National Coordinators met to share experiences and discuss the future of the EITI standard.
The EITI National Coordinators, the managers of EITI processes in 36 countries across the globe met in Lusaka, Zambia, on 22-24 October 2012. The meeting came a week after Afghanistan published the 100th EITI report, disclosing government revenues from natural resources. It was also a timely occasion for EITI implementing countries to contribute to the consultations on a new EITI Standard. The meeting was funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the World Bank.
Support for the proposals for a new EITI Standard
The National Coordinators (NCs) discussed the next version of the EITI Standard that is currently being reviewed and will be agreed at the EITI Global Conference in Sydney in May 2012. The proposals to the new EITI Standard, are outlined in the paper "Building on achievements" and are open for contributions from EITI stakeholders around the world. National Coordinators presented their views in a joint session with the EITI Board. The proposals under discussion include how to improve EITI Reports (including widening their coverage and relevance), simplifying EITI implementation and strengthening linkages with other efforts to improve the management of natural resources.
National Coordinators expressed their support for many of the proposals that were put forward, and made suggestions for how the proposals could be clarified and amended. Whilst agreement was not reached on all proposals, Mr Sidi Ould Zeine of EITI Mauritania summed up the discussion when he said "We have much more in common than things separating us". The consultations continue ahead of the next EITI Board meeting in Oslo on 26-27 February 2013.
Zambia, Compliant and moving forward to improve transparency
The EITI National Coordinators also met with the Zambian EITI stakeholders who co-hosted the event. Zambia was the first Southern-African country to become 'EITI Compliant' in September this year and is continuing to expand transparency into the management of its vast copper mining industry. At the opening of the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa said that it was shameful that people living in mining areas were not feeling the benefit of the revenues. The EU Ambassador and the World Bank Country Director congratulated Zambia on becoming EITI Compliant and reiterated the support of their organisations for EITI processes world-wide.
The Head of the EITI International Secretariat, Jonas Moberg, emphasised that the EITI had - with now 100 EITI Reports - reached a critical mass of data. This data could now be used to compare government revenues from natural resources across countries, which would lead to a more informed debate and to change in countries.
Sharing best practices
Ms Zainab Ahmed of Nigeria EITI and Mr Anwar Ravat of the World Bank facilitated an exchange on how countries are improving EITI reporting. Anwar Ravat challenged National Coordinators to improve reporting and said: "EITI Reports are only useful when they are timely and when they contain the fullest picture of the revenues in the country".
Most countries are already including information beyond the minimum EITI requirements. Examples presented at the meeting included:
- Zambia is developing a system for electronic collection of the data that would make data collection quicker, more reliable and facilitate "real-time" reporting.
- Mongolia does detailed reporting on all the payments made to all the provinces in the country. They are working towards visualising this data by using a web-based tool that would allow anyone to see the payments on a map.
- Nigeria undertakes several audits within their EITI to ensure comprehensiveness and high quality of data: financial, process and physical audits. It is also considering building systems for automatic data collection.