Consultation: The future of Validation
Validation assesses how EITI implementing countries are progressing towards meeting EITI requirements. In October 2019, the EITI Board decided to launch a review of the Validation process. As an initial step, the views of EITI stakeholders were sought through this consultation from December 2019 to January 2020. All responses are published at the end of this page.
Who can comment?
The consultation was open to all stakeholders until 31 January 2020. We actively sought a range of responses, across regions and stakeholder groups.
What areas were covered by the consultation?
The consultation sought views on the following areas of Validation:
- Measuring compliance and impact
- Resourcing and roles
- Structure, timing and consequences of Validation
- Assessing stakeholder engagement
See detailed questions and explanation below. Thank you for your input.
Findings from Validations show that countries have made progress in implementing the EITI Standard. However, as of November 2019 only eight out of the 44 EITI countries that have been Validated against the EITI Standard have reached “satisfactory progress” overall, i.e. successfully implemented all EITI Requirements. Some stakeholders have expressed views that Validation should better reflect the diversity of implementing countries’ circumstances and the impact of EITI implementation to date. On the other hand, the need to maintain consistent, objective treatment across countries has also been raised.
Should Validation continue to focus on assessing compliance with all EITI Requirements, applying the same expectations consistently across countries? If not, what should be the focus of Validation?
Should implementation priorities determined by the MSG be reflected in Validation? If yes, how?
Currently, Validation seeks to describe the impact of EITI implementation, but it is not reflected in the assessment of progress in implementing the EITI Standard outcome. How should Validation assess impact? Should this assessment affect the outcome of Validation?
How could Validation encourage countries that are performing well against the EITI Standard to continue making progress beyond EITI Requirements?
Should the EITI Validation process take into account the outcomes of country assessments conducted by other organisations, such as Financial Action Task Force? If yes, how?
The review of Validation will consider who undertakes Validation and how it is resourced, with a view to ensuring financial sustainability, the timely execution of Validations and sufficient resources for support to EITI implementation.
Under the current Validation procedure, Validation is led by the International Secretariat. Each year, one company is selected as the Independent Validator to provide quality assurance. The current annual financial cost of Validation for the International Secretariat is approximately USD 1m in total for around 15 Validations. In addition, Validation requires significant time resources from national secretariats, MSGs and the EITI Board. On average, completing first Validations has taken 41 weeks and second Validations 20 weeks.
How would you improve the cost effectiveness of Validation, in terms of both financial cost and time?
Should self-assessment by implementing countries play a greater role in Validation? If yes, how should the consistency of assessments be ensured?
Which entity should have the primary role in undertaking Validation, including conducting stakeholder consultations and preparing assessments (e.g. one Independent Validator across all countries, consultants specialised in certain regions or topics, the International Secretariat, the MSG or EITI stakeholders from other countries?)
The International Secretariat provides implementation support to countries and leads Validation. What are the benefits and challenges of this dual role? What should be the role of the International Secretariat in Validation?
The review of Validation will consider the structure and timing of Validation, including the assessment of individual requirements, the overall assessment of progress and consequences of Validation. The visual below explains the outcomes and consequences of Validation under the current model.
Currently, countries are revalidated in 3 years, if they meet all EITI Requirements. If all requirements are not met, a subsequent Validation takes place in 3 to 18 months. Should Validation take place more or less frequently than currently? In what kind of situations particularly?
The EITI Standard stipulates that lack of progress in Validation leads to temporary suspension (see image above). Should countries be allowed more or less time to make progress and meet the EITI Standard? If yes, in which cases?
Currently Validation assesses progress in meeting all EITI Requirements in one country at a time. A different approach could be to assess the implementation of a set of requirements in several countries at once, for example related to state participation or licensing. Should Validation continue to look at one country at a time or rather focus on assessing progress on a certain topic across several countries at the same time?
Currently Validation results in an overall assessment of progress that reflects the assessment of individual requirements (‘no progress’ to ‘outstanding progress’). Are the levels of progress and the basis for determining them appropriate? If not, how would you improve them?
Assessing progress in meeting EITI Requirements on stakeholder engagement (Requirements 1.1-1.3) has proven to be more challenging and resource-intensive than assessing disclosures. In particular, the EITI Board has discussed whether the current approach to assessing civil society engagement is appropriate for safeguarding civic space in the EITI and encouraging progress.
How would you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of validating stakeholder engagement in the EITI?
Currently stakeholder engagement and disclosures are assessed in the same Validation process. Should these two assessments be separated?
The Validation of the civil society protocol assesses whether actors substantively engaged in the EITI can freely express themselves, operate, associate and participate in decision-making in relation to the EITI process. Should the Validation of the civil society protocol cover issues, activities and actors related to natural resource governance beyond the EITI process?
Currently the outcome of validating stakeholder engagement follows the same levels of progress as the assessment of disclosures (‘no progress’ to ‘outstanding progress’). Does this adequately encourage and capture progress? If not, how would you improve the progress markers on stakeholder engagement?
Please add any other comments or reflections on the current Validation model and areas for improvement not covered above.