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Multi-stakeholder governance

The power of three

The multi-stakeholder approach is central to the operation and philosophy of the EITI, and it is reflected in how the EITI is governed and implemented.

In each implementing country, a multi-stakeholder group (MSG) comprised of representatives from government, companies and civil society is established to oversee EITI implementation.  Although the mandate of the MSG varies across countries, the MSG is the main decision-making body responsible for setting objectives for EITI implementation linked to wider national priorities in the extractive sector, producing EITI Reports, and ensuring that the findings contribute to public debate and get turned into reforms. While the MSG has a mandate to determine the scope of the EITI in its country, the EITI Standard contains some minimum requirements including those related to the role, rights and responsibilities of the MSG . This includes the full, free, active and effective engagement by government, companies and civil society.

“The case of the extractive sector is illustrative of the need to have government, companies and civil society around the same table. Civil society often has a suspicion that government and companies are in cahoots together to slice them out of the deal. At the same time, companies may conclude that governments and civil society are colluding to keep foreign companies out and or to renegotiate contracts. Finally, governments can get concerned that communities and civil society are blaming them for the lack of services arising from the taxes and royalties paid by companies. Consequently it is essential that all parties can collectively hold each other to account, rather than bilateral discussions where problems are blamed on those outside the room”.

E.Rich and J. Moberg Beyond Governments, Greenleaf, 2015, p.5.