“The EITI is a means to an end – not an objective in and of itself. Our role is to keep pushing the boundaries so that we can use the initiative to improve the management of our natural resources” Jean-Claude Katende, DRC
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative was launched in 2002 as a framework to promote and facilitate revenue transparency by governments and companies. When a country signs up to EITI, they commit to publishing what they receive from extractive companies, and extractive companies within their jurisdiction have to publish what they pay. Today, the EITI standard has evolved to go beyond revenue transparency to include, amongst others, corporate social payments and subnational transfers. The standard also includes recommended optional requirements that countries can choose to include in their reports. PWYP members are working in each country for their EITI reports to include these optional requirements and be as broad as possible.
The EITI was created as a result of a campaign by PWYP members back in 2001-2002 and Publish What You Pay has continued to play an instrumental part in ensuring that the initiative remains efficient and credible. PWYP members use EITI as a means to increase the openness of their extractive sector and access important information that help them hold their governments to account. As well as supporting the effective implementation of the initiative, Publish What You Pay seeks to broaden the boundaries of EITI so that the standard encompasses more areas of reporting and remains robust.
How Publish What You Pay engages with the EITI
At the international level, Publish What You Pay is responsible for coordinating the civil society constituency on the International EITI Board (read more about the process here). The International EITI Board shapes the initiative and decides on its strategic direction. A well–coordinated civil society constituency is a stronger one that is more likely to successfully steer the initiative.
At the national level PWYP members support the implementation of the initiative aiming for the EITI reports to be as broad as possible – for instance in Timor Leste civil society is pressing for the EITI reports to use a project-level reporting template. In some countries, such as Gabon and Uganda, PWYP coalitions are working to convince their governments to commit to the initiative. PWYP members also play an important role as watchdogs to monitor a robust and genuine implementation of the initiative by their governments and companies.
National coalitions also play a crucial role in disseminating EITI reports and making them accessible to communities and the wider public. They have done this through songs, comics or media campaigns. In order for EITI to have an impact, its reports must feed into a public debate that can lead to better policy choices.
At both levels, Publish What You Pay works to strengthen and enable civil society participation in the initiative, which is essential if EITI is to succeed and be credible. A stronger participation by civil society will also guarantee an initiative that is better linked up to citizens in each country.
A Lucid Dream is a film about what the EITI could achieve in Niger. It was produced by Fat Rat Films for the EITI competition