Outcomes and impact of the EITI

Measuring and monitoring the impact of the EITI

Demonstrating the impact of the EITI at the international level is a challenge for the whole EITI enterprise. This challenge is set out in a blog by Jonas Moberg, Executive Director of the EITI International Secretariat. 

There are limitations in establishing “causality” since this involves measuring moving targets, the challenge of different stakeholders wanting different outcomes from the process, recognising the large diversity of country processes and objectives, as well as acknowledging the wider impact on the transparency and accountability agenda.

For these reasons, any monitoring and evaluation framework has to be established first and foremost at the country level. 

Measuring impact at the country level

At the country level, the EITI process has a robust, built in monitoring and evaluation system to measure progress.

Each year, each implementing country is required to update a fully costed work plan to reflect the evolving objectives and actions of the national EITI process. The work plan is required to reflect how the EITI relates to progress.

At the end of each year, each implementing country is required to produce an Annual Progress Report (APR) that reflects and monitors the progress against the objectives and actions set out in the work plan and any impact of the EITI. The APRs are listed on the EITI country pages under "key documents".

Both the work plan and the APR are developed and approved by the multi-stakeholder group, ensuring that the framework for routine monitoring and evaluation has the support of government, companies and civil society. This a collaborative and deliberative process (as distinct from a “top down” set of indicators imposed on countries).

In addition to the annual review countries conduct themselves, the country is required to undertake an external evaluation: Validation. Not only does this process access the country’s progress against the EITI Standard, it also makes an impact assessment – an evaluation of the process.

Collectively, these tools ensure an in-country planning, monitoring and evaluation process designed to improve delivery. 

EITI impact at the global level

At the global level, recognising that country-led implementation cannot simply be captured by quantitative analysis alone, the EITI Board has (since 2007) monitored the results achieved through the implementation of the EITI Standard through:

  • Regular implementation and outreach progress reports
  • Annual Progress Reports
  • The Validation process
  • Key performance indicators
  • Overall evaluations

In 2015, the EITI Standard became fully operational (i.e. all countries report using the Standard) after a period of transition since its adoption in May 2013 at the EITI Global Conference. The EITI Standard was revised in February 2016.

Features of the 2016 EITI Standard include beneficial ownership, contract transparency, disclosing information on licensing, budget distribution and expenditures, and these elements are now included in EITI reporting. Together with other aspects such as timeliness for publishing reports, data readability, subnational reporting, there is now a greater amount of more timely, reliable and accessible information that allows monitoring the work of the EITI more thoroughly.

Similarly, the format and ways in which the EITI is delivering outputs, including communication tools, is changing. It is expected, and desirable, that EITI information is increasingly delivered in digital format (open data, portals, and websites). 

The progress on implementation across EITI countries is captured in the implementation progress reports that are submitted to the EITI Board before each Board meeting. Progress on outreach to countries not yet implementing the EITI is captured in the outreach progress reports.  

In addition, the EITI provides a public annual document which seeks to capture progress internationally and across implementing countries, as well as administrative information reflecting the progress against the Secretariat’s annual workplan and budget (both which are approved by the Board). 

Indicators and evaluations of the EITI

The International Secretariat has established the following sets of indicators aimed at addressing three different aspects:

  1. Agency effectiveness (i.e. the EITI).
    This responds to the “value for money” question. The indicators to be monitored for this relate to the inputs and outputs to/from the EITI as an agency (mostly the International Secretariat as the supporting unit of the EITI Board, the decision-making body). 
  2. Attributable outcomes 
    This responds to the question of what concrete results have been achieved, totally or partially, as the result of the agency’s activities, products, interventions and steering.
  3. Big picture indicators 
    Although not attributable to any single organisation (not the least to the EITI Board and Secretariat), selected proxy indicators in areas such as investment climate,  human capital spending, corruption, poverty - all related to goals sought by the EITI - are aimed to shed light on the general context and the direction of change.

The International Secretariat documents these indicators in its yearly Secretariat Workplan, under the annex "Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)".

In addition, two major evaluations of the EITI have been undertaken: 

Plus an evaluation of the EITI technical assistance and funding mechanisms in 2015.  Many other non-commissioned evaluations and research pieces also exist in the publications library on the EITI website.

Putting EITI information to use is key

The EITI has made significant contributions to improved governance of the extractive sector in several countries around the world. At the international level, debates on transparency in the sector are unrecognisable from ten years ago, and the EITI is seen as being at the forefront of many frontier debates including beneficial ownership, commodity trading, project level reporting and artisanal and small-scale mining. 

At the country level, the picture is more patchy and diverse but nonetheless clear - the EITI has made significant contributions to improved governance of the extractive sector in several countries around the world. In countries like the DRC, Myanmar and Nigeria, the EITI has been central to many reforms of the sector. Across Central Asia, it has been central in many legislative changes.  In Francophone Africa, government systems have been strengthened.  In Latin America, trust has been built.  Research suggests that EITI has improved the investment climate and that EITI have been less effected by corruption and tax evasion. 

It is also clear that the EITI process is one of the only functioning global mechanisms to inform and channel debate in resource-rich countries in a way that includes all stakeholders.

In the development business, there can often be a naïve belief in figures. While it is important to have quantitative information, it is even more important to have the right kind of information and to have it used.  

Research on the EITI