The Board agrees the following clarification of the procedure for appointing external experts for Validation in accordance with Annex B of the 2021 EITI Validation procedure:
The Validation Committee may appoint external experts to provide input on any aspect of the EITI Standard on selected Validations. The decision on whether to engage an external expert will be taken by the Validation Committee at least eight weeks before the scheduled commencement of the Validation and be documented in the Committee’s work plan. In exceptional circumstances, the Validation Committee can agree by consensus to the rapid appoint of an external expert outside of the prescribed calendar. The EITI Board will annually establish a budget line for the engagement of external experts in Validation.
External expert’s scope of work and deliverables
The role of the external expert is to provide input to inform the assessment prepared by the International Secretariat and the EITI Board’s decision-making. The scope of the expert’s work may cover individual EITI Requirements or a module of several interlinked requirements. The duration of the assignment will vary depending on scope and complexity of the assignment. The deliverable is a report that documents evidence of the country’s progress in addressing the relevant EITI Requirement(s) and opportunities for strengthening implementation. The expert’s report will provide input to the Validation assessment prepared by the International Secretariat and be made available to the Validation Committee.
International Secretariat input to Validation Committee on potential need for external expertise
The International Secretariat will provide an overview of upcoming Validations at the start of each year as well as at each Validation Committee meeting, as part of updates to the Committee’s work plan. Where implementation support or communications with national stakeholders has indicated potential weaknesses in implementation related to (1) levels of constituency engagement or (2) technical issues of particular complexity, the International Secretariat will alert the Validation Committee in writing of the potential need to engage an external expert to review documents related to specific Requirement(s) in an upcoming Validation.
Submission of proposal for external expert in Validation
Any Board member or MSG may propose to the Validation Committee that an external expert be involved in its Validation. Such requests should be made in writing to the Validation Committee at least twelve weeks before the scheduled commencement of Validation and explain the rationale for the request and the need for an expert, if possible with reference to the six criteria on how to involve an external expert in Validation. The Secretariat may also advise the Validation Committee to consider the engagement of external expert depending on early findings from the Secretariat review. The Validation Committee shall consider such proposals as an integral part of its regular review of the Validation Committee work plan. Decisions for engaging external experts can be approved by the Validation Committee via circular, following recommendations from the Secretariat.
The Secretariat recommendation on the need for external expert
In advising the Validation Committee on deciding which Validations to involve an external expert, the International Secretariat will consider the following criteria: (1) the complexity of the EITI process being assessed, (2) the country’s Validation ratings and findings, (3) challenges in stakeholder engagement in the EITI identified during implementation and/or in recent ratings and trends related to the broader enabling environment, (4) the International Secretariat’s need for external support, (5) budget implications, and (6) the particular added value from external expertise in the case at hand. The International Secretariat will provide an assessment of the adherence to the six criteria in its presentation of the written request for an external expert to the Validation Committee. The Validation Committee will review and approve the International Secretariat’s ranking of candidates for external experts.
Procurement of external expert
The following criteria will be considered when appointing the external expert: (1) demonstrated relevant thematic and regional expertise, (2) demonstrated knowledge of the EITI Standard, (3) a reputation for credibility and trustworthiness, and (4) ability to complete the assignment in the agreed timeframe. Once the Validation Committee has decided to involve an external expert in an upcoming Validation and has agreed the thematic scope of the expert’s work, the International Secretariat will conduct procurement of the external expert through an open international procurement process. Validation Committee members may encourage potential experts to submit proposals for this procurement. The Validation Committee will review the list of applicants for external expert, approve the selection of the expert and the terms of reference for the assignment. The Committee will consider potential conflicts of interest in selecting the expert.
Timeline of external expert engagement
The engagement of the external expert in Validation is structured according to the following timeline:
At the start of the year and at every Validation Committee meeting
International Secretariat update to the Validation Committee on potential need to engage external expert in Validation of specific Requirement(s)
Start of Validation – 24 weeks
Secretariat reminds MSG of the possibility of requesting external expert for specific Requirement in Validation
Start of Validation – minimum 12 weeks
Board member or MSG proposal on the appointment of an external expert in Validation, in writing to the Validation Committee
Board members and MSGs
Start of Validation – minimum 12 weeks
Validation Committee discussion of the need to appoint an external expert in a specific Validation
Start of Validation – minimum 8 weeks
Validation Committee agreement on the appointment of an external expert in a specific Validation and the Terms of Reference for the expert’s engagement
Start of Validation – 8 weeks
Recruitment of external expert through the launch of an international tender advertised on the EITI website
Start of Validation – 6 weeks
Short-listing of external expert candidates and interviews
Start of Validation – 5 weeks
Recommendation of the selected external expert to the Validation Committee for decision
Start of Validation – 4 weeks
Signature of contract with external expert and update to the Validation Committee for information
Start of Validation + 4 weeks
Submission of draft report by external expert