Four steps to stronger Civil Society participation in the EITI
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) stands or falls on the strength of its civil society component. Only with well-coordinated, inclusive and meaningful civil society participation will the information published in EITI reports inform public debate and lead to improved governance in the extractive sector. Civil society input underpins success throughout the EITI process, from consulting communities – especially those affected by extraction – over EITI reports to using findings to make policy recommendations and drive governance reform.
Although government, companies and civil society are prescribed equal roles in the EITI process, civil society faces specific challenges when it comes to engaging on an equal basis in discussions with the other two parties. To address these, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) has built on the breadth of experience gathered by its members on the ground to provide civil society organisations (CSOs) with recommendations and good practices to help them maximise their presence at the negotiating table. The range of concrete steps, outlined below, centres on:
- Selecting the best civil society representatives
- Ensuring these representatives are accountable to their constituencies
- Maximising their influence
- Harnessing the EITI’s Civil Society Protocol to optimise civic participation
Building credible and effective representation in this way enables civil society to have significant impact on discussions that shape EITI implementation, and ultimately to ensure that citizens benefit from their country’s natural resources.