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The road ahead: Oslo and onwards

Last month, the EITI Board 2019-2022 and stakeholders from more than 30 countries gathered for EITI Oslo Week to take stock and set the agenda for EITI implementation going forward. Below, we touch on some of the highlights, latest developments and outlook for the EITI.  

The role of the EITI in addressing corruption

A discussion paper published last June probed the EITI’s role in addressing corruption, and identified some ways in which its role might be strengthened. While stakeholders agree that the EITI is not an instrument for prosecuting corruption cases, it can make a significant contribution to fighting corruption by providing the data for other institutions to do so. Examples include anti-corruption commissions, civil society and the media. It can also help to identify processes that are vulnerable to abuse and expose them to public debate.

The procurement of goods and services in the extractive sector is particularly vulnerable to corruption risks. Strengthening transparency in this area remains to be explored.  There is both demand and opportunity for the EITI to contribute to a better understanding of the goods and services industry and mitigate potential corruption risks in subcontracting. Building on forthcoming research by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and other partners, the EITI will engage with implementing countries to gauge interest in piloting transparency in this area. 

Taxing questions

Transparency of extractives revenues can help strengthen tax collection and prevent revenue loss. Some countries are exploring financial modelling to better inform extractive taxation policies. Representatives from Nigeria, Senegal, Norway and Open Oil shared good case practices on how data can be leveraged to strengthen systems and domestic resource mobilisation.

Implementing countries in the spotlight

With a revised EITI Standard launched last year, EITI practitioners are beginning to share their experience, guidance and ideas on how to implement it effectively. This work will continue in 2020 with a series of capacity-building events. Support for implementing countries will also be available through the extended World Bank’s EGPS Fund.

To better support countries, the International Secretariat is updating its guidance on implementing the EITI Standard. It also plans to upgrade its website to improve accessibility and usability of guidance and web content. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their feedback and ideas on how the website can be improved.    

Accelerating systematic approaches to transparency

There is a clear case for accelerating the move to systematic disclosure – building robust government and company reporting systems to bring data into the public domain in a cost effective and timely manner. This will allow national secretariats and multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) to focus more intensively on analysing and aligning disclosures with national priorities.

The Board approved a pilot with a small group of countries to explore and develop alternative approaches to EITI reporting. The project will encourage MSGs to undertake data analysis, collaborate with decision makers and disseminate information to a wider set of users.

A growing EITI community

The EITI is expanding. Niger was admitted as the EITI's 53rd implementing country, and the International Secretariat will continue with outreach efforts in the coming year. These efforts will focus on large, resource-rich countries such as South Africa and Brazil, which could greatly benefit from EITI implementation and add further impetus to the movement for extractives transparency.

The Board also considered Equatorial Guinea’s candidature application and tasked the International Secretariat to gather additional information ahead of reviewing the application again in June. 

Expanding the EITI’s network of supporting companies, especially state-owned enterprises (SOEs), is on the EITI’s agenda and will be included in future Board reports.

Debating the energy transition

The transition towards a low-carbon economy is reshaping the extractive sectors, with renewables holding an increasing share in the global energy mix. As governments are looking to meet the Paris agreement, reliable and timely data will become increasingly important to inform policies and decision making. SOE disclosures is one of several areas where EITI data may inform implementing countries’ transition policies.    

In a seminar on why transparency matters in the energy transition, Lord Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, highlighted the importance of good governance, especially in the context of increasing capital inflows into the renewable sector and shifting patterns of mineral demand.

The EITI will explore its role in the energy transition in the coming months, and the topic will be considered at the next Board meeting.        

 

Looking ahead, many of these topics will continue to be developed and discussed at the 47th EITI Board meeting on 15-17 June in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Visit our website or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

  

Additional resources

 

Authors: 

Joanne Jones

Communications Director

Joanne leads the EITI’s communications team, developing and implementing communications plans to build public awareness around the EITI and natural resource governance.