Publisher: 
EITI
EITI Consultation
Publication Type: 
Concluded consultations
Published Date: 
July, 2015

Consultation on Open Data

This consultation is concluded.

The result of this consultation led to the adoption of the EITI open data policy.

The consultation is now closed, but additional comments can be sent to data@eiti.org.

How should the EITI promote open data?

The EITI invites stakeholders to comment on how the EITI should promote open data through implementation of the EITI Standard.

The EITI Board has tasked the International Secretariat with preparing a policy paper on open EITI data. The paper which will be considered by the EITI Board in October 2015 will draw on international best practice to:
(a) clarify the EITI’s expectations regarding the access, release and re-use of EITI data, and
(b) clarify the role of implementing countries, the EITI Board, and the International Secretariat in promoting open EITI data.

The Board has also tasked the Secretariat, in consultation with stakeholders, to draft a framework for developing open EITI data standards for consideration by the Board. Additional details on the background for this work are provided below.

A consultation webinar was held on Tuesday 1 September 9AM Washington DC time. A recording from this event will be made available.

Background

The adoption of the EITI Standard has seen a significant increase in the scope and detail of information being disclosed in EITI Reports. However, EITI data is often “locked” in pdf reports and is difficult to access and utilise. This is a missed opportunity.

While the current EITI Standard includes several provisions that address data accessibility, these tend to addressed at the end of the EITI reporting process, rather than as a key principle underpinning the EITI’s work. Some countries have developed EITI data portals to facilitate access to EITI data. Others are linking their EITI work to broader open government initiatives (in particular the OGP) and open government portals. Disclosure through such systems can be superior to and sometimes replace the need for bespoke post-hoc EITI reporting systems. Moving from reported data to administrative data leads to additional benefits. It ensures that the disclosures required by the EITI Standard are made closer to real-time, rather than the 2-year delay that is typical in most EITI reporting.

A key challenge is to ensure that there is an appropriate degree of flexibility to ensure that implementing countries can develop solutions that suit their circumstances. Access to data from national systems is more important than having the data available in accordance with international data standards and formats.

1. An EITI policy on open data

The EITI Board has tasked the International Secretariat with preparing a policy paper for consideration by the EITI Board. The paper will draw on international best practice (such as the G8 Open Data Charter and the Open Government Partnership) to:
(a) clarify the EITI’s expectations regarding the access, release and re-use of EITI data, and
(b) clarify the role of implementing countries, the EITI Board, and the International Secretariat in promoting open EITI data.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on how the EITI should address these issues.

Consultation questions:

  1. What are the areas that should be addressed in an open data policy?
  2. To what extent and how could it leverage existing documents, such as the G8 Open Data Charter, the International Open Data Charter, the Open Definition, or similar?
  3. How could an open data policy be useful for you or your government/company/organisation?
  4. What risks and challenges need to be taken into account in developing an open data policy?

2. An EITI Open Data Framework 

An ongoing challenge relates to the consistency and comparability of EITI data. While the EITI Standard provides clearly specified reporting requirements, each implementing country modifies the scope of the EITI Reporting process based on the characteristics of their extractive industries and their governance institutions. In considering options for making EITI data more accessible, it is appropriate to explore opportunities to improve the consistency and comparability of EITI data without undermining national ownership of the process.

The EITI International Secretariat is supporting a project financed by the World Bank to survey EITI reporting standards and accessibility strategies. The objective of the project is to “facilitate improved standardization, classification and accessibility of EITI data”. The World Bank has appointed SNL to undertake this work and the scoping study is available below.

An illustration of the potential of EITI data standards is the Secretariat’s ongoing work with the IMF on classifying government revenue data.  Government revenue data is a central feature of all EITI Reports. The IMF has developed a classification based on the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014), an internationally accepted standard for compiling fiscal statistics. The classification is currently being utilised by the International EITI Secretariat to collect summary data from EITI Reports (as per requirement 5.3.b). The summary data template, introduced in January this year, provides a comprehensive basis for establishing the scope of the EITI Report, ensuring that important revenues streams are not neglected. It also provides a credible basis for comparing EITI data from different EITI Reports. 

Stakeholders are invited to comment on how the EITI should address these issues.

Consultation questions:

  1. Should the EITI develop and promulgate data standards?
  2. If so, what factors should be taken into account in developing such data standards?
  3. What existing data standards should the EITI draw on?
  4. What issues need to be addressed so that EITI data can be useful for you or your government/company/organisation?
  5. What risks and challenges need to be taken into account in developing data standards?

Received submissions

Comments from the following stakeholders have been received: