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In brief

Image by Piero Fissore available on Flickr under a creative commons license

PWYP Mongolia recently aligned its strategy with PWYP’s Vision 20/20 - the coalition will focus on legislative changes and the development of a new law on the Development Fund for future generations. They also aim to work with local communities, as members joined a working group that will develop guidelines for indigenous people and nomadic cattlemen on how to participate in multi-stakeholder initiatives, communicate with local authorities or companies and use disclosed information and to hold these to account. Stay tuned for more on PWYP Mongolia!

PWYP member ZELA (the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association) has called on the Zimbabwean government to fulfil its pledge on extractive transparency. In 2011, after advocacy and lobbying efforts from PWYP members in Zimbabwe including ZELA, the government launched a transparency initiative along the same lines as EITI (the Zimbabwe Mining Revenue Transparency). Today ZELA calls on the government to get the initiative back on track.

Illicit financial flows cost African countries $US 50 billion each year. Last week leaders of the African Union released a report on how to combat these illicit financial flows. Find out more here and here. 

How to create a public debate on natural resources in DRC

The importance of EITI lies not only in producing reports on a country’s extractive revenues but also in engendering a public debate on the management of these, writes PWYP DRC's President Jean-Claude Katende. Public debate can strengthen accountability and encourage policy change - its importance to EITI is underlined by the fact that the initiative’s first requirement is that a government allow stakeholders to freely express their opinions on extractive matters. EITI implementation in DRC has undeniably contributed to public debate, but still more could be done to ensure an effective and far-reaching public debate. The two key challenges to face are that, at the moment, public debate in DRC is so linked to the production of reports that it is intermittent rather than constant. Moreover, those involved tend to be the elite or stakeholders of the initiative rather than the wider population, particularly those living in the extractive region.

What then can be done to foster more public debate in DRC? Firstly, outlines this article, the strategies used to disseminate and raise awareness of EITI reports need to be revisited - currently there is too much focus on cities and the quantities of reports or summary reports printed are not sufficient to reach enough people. Secondly, it is important to structure EITI reports so that they present information that is pertinent and interesting to citizens. The most successfully disseminated EITI report, which elicited the most debate, was the one of 2010 - which for example included how revenues from the Sicomines project had been spent.

You can read Jean-Claude’s article on our website (in French only)

Image by Responsible Sourcing Network available under a Creative Commons License

Equatorial Guinea and EITI candidacy, slow but steady progress?

Far from the buoyant football stadiums hosting the Africa Cup of Nations, civil society groups gathered in Equatorial Guinea’s main cities, Malabo and Bata, to elect their representatives to the local EITI decision making body. PWYP was present during those unprecedented elections and reports back.

The morning was long – and sweaty. The civil society activists that gathered that Saturday to elect their representatives had the privilege of being hosted by the Delegation of the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy but had to go without air conditioning as the room came without electricity. Indeed Equatorial Guinea is known for its many paradoxes, notably the paradox of plenty.  Despite its natural riches Equatorial Guinea fails to provide basic services – such as running water, a functioning health or education system, reliable infrastructure and others – to its citizens. Poor governance of oil revenues, which make up to 90% of the national budget, has led to little development for the 740 000 citizens who live in Equatorial Guinea.

It is in this context that international actors such as the World Bank, transnational oil companies including Exxon Mobil and Hess Corporation, as well as members of the PWYP coalition, have called on the government to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a first step towards a more accountable governance of oil resources in Equatorial Guinea. After announcing its intention to join the EITI in 2006, Equatorial Guinea effectively implemented the EITI between 2008 and 2010. But in April 2010, the EITI International Board decided that the country was not meeting the requirements, particular with regards to ensuring the free participation of local civil society. When delisting Equatorial Guinea that year, the international Board encouraged the government to re-apply as quickly as possible. It took a few years but the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy has been taking the lead over the past months in preparing the country to re-apply and a series of informative workshops were organised in Malabo and Bata last autumn...

Read the rest of this article on the PWYP website.

The photo is of the elected CSO reps to the EITI Multistakeholder Group

Multistakeholder governance in the EITI: opportunities and challenges

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is famous for its tripartite nature, with governments, companies and civil society working together towards its effective implementation. This innovative structure is rightly lauded and has in many countries created a valuable space for civil society to have its say on the management of natural resources. One of the key forums for civil society to be heard has been the the national level multi- stakeholder groups, responsible for the EITI implementation at national level. It is crucial that these operate in a way that allows for civil society to have a voice and to have influence. But do these MSGs operate in a way that allows for genuine participation from each stakeholder? Are they credible, transparent, collaborative and effective?

A study requested by PWYP but independently carried out by the Institute for Multi Stakeholder Initiative Integrity has sought answers to these questions. MSI Integrity conducted the most comprehensive evaluation of national-level MSG governance practices in the EITI to date, with two assessments - one consisting of desk-based research of MSG governance documentation of all EITI implementing countries and one an assessment of MSG governance practices in 15 countries.

The report and all its findings will be released next week at an event in DC. If you happen to be in DC and are around on Tuesday 12th, why not come along? In any case, stay tuned to find out what MSI Integrity discovered!

Consultancy Opportunity

PWYP Netherlands Coordinator

Publish What You Pay Secretariat seeks a Consultant to provide dedicated support for the transposition phase of the EU Transparency & Accounting Directives, including coordination, communication and awareness raising with the various stakeholders in the Netherlands as well as collaborate and coordinate with the PWYP members elsewhere in Europe.  She/he will also liaise closely with the PWYP national coalitions in the network such as PWYP Canada, PWYP France, PWYP UK, PWYP US and PWYP Australia who work on the mandatory disclosures campaigns worldwide.

Visit our site to find out more and how to apply