Starting from April 2021, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is introducing a fresh approach to assessing countries’ progress in the implementation of its Standards.
According to the EITI, countries will be evaluated according to a revised Validation Model where they will receive a score based on three components namely Transparency, Stakeholder engagement and Outcomes and impact. The Validation process will also seek to capture the views of a wide range of stakeholders and will reward countries on the effectiveness and sustainability of EITI implementation.
The EITI said the changes are the product of extensive consultation and careful deliberations led by a Board-appointed working group. The members include Cielo Magno, EITI Board member for civil society, Ian Mwiinga, EITI board member for implementing countries and Stephen Douglas, EITI board member for extractive companies.
In her remarks, Magno said the revised Validation model sought to capture a more nuanced view of a country’s progress in implementing EITI, with a renewed focus on stakeholder engagement, outcomes and impact. “This focus on stakeholder engagement, outcomes and impact is of course crucial in ensuring that the information released according to EITI’s transparency requirements can be used in a way that is meaningful towards improving the natural resource governance of each individual EITI country,” she explained.
She noted that a broader narrative section on civic space will provide important contextual information about the environment for civic engagement. “Public calls for input prior to Validation will widen the scope for involvement of parties outside the multi-stakeholder group (MSG), helping to ensure wide and diverse arrays of voices have an opportunity to be heard, and the EITI Board now has the ability to tap outside expertise in the case of complex Validations,” she added.
Countries she said can now be rewarded for an EITI process that is nationally relevant, inspires real-world changes in policy and practice, and encourages wider citizen participation of affected communities.
Similarly Mwiinga said the new model is a revolution for EITI implementing countries in that it provides a clear mechanism that recognizes progressive improvement in the implementation of the EITI.
“Potentially, the new model has the capacity to focus on impact of implementation, while at the same time reducing the burdens of ‘compliance’ which will enable the implementing countries to deepen their innovation,” he said.
On his part, Douglas expressed delight with the Board’s approval of the new approach to Validation because it leaves space for implementing countries to meet the multiple demands of the EITI Standard guided by their own national priorities and, within broad limits, to progress on each component in a way compatible with their goals and capacities.
The EITI holds all implementing countries to the same global standard. Through Validation, the EITI’s quality assurance mechanism, implementing countries are assessed on their ability to meet the provisions of the EITI Standard.
The EITI’s Validation model was revised in December 2020. The new approach seeks to maintain a rigorous approach to Validation, while ensuring that EITI implementation can respond to national priorities. It acknowledges that countries have starting different points and face diverse challenges in implementing the EITI, and that they will use the EITI to address their most pressing priorities for improving extractives governance.