The following case study is examples of good practices that were observed and detailed in, Protecting the Cornerstone: Assessing the Governance of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Groups, published in February 2015.
This case study describes good practices related to the preparation, planning, and scheduling of MSG meetings observed in Nigeria and the Philippines. This case is in the Report in Box 2, on page 20.
Good Practices for Planning, Preparing, and Scheduling MSG Meetings (from “Box 2: The value of taking simple steps to plan, prepare and schedule MSG meetings”)
Discussions with MSGs highlight that establishing simple procedural policies to clarify expectations for meetings has many benefits. Such policies may set out minimum notice periods, methods for scheduling meeting dates and timelines, agenda-setting processes, as well as procedures for approving and circulating documents and minutes. Failure to set these types of policies has resulted in low levels of attendance at MSG meetings, delays in decision-making, and has limited members from making informed decisions and seeking input from the stakeholders they represent. These impacts have often caused a particular burden for civil society or other members who are not based in the city centers where meetings and secretariats tend to be located.
Nigeria initially had difficulties with attendance at meetings, but in 2012 started to schedule the date for each of the regular quarterly meetings at the start of the year. This has led to a vast improvement in attendance and availability for all members. At each meeting, the final date and time for the next meeting is confirmed with the members. MSG members in Nigeria reported that attendance rates at MSG meetings have significantly improved since the adoption of the pre-scheduling practice. The Philippines, which has a practice of meeting on the first Friday of every month while it prepares its first EITI report, has also had a positive experience from these regular meetings.
The lessons from these MSGs is that expectations for the timing of meetings, attendance, agenda-setting, and circulation of documents should be set by the MSG in order to avoid logistical problems when organizing each meeting. The number of meetings held by MSGs varies from country to country and depends partly on the stage of EITI implementation. Rather than commit to a specific number per year, MSGs would benefit greatly from setting a small number of regular meetings in advance (e.g., quarterly meetings), and then supplementing them with additional meetings organized according to minimum notice requirements, as necessary.