EITI Validation will take a new approach, placing more focus on the role of multi-stakeholder groups and on embedding EITI disclosures into existing government and company reporting systems.
At a meeting on 15 October 2020, the EITI Board agreed to introduce a new way of assessing how countries progress towards implementing the EITI Standard.
“The new approach to Validation recognises that EITI countries have different starting points,” said Helen Clark, EITI’s Board Chair. “It enables the EITI to uphold a consistent EITI Standard while directing resources to address pressing governance challenges.”
Evolving approaches to Validation
The EITI Validation model was last reviewed in 2016. An open consultation was undertaken to inform the current revisions, and the views of EITI implementing countries, supporting companies and civil society organisations were canvassed.
The changes agreed by the EITI Board aim to strengthen the role of national multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) in Validation. They also support the integration of EITI disclosures into existing government and company reporting systems. The way in which assessments are undertaken aims to reward the impact and sustainability of improvements in extractive governance.
Rewarding impact, supporting learning
The core of Validation will continue to be the assessment of a country’s progress in implementing the requirements of the EITI Standard. Additionally, and for the first time, impactful EITI implementation will be rewarded.
The Validation assessment will take into account the vital aspects of the accessibility of data and its use by citizens and policy makers. This approach seeks to encourage countries to use the EITI to address their most pressing governance challenges.
The new approach recognises that meeting the requirements of the EITI Standard is demanding and may require changes to policy and legislation. It allows more time for countries to implement the EITI in a way that addresses the priorities of the government, civil society and companies.
In addition, Validation will place a focus on learning. Multi-stakeholder groups will be asked to highlight innovative approaches that go beyond the requirements of the EITI Standard. This information will be made available to the wider EITI community to support the exchange of ideas and best practice.
Assessing countries under the revised Validation model
A country’s overall assessment in Validation will take into account three components – “Transparency”, “Stakeholder engagement” and “Outcomes and impact”.
Each EITI Requirement will be assessed under one of these three components. Individual requirements will be evaluated according to five categories to reflect how well the requirement has been met, ranging from “Not met” to “Exceeded”. Each of the three components will be awarded one of five progress markers, based on these assessments, ranging from “Low” to “Very high”.
Each of the three components will further receive a numerical score between zero and 100. Countries can also gain additional points for demonstrating progress on five indicators relating to effectiveness and sustainability. These will be combined to reflect an overall Validation score. This numerical score will demonstrate progress in a more nuanced way than the levels of progress that are currently in use.
Countries are expected to keep improving their score from one Validation to the next, but will not be sanctioned for not meeting all EITI Requirements within a certain timeframe. Where improvements are made between Validations, but do not result in a change in category of progress, countries may be awarded additional points to reflect progress towards meeting the Requirement concerned.
Next steps and transitional arrangements
The first Validations under the new model will begin on 1 April 2021. A selection of implementing countries have been invited to take part in the first group of Validations under the new approach.
Before the new Validation model takes effect, the Board will finalise details regarding how each individual requirement is assessed. This information will be set out in the revised Validation Guide.
In addition, the revised Validation Guide will include standard templates that countries will use for collating information that demonstrates progress made in addressing EITI Requirements. These tools will enable multi-stakeholder groups to oversee and assess EITI implementation beyond the Validation process.
The detailed steps that Validation will follow and the responsibilities of different parties – including the multi-stakeholder group, the International Secretariat, external experts and the Board – will be outlined in a revised Validation procedure.