Working together - civil society organisations

The participation of civil society is key to ensure that the transparency created by the EITI leads to better informed debate and greater accountability. Citizens working actively together to make use of the information generated by the EITI is critical to establishing links with wider reforms in the governance of the extractive sector.

Networking to advance the EITI agenda

Networks of civil society organisations (CSOs) to advocate and make use of EITI data have been established in all implementing countries, often under the global Publish What You Pay umbrella.

In Indonesia, this has resulted in a better understanding of subnational transfers, means of accessing information on mining permits and environmental impact assessments connected to licenses, and the structure of cost recovery in the oil and gas sector. They have assessed what should have been paid in mining revenues according to the fiscal, legal and contractual conditions, and what had in fact been paid.

More than 800 CSOs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are represented in the multi- stakeholder group (MSG). CSOs actively monitor and evaluate progress of EITI implementation. With support from GIZ (Germany), Publish What You Pay DRC published an impact evaluation study of nine years of EITI implementation. The report, including a number of policy recommendations, concluded that EITI compliance is not an end in itself, but rather an opportunity to secure the reforms to improve the governance of the sector.

CSOs in Colombia use the EITI as a platform to advocate for higher transparency levels and policy reforms. “La mesa para la transparencia en las industrias extractivas” brings together a network of organisations at the national and regional levels that work for good governance in the extractive sector. This structure also serves as a consultative mechanism among EITI MSGs members and their wider constituency. The model has been replicated in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Civil society engaged in the EITI is at a critical juncture. The EITI Standard allows us to move to accountability and hence civil society needs to go broader and deeper at the same time in working with a diverse set of groups – internationally, nationally and locally. Only through a diverse yet united and creative approach will we ensure the EITI principles are achieved.

Marinke van Riet, International Director, Publish What You Pay

 

The most rewarding aspect of our work has been to see the awakening of civil society from its slumber of many years to assume its role as a partner in the governance of the country’s resources and so protect the wealth of the extractive sectors, the people’s patrimony and our children’s inheritance.

Victor Hart, Chair of the EITI multi-stakeholder group Steering Committee, Trinidad and Tobago

A voice heard in Mozambique

Based on the revenue information disclosed in EITI Reports, civil society actors in Mozambique argued that the state was not capturing as much revenue from the growing sector as it should or could. The civil society platform for extractive industries used this information when lobbying for a revision of the legal and fiscal framework. The revised sector laws were passed in 2014.

The new legislation requires the publication of mining contracts and the main terms of oil and gas contracts. According to local civil society, the EITI helped civil society organisations advocate for the disclosure of contracts by putting contract transparency on the agenda. This helped civil society convince the government that it should address the issue. Now civil society is making use of EITI’s provisions to ensure that practices are in line with policies and that the full text of contracts is made public.