This procedure was agreed by the EITI Board on 2 November 2023.
Targeted assessments are initiated based on concerns over alleged breaches of the EITI Principles and/or Requirements. These concerns may arise from issues such as significant or persistent violations of EITI Principles and/or Requirements, severe breaches of the EITI's Protocol: Participation of civil society, lack of government engagement, or functional challenges within the MSG that hinder its effective operation.
In accordance with Article 8.1 of Section 1, Part 2 of the 2023 EITI Standard (Article 8.a of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard), the EITI Board has the authority to launch a targeted assessment of any aspects of the EITI Principles or EITI Requirements in any country where it is concerned that these may be compromised. This section presents the criteria for triggering a targeted assessment, the scope of such assessments, the stakeholders empowered to propose a targeted assessment and the process for the EITI Board to agree to conduct a targeted assessment.
Targeted assessments should be treated as additional to regular Validations and only used in exceptional circumstances subject to Board approval. The exceptional circumstances that would warrant a targeted assessment differ from those assessed in requests from multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) for extensions to their reporting and Validation deadlines in accordance with Part 2, Section 1, Article 7 of the 2023 EITI Standard (Article 7 of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard). The exceptional circumstances expected to warrant a targeted assessment include:
- A significant decline in political commitment or a lack of a functioning MSG that creates significant risks to the sustainability of EITI implementation.
- A significant change in the size of the extractive sector that raises concerns about the EITI’s relevance in the country and does not make it practical to conduct a full Validation. This exercise could also be a trigger for a re-evaluation of the objectives or viability of EITI implementation in the country.
- Tangible evidence of proactive blockages of specific EITI disclosures by specific national stakeholders that a targeted assessment ahead of Validation could support the MSG in addressing.
- A pattern of clear, deliberate and persistent violations of the EITI Protocol: Participation of civil society that could lead the Rapid Response Committee or the Implementation Committee to recommend to the EITI Board to initiate a targeted assessment.
Proposals for targeted assessments can be submitted by various stakeholders, although the justification for the proposals must be robust. Calls for the conduct of a targeted assessment can be submitted by the following stakeholders:
- Multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs);
- Referrals by other EITI Board committees, such as the Rapid Response Committee and the Implementation Committee. If a Board committee identifies potential breaches or concerns related to EITI Principles or EITI Requirements, it can recommend a targeted assessment to the EITI Board for decision;
- The International Secretariat, including based on indications of failure to implement time-bound corrective actions from the previous Validation.
If specific stakeholders or constituencies submit a proposal for a targeted assessment that is not endorsed by the MSG to the International Secretariat, the proposal will be referred to EITI Board members from the relevant constituency for consideration. It is the responsibility of EITI Board members to consider whether to submit a proposal for a targeted assessment on behalf of a single constituency or stakeholder to the relevant Board committee.
In cases where severe breaches of the EITI Principles or EITI Requirements are identified during the course of Validation, the Validation Committee can set different Validation timeframes for different components of corrective actions, in accordance with Article 6 of Section 1, Part 2 of the 2023 EITI Standard (Article 6 of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard). Progress against these different time-bound corrective actions follows the Validation cycle and is not intended to constitute targeted assessments. Proposals for the conduct of a targeted assessment should be submitted to the Validation Committee at least one month before the commencement of the relevant country’s Validation. A country’s MSG for whom a targeted assessment is being considered should be informed when the proposal for a targeted assessment is submitted to the Validation Committee for consideration.
Targeted assessments are focused on investigating and resolving concerns related to breaches of the EITI Principles and EITI Requirements. These concerns could include but are not limited to issues related to the EITI sign-up criteria (i.e. Requirement 1), and any related issues agreed by the EITI Board.
The scope of the targeted assessment proposed by stakeholders including the International Secretariat may be adjusted by decision of the Validation Committee prior to its recommendation to the EITI Board.
The Validation Committee is tasked with monitoring and evaluating countries for possible targeted assessments. The Validation Committee is responsible for submitting a recommendation to the EITI Board on whether to conduct a targeted assessment, as well as its scope, and making the final recommendation on the outcome of the targeted assessment to the EITI Board for decision.
In evaluating the case for a targeted assessment, it is recommended that the Validation Committee considers the added value of conducting a targeted assessment instead of waiting for the country’s scheduled Validation, the practicability of conducting a targeted assessment, and the country’s prevailing political context. The resource implications for the International Secretariat of conducting a targeted assessment, including consideration of the costs of a possible in-person mission, should also be taken into account.
The proposed EITI targeted assessment procedure consists of the following steps:
Targeted assessment motion
International Secretariat review
Validation Committee review
EITI Board decision
Building on current practice, the procedure for targeted assessments aims to mirror the Validation procedure in a more commensurate manner that maintains the nature of a targeted intervention rather than a full Validation.
MSG; support from International Secretariat country team, national secretariats, consultants, Independent Administrator:
International Secretariat Validation team:
3. Internal quality assurance
International Secretariat senior management:
4. Committee review
EITI Board Validation Committee:
5. Board decision
Given the targeted nature of the assessments, it is proposed that national stakeholder input be kept to documentary input and consultations, with the MSG receiving the final assessment after the EITI Board decision.
Building on current practice, it is proposed that targeted assessments result in a score for each EITI Requirement assessed. Similar to the Validation process, it is proposed that the Validation Committee review the findings of the targeted assessment and make a recommendation to the EITI Board on the country’s status.
Based on the scores, the Validation Committee agrees a recommendation to the EITI Board on the assessments of individual EITI Requirements, whether to reflect the scores of individual EITI Requirements in the country’s updated Validation scorecard on the EITI website, and whether the aggregate score of the individual EITI Requirements assessed indicates that the country should be temporarily suspended. In cases where the country was already suspended, the Validation can exercise discretion on the level of progress against the corrective actions, as well as the prevailing circumstances in the country. In cases where the country has not made any progress against the time-bound corrective actions, such delays can lead to suspension, unless stakeholders can demonstrate exceptional circumstances that prevented their implementation.
While the Validation Committee has the discretion to recommend to the EITI Board whether targeted assessments of specific EITI Requirements should be reflected in the Validation scorecard of the country under review, the "safeguards" provisions will continue to apply. The safeguard provisions of the EITI Standard relate to the automatic suspension of any country with an assessment of "partly met" or "not met" for Requirements 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 on government, industry and civil society engagement, in accordance with Article 5 of Section 1, Part 2 of the 2023 EITI Standard (Article 5 of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard).