Oslo meeting attended by over 80 EITI stakeholders, the Board agreed when the new requirements would take effect and the calendar for each country’s Validation.

Assessing performance and promoting dialogue

Validation remains an essential feature of the EITI process. It addresses the impact of the EITI in the country being validated and the implementation of activities encouraged by the EITI Standard. It aims to safeguard the integrity of the EITI by holding all EITI implementing countries to the same global Standard.

There was consensus around the table today that 15 such Validations would take place in 2016, commencing 1 July 2016. 17 Validations are scheduled for 2017 with an additional 17 Validations over the course of the following two years.

In February 2016, EITI International Board approved the 2016 EITI Standard including revised Validation procedures. The EITI has moved from a binary approach to compliance to a more flexible sliding scale, with categories such as meaningful and satisfactory progress. The new Validation model allows for greater consideration of progress made by countries towards meeting the requirements and the direction of their travel.

Giving the EITI a sound footing

The Board discussed means of providing more reliable funding to the EITI. Low commodity prices have reduced funding available to the process both on a national and international level. Although EITI implementation globally costs just over USD 50 million per year, the international management costs less than USD 5 million. The Board agreed to further develop various options to address the EITI’s long term funding challenges, with special attention on a new funding model and the need to fund Validations.

The Oslo meeting also cemented the working relations and practices of the Board under its new Chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt. The EITI demonstrates both the challenges and the potential successes of a multi-stakeholder approach in getting civil society, government and companies. Board members expressed considerable optimism about the functioning of the Board as well as determination to work on substantive issues likes beneficial ownership and commodity trading. 

The next Board meeting will be held on 25-26 October in Kazakhstan.