Blog Posts

Around the holidays here in Norway, members of the staff will be sharing their stories and thoughts from their work at the EITI Secretariat. Here is Exectutive Secetary Leah Krogsund

I am sitting here in the EITI office in Oslo, staring at the snow pouring down outside my window. Down below, I watch people hurrying to wherever it is they are going, collars turned against the wind and the cold. From my radio, John Lennon is singing "So this is Christmas, And what have you done?”.

Around the holidays here in Norway, members of the staff will be sharing their stories and thoughts from their work at the EITI Secretariat. Here is Policy Adviser Dyveke Rogan, who is on holiday in Burma.

Greetings from Rangoon!

Rangoon is glowing, literally. As I step on to Burmese ground for the first time I find myself gasping at the mountain of gold that envelops the Shwedagon Paya.

Around the holidays here in Norway, members of the staff will be sharing their stories and thoughts from their work at the EITI Secretariat. Here is Kjerstin Andreasen, who joined the secretariat staff in May this year as Administrator.

The “julebord” or “Christmas table” is the Norwegian office holiday party. The requirements are few but strict: the julebord must consist of good food and a lively atmosphere.

Around the holidays here in Norway, members of the staff will be sharing their stories and thoughts from their work at the EITI Secretariat. First out is Francisco Paris, Regional Director for Latin America, Caribbean, and Anglophone West Africa.

We have a saying in Latin America, del plato a la boca se derrama la sopa. It is a play on words which loosely translated means, from the bowl to the mouth the soup gets spilled.

Dear all, 

The EITI Blog opened in 2008 and EITI stakeholders and staff have contributed regularly with perspectives on the EITI as well as wider transparency issues. The quality has been high, and it has initiated discussions and has become a repository of different views on important topics. We have generally been staying away from chatting contributions about everyday work life at the EITI, and we intend to keep it this way. 

In his remarks at the launch of the Open Government Partnership in New York on 20 September 2011, Francis Maude, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office and Member of Parliament began with a quote from Victor Hugo: “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.” The Minister went on to suggest that “transparency is a powerful idea whose time has come”. I couldn’t agree more.

The EITI owes much of its development to civil society. In fact, the EITI as we know it today would not exist without civil society's concerted advocacy for extractive companies to publish their payments to host governments. Today, over 400 civil society organisations participate in the governance and implementation of the EITI in 35 resource rich countries around the world.

A NECESSARY INGREDIENT OF THE EITI PROCESS

The Arab Spring – now turned summer – represents an enormous opportunity for EITI and transparency more generally across the region. In Egypt and Tunisia, where I spent much of the first half of the year, calls for an end to corruption led the slogans chanted by peaceful protesters against the regimes of Zainuddine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak. In Libya, you can hardly pass half an hour without people telling you they live in the richest country but are the poorest people.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the EITI assessment that has been sparked by the ScanTeam report. I see the ScanTeam report has a very constructive and useful element of the strategic review that the board had before it. There are some 50 observations and conclusions at the end of Chapters 3 – 6. All of which deserve careful consideration. The vast majority of these I would support.

However, I am moved at this stage to comment on the following four topics.

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