Assessing the Governance of EITI Multi-Stakeholder Groups (12/02/15)
In 2014, MSI Integrity conducted the most comprehensive assessment of national-level MSG governance practices in the EITI that, to our knowledge, has ever been completed. The assessment included a review of all publicly available governance materials released by 41 EITI implementing countries.3 Beyond reviewing governance documentation, MSI Integrity also examined the actual governance practices of 15 countries through a combination of discussions with MSG members and in-country visits. In total, over 60 MSG governance documents were reviewed and analyzed for compliance with the EITI Standard and other relevant guidance materials; more than 80 interviews were conducted with MSG members, as well as community members and civil society organizations (CSOs) outside of MSGs; and, this was supplemented by observing seven in-country MSG or civil society meetings and discussing the research and preliminary findings with interested EITI International Board members at two international board meetings in 2014.
The assessment concludes that there are significant shortcomings of internal governance in many MSGs. This in turn implicates a failure at the global level of EITI to ensure sufficient oversight of MSG governance and country-level compliance with EITI’s core requirements. The consequences of this are profound. Inadequate internal governance of MSGs may be affecting their ability to reach decisions efficiently and fairly, to uphold principles of inclusivity and transparency, and to ensure that civil society is independent and effective within the MSG. This raises significant questions about whether countries are implementing EITI as effectively as possible, and therefore whether this is limiting the potential for EITI to have real impact on the ground.