Board paper: EITI – a platform for progress?
This paper was submitted by the EITI Implementation Committee to the EITI Board for discussion at the 26th EITI Board meeting in Oslo, 18-19 March 2014.
It addresses central areas of potential reform of the EITI and is part of the Consultation: A platform for progress?
Foreword by Clare Short, EITI Chair at time of publication
The concept of compliance has served the EITI well, but is increasingly problematic. Compliance implies that once the EITI’s minimum requirements are met, the EITI’s work is done. It also implies that all compliant countries have perfect systems. This is clearly false and leads to dismissal of the significance of EITI by many commentators. It also means that big complicated countries like Indonesia and DRC must either be found compliant or delisted although they are making significant progress but continue to face significant challenges. The problem with judging whether there is enough space for civil society to work with EITI causes disagreement and in practise we have applied different standards in different countries; yet our requirements give the impression that the EITI will only be implemented where the situation is ideal, in which case the EITI is hardly needed. The EITI is about helping countries to reform and change. It is obviously not realistic to require the ideal from the beginning.
This paper has been drawn up by the Secretariat and pulls together the arguments made in an important and thoughtful discussion that took place at a meeting of the Implementation Committee in Washington. I hope the Board will agree that these issues need to be addressed, and that moving forward in the way suggested will help us to ensure that the EITI really helps to encourage the reforms in government systems that will help fulfil the aspirations of the EITI Principles.