Democratic Republic of Congo

Since its launch in 2006, PWYP DRC has focused much of its energy on supporting EITI implementation, including working for the improvement of EITI reports and their dissemination. With 30 member organisations, capacity building is also an important area for the coalition, which organises workshops not only on the EITI, but also on mining and forestry taxation, and budget monitoring. PWYP DRC faces a tough campaigning environment, with several activists being subjected to harassment and threats for their work on natural resource governance.

DRC journalist determined to spread the word on natural resources

The PWYP coalition in DRC has been campaigning for years to increase understanding of EITI so that citizens can make better use of the initiative to improve the management of their natural resources. To this end, in a country the size of Western Europe with low internet and television penetration, the coalition has been training journalists on community radios about the issues, so that they can then spread the word. The below interview, by PWYP DRC’s Communications Officer Tina Meli, is with journalist Pascaline Tshimbuka who attended one of PWYP’s training workshops…

Pascaline Tshimbuka. a dynamic and passionate broadcaster, is taking part in a training workshop on the EITI for community radio journalists and is one of the few in her profession who chose to enter it despite having no formal training; instead she learnt on the job. A graduate in Business Studies, she took her first steps in journalism in 2002 in Muanda, where she was born.

Inspired by a small number of women journalists at RTNC (the national channel) including Nicole Dibambu Kitoko, she got a taste for informing people through the media and attended numerous training courses on handling information, confirming her decision to become a journalist. She now hosts a morning slot on Muanda Community Radio and Television.

We met her at the capacity-building workshop for community radio representatives on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative organised by the Publish What You Pay coalition in Mbabza-Ngungu from 22 to 25 September 2014.

“I have to admit this workshop has had a profound effect on me and my views as a journalist. Previously, I didn’t know much about the EITI and I had no idea that this issue was so important for our communities,” she admitted during our interview.

For Pascaline, the workshop was a reminder to all journalists to shoulder their responsibilities as communicators in a community environment and underpins her determination to look for information wherever she is, regardless of the risks.

“The workshop has given me the tools I need to get closely involved in disseminating information about the EITI and in particular about proper governance,” she says, adding, “The people of Muanda are often content with the donations such as rice, fish, etc. made by certain oil companies but they are entitled to know that these donations come from the income generated by managing their country’s natural resources and that they could get a better deal from the government if they themselves got involved in the EITI process.”

Pascaline, who was the only female journalist able to respond to the invitation to take part in the workshop, is glad to have attended and is promising to raise awareness amongst her colleagues and negotiate with her channel to host discussions on the EITI involving local communities.

She ends our interview on the following thought: “I have an advantage, which is that I work for the most popular channel in Muanda, and I’m confident that my voice will be louder and that it can bring about significant change for the people of Muanda and the surrounding area.”

Strengthening civil society participation in EITI – The case of DRC

This case study explores how civil society in DRC has strengthened its participation in EITI, the introduction is below – you can read it in full by clicking on the ‘download’ button

Civil society has a crucial role to play in supporting the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and in ensuring that the initiative delivers. In improving transparency and good governance, EITI can help citizens in resource-rich countries better benefit from their natural resources, but civil society is the essential link that can turn transparency into accountability.

Yet civil society faces many challenges in its bid to engage freely, fully and effectively in the EITI process. In order to be influential, civil society must be united, well-informed and credible – not an easy feat when you consider that their space at the table is recent, their workload full and capacity limited. What can civil society do in order to deliver its full potential?

In this brief we explore how, through quarterly evaluation sessions on the quality of EITI implementation, civil society in DRC has strengthened its voice, united its views and increased its credibility.

Other PWYP coalitions can draw on these lessons, in order to strengthen their own participation in the national implementation processes. This brief will also be of interest to those interested on issues of extractive transparency, good governance and multi-stakeholder initiatives.