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In brief

  • Speaking at the mining on top summit in London, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for mining, Hon. Najib Balala, announced that Kenya would apply to join EITI and indeed reach candidate status ‘under his watch’ 
  • … Kenya isn’t the only country to be joining up to EITI. In the G8 Communiqué following the summit in Lough Erne, Italy stated that it will seek EITI candidacy status as soon as possible. Germany, meanwhile, will test EITI implementation in a pilot region. For more information, please visit the EITI site.
  • The recently agreed European Accounting Directive which requires oil, gas, mining and logging companies to annually disclose the payments they make to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis has been signed into law and is now available in 22 languages here. They key provisions are in Chapter 10 and PWYP has produced a fact sheet on the new law here

Libya – supporting civil society in their campaign for transparent management of natural resources

Libya is incredibly rich in natural resources and in the world’s top ten for oil reserves. The country is also highly dependent on this oil, which accounts 90% of government revenue.

Under Gaddafi’s dictatorship, oil revenues did not trickle down, instead supporting entrenched rule. Now is the chance for Libyans to turn their natural resources from a curse to a blessing.

Below is a blog written by our MENA Coordinator, Diana Kaissy, about a recent workshop PWYP organised with Revenue Watch in Tripoli.

As part of our strategy to expand and broaden our scope in the MENA region, we organized, in partnership with RWI, a two-day workshop in Tripoli, Libya, targeting a selected group of almost 20 civil society organisations that are interested to promote transparency in the extractive industry sector in Libya.

Ms. Sophia Harding, PWYP International’s Programme officer, along with Diana Kaissy, PWYP’s MENA Coordinator, introduced the participants to transparency trends within the EI sector and the EI value chain, using PWYP’s journey as a case study to highlight the importance of targeted and collective strategic advocacy in promoting an agenda for extractive industry transparency.

Participants were keen to know about the different steps to be taken towards forming a coalition, and the presenters spoke about the challenges and pitfalls of working in alliances, and some of the considerations to bear in mind when considering establishing a coalition. 

An introductory session about the EITI and the new standards that were adopted last May was followed by a special Q&A session hosted by Eddie Rich from the EITI International Secretariat.

A general consensus was reached amongst the participants regarding the benefits of forming a coalition at the national level, and the workshop ended with attendees submitting the framework of two actionable plans to be followed as a coalition.

Follow up meetings were conducted with several participants to determine a time frame for actions for CSO advocacy in Libya.

Country Updates

Our members in Zimbabwe have been busy strengthening their coalition and raising awareness of transparency and natural resources. To find out more about the campaign in Zimbabwe, visit their recently updated country page.

PWYP Uganda have been preparing themselves for the upcoming consultation on the public finance bill as well as working towards the country’s future application as an EITI as candidate country. To find out more, visit the PWYP Uganda page.

(PWYP Uganda is also looking for a volunteer to work for them – to find out more, please email the national coordinator winnie.ngabiirwe@gmail.com)

We’ve also updated our pages on the campaign in Niger and Côte d’Ivoire

Transparency portals and EITI in Timor-Leste – Luta Hamutuk evaluation

Despite being one of the poorest countries in Asia Pacific, Timor Leste is rich in natural resources. It is also very dependent on those resources, with petroleum revenues contributing 89% to the government’s budget in 2011. This makes Timor Leste more oil dependent than Kuwait.

Oil revenues have the potential to play a major role in changing the lives of Timorese citizens. Civil society organisations have been campaigning for more open and transparent management of natural resources.

When it comes to transparency, Timor Leste has made some significant advances. Often touted as a darling of the EITI, in 2010 it became the first country in Asia-Pacific to reach compliant status. In 2011 the government launched a transparency portal which enables real time data in English, Portuguese and Tetun on State expenditure that can be accessed by the public through a website.

But has this increased transparency resulted in stronger accountability and increased citizen engagement?

Luta Hamutuk, a Timor Leste NGO and PWYP member, conducted an evaluation of the transparency portal and of the dissemination of the EITI reports. Focussing on the Lautem, Baucau, Dili, Aileu, Ermera, Bobonaro and Liquisa districts they interviewed stakeholders including district administrators, sub-district administrators, students, village chiefs, youth representatives, companies, political parties, local NGOs, teachers/lecturers and communities. Through this assessment Luta Hamutuk sought to examine citizen participation in the management of natural resources at the district, sub-district and village levels.

One of the key findings was that having an online portal with published financial information is one thing, but having people use it is quite another. 95% of those interviewed in the evaluation said that they were not sure how to access or use the portal.

Infrastructure challenges prove significant obstacles here – Timor Leste has poor internet coverage with less than 1% of the population having online access and even government authorities at the local level had difficulty getting online to access the portal. As well as being able to physically (or electronically) access the information, users need the skills necessary to absorb and understand the data.

When it comes to the dissemination of EITI reports, the picture was not a huge deal rosier. Luta Hamatuk found that information rarely reached the local levels. When local authorities did have knowledge of EITI, they found the reports difficult to understand because the terms contained within were so complex.

Based on their evaluation, Luta Hamutuk put forward a series of recommendations:

They suggested that the government engage in capacity building of local leaders, youth and communities so that they could learn how to use the transparency portal, as well as improve internet accessibility, particularly for local government bodies.

In each village, they suggested that a Centre of Information be set up, to help facilitate the spread of information contained within the transparency portal, particularly the information that relates to the state budget.

With regard to the dissemination of EITI reports, Luta Hamutuk called for the EITI reports to be simplified. They also recommended that the EITI Working Group and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resource team up with the State Secretary of Social Communication to regularly publish EITI reports through social media and TV, radio and newspaper.

Timor-Leste has made important advances with regards to transparency measures, but in order to ensure natural resources deliver for all, it needs to make the further leap in order to translate that transparency into accountability.

You can read the full evaluation here

(Photo taken from Flickr,  by Jonathan Werve, Global Integrity)

Promoting the new 2013 EITI Standard in Iraq

Following the endorsement of new EITI  standards in Sydney last May the Revenue Watch Institute, in collaboration with Publish What You Pay, organized a 3-day workshop in Erbil, Iraq (June 6-8) that hosted 20 of the strongest EI-governance focused Iraqi CSOs. The workshop centered around ensuring that civil society is the first to define how the new EITI Standard should be interpreted in Iraq. In doing so, the workshop sought to help civil society develop a strategy for promoting the rapid adoption of the new EITI Standard so that the next Iraq EITI reports are as full as possible and reflective of the new standards.

Particular to this workshop was the attendance of several CSOs based in Iraqi Kurdistan that were eager to promote more stringent participation of their government in the EITI reporting process. The workshop is part of a broader US government supported program focused on implementing the new EITI Standard and consolidating transparency gains made in the sector.

Most of the participants in this workshop had been involved in promoting EITI 2011 rules and providing input on the IEITI 2009 and 2010 reports. With Iraq’s new compliant status and two reports to be issued by the end of the year, participants were keen on applying the 2013 EITI standards and using them to analyze upcoming reports in order to hold the government to account.

Thanks to Diana Kaissy for sending this in

Job Opps

PWYP - Eurasia Regional Coordinator 

Publish What You Pay seeks a Regional Coordinator to provide dedicated support to its affiliated national coalitions and members in the Eurasia region.

The primary remit of this position is to facilitate more frequent communications and information exchange between civil society groups working in the region, thereby consolidating the impact of national and regional advocacy work, and strengthening the sense of integration with the international campaign. Since Russian is the lingua franca for most of these countries, and English is spoken in other countries of this region; excellent bi-lingual capabilities are essential for this position.

Deadline: 31 July 2013

For more information please visit our site

PWYP - Arabic Language Web Editor 

We are looking for an Arabic language web editor to help us prepare for the launch of our Arabic language web site.

It is a paid job, for 3 - 5 hours a week over the summer. Could be expanded beyond then.

Application deadline: As soon as possible

For more information please visit our site