EITI Strategy Review: Everything on the Table, part 2

(Part 2 of 2)

In part 1, I wrote about how the EITI is evolving and improving. The Secretariat is delighted that there are now so many reports. We are heartened to see them being used more for analysis. We applaud the fact that they are deepening and widening in scope year-on-year, country-after-country. And that they link better with wider reforms and are more embedded into on-going government and accountability systems.

We believe that these advances deserve proper quality assurance and recognition.

To do that, the EITI needs to be more country-owned and country-focused, more nuanced, and create greater on-going incentives for improved transparency and accountability.

Quality Assurance and Recognition

The International Secretariat has developed a proposal for a quality assurance and recognition system to replace validation. The proposal includes the following elements:

  • An annual numerical scoring system for present EITI requirements, preserving the pass/fail compliance element.
  • An annual alphabetical scoring system for wider reforms that the MSG might decide to include.
  • An expert review mechanism.
  • Final decisions by the Board.

In short, the Secretariat is proposing a model in which “everything is on the table” for potential acknowledgement by the EITI.

Any efforts for greater transparency and accountability beyond the EITI minimum, whether it be coverage of local content, export sales, physical production, subnational payments, social payments, contract transparency, transit payments, project-level reporting, etc., can be recognised and rewarded either through the numeric or alphabetical scoring system or both.

The alphabetic scoring could be used to encompass the entire scope of broader efforts like the Natural Resource Charter and many elements of the Open Government Partnership.

ChangeS THAT SEEK TO ENABLE

Some have expressed concerns about the cost and work implications, and these do indeed need to be worked out. However, the suggested approach is certainly going to be lighter and cheaper for implementing countries than the present validation model.

For the Board, Validation Committee, and International Secretariat, the process is unlikely to be significantly heavier than the present given the demands that the present validation model already makes on them. The Experts Panel would need to be established and would need support.

Overall, the proposed scoring system isn’t drastically different from EITI Validation. It is still a kind of validation, just more country-led than external validator led.

These changes seek to enable the implementing countries to shape their EITI more to their needs: more about what EITI can do for them, than what they can do for the EITI.

As the below consultation chart shows, there is still plenty of opportunities to shape these changes. Please join the conversation at www.eiti.org/about/strategy-review.