On February 12, 2015, MSI Integrity released this landmark report on the governance of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). The report assesses whether national multi-stakeholder groups—the driving force of EITI—are operated and governed effectively. It comes at a timely moment for EITI, as countries prepare for validation under the EITI Standard in 2015.
To our knowledge, Protecting the Cornerstone is the most comprehensive study of EITI governance ever conducted. Over 40 EITI implementing countries were included in the study, with a close look at how 15 countries operate in practice—including visits to Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Philippines, and Tanzania.
The report addresses five areas critical to the governance of EITI:
The report finds that while several countries have adopted some innovative governance practices, there are significant shortcomings of multi-stakeholder governance in most countries. A striking finding is that none of the countries assessed met all the governance requirements of EITI’s new rules, the EITI Standard.
Many actors in EITI are willing and excited to improve internal governance and expressed a genuine interest in learning about good practice. This requires action at the international through to the local level. At the international level, Protecting the Cornerstone recommends that the EITI Board and EITI Secretariat provide greater guidance and oversight, such as by strengthening the EITI Standard and developing an effective grievance mechanism. At the national and local level, the report offers tailored recommendations, as well as practical guidance notes for EITI countries and civil society.
This study was prompted by a request for research by Publish What You Pay International (PWYP) in December 2013. It was conducted independently of both EITI and PWYP. MSI Integrity engaged with and sought feedback from all EITI stakeholders, including EITI Board members from all constituencies, throughout the process. MSI Integrity conducted all of the research services pro bono and did not accept any fees for service. The following actors supported non-research costs for the study:
Individual country assessments and data sets can be downloaded here.
Many MSGs have discussed the report and begun examining how to improve MSg governance in their country, or are planning to do so in the future. A list of these discussions is available here. We encourage MSG members or other actors interested in discussing the report or considering how it applies to the EITI process in their country to contact us.