On 23 February 2016, EITI International Board approved the 2016 EITI Standard including revised Validation procedures. An overview of the changes is available here, including a summary of changes to EITI Validation.
What is Validation?
Validation is an essential feature of the EITI process. It serves to assess performance and promote dialogue and learning at the country level. It also safeguards the integrity of the EITI by holding all EITI implementing countries to the same global standard. It is intended to provide all stakeholders with an impartial assessment of whether EITI implementation in a country is consistent with the provisions of the EITI Standard. The Validation report will, in addition, address the impact of the EITI in the country being validated, the implementation of activities encouraged by the EITI Standard, lessons learnt in EITI implementation, as well as any concerns stakeholders have expressed and recommendations for future implementation of the EITI.
All EITI countries have a validation deadline. When the EITI Board admits an EITI Candidate, it also establishes deadlines for publishing the first EITI Report and undertaking Validation. An implementing country’s first EITI Report must be published within 18 months from the date that the country was admitted as an EITI Candidate. EITI Candidate countries will be required to commence Validation within two and a half years of becoming an EITI Candidate. Section 8 of the EITI Standard sets out the timeframes that implementing countries have to adhere to the EITI Standard, and the consequences of noncompliance with the EITI Requirements.
Validation assesses compliance with the EITI Requirements (set out in section 3 of the EITI Standard). The methodology is set out in the Validation Guide, with guidance on assessing each provision. In some cases, the Validation Guide specifies the evidence that the validator must use to ensure that a provision has been satisfied. In other cases, there are different approaches that a country might take to address an EITI provision, and the Validation Guide provides examples of the types of evidence that the validator might consider.
Given the multi-stakeholder nature of the EITI and the importance of dialogue, the Validation procedure emphasises stakeholder consultation. Validation is carried out in three stages.
1. Initial data collection and stakeholder consultation are undertaken by the EITI International Secretariat. The International Secretariat reviews the relevant documentation, visits the country and consults stakeholders. This will includes meetings with the multi-stakeholder group, the Independent Administrator and other key stakeholders, including stakeholders that are represented on, but not directly participating in, the multi-stakeholder group. The Board maintains a standardised procedure for data collection.
Based on these consultations, the International Secretariat will prepare a report making an initial evaluation of progress against requirements in accordance with the Validation Guide. The report will not include an overall assessment of compliance. The report is submitted to the Validator. The multi-stakeholder group will be invited to comment on the report.
2. Independent Validation. The EITI Board will appoint Independent Validators, who will report to the Board via the Validation Committee. The Board will appoint Validators to review batches of validations in accordance with a schedule to be agreed by the EITI Board. In accordance with the Validator’s terms of reference, the Validator assesses whether the Secretariat’s initial validation has been carried out in accordance with the Validation Guide. This will include: a detailed desk review of the relevant documentation for each requirement and the Secretariat’s initial evaluation for each requirement, and a risk-based approach for spot checks, and further consultations with stakeholders. The Board may request that the Validator undertake spot checks on specific requirements. The Validator will amend or comment on the Secretariat’s report as needed. The Validator then prepares a short summary (the Validation Report) for submission to the Board. This will include the Validator’s assessment of compliance with each provision, but not an overall assessment of compliance. The multi-stakeholder group will be invited to comment on the Validation Report.
3. Board Review. The Validation Committee will review the Validator’s assessment and any feedback from the multi-stakeholder group. The Validation Committee will then make a recommendation to the EITI Board on the country’s compliance with the EITI Requirements.
The EITI Board will make the final determination of whether the requirements are met or unmet, and on the country’s overall compliance in accordance with provision 8.3.a.ii of the EITI Standard.
The EITI Board is currently developing detailed procedures to guide this process.
Background to the changes to the Validation system.
The first Validation guide was published in 2006. The Validation procedure has since been updated and improved on a number of occasions. In 2015, the EITI Board conducted a review of the Validation process, including an extensive consultation process. This led to the changes to the Validation system, as outlined above.
For further information about EITI Validation, please contact Sam Bartlett at the EITI Secretariat.