Overview of Validation
Validation is an essential feature of the EITI process. It serves to assess performance and promote dialogue and learning at the country level. It also safeguards the integrity of the EITI by holding implementing countries to the same global standard. It is intended to provide all stakeholders with an impartial assessment of whether EITI implementation in a country is in line with the provisions of the EITI Standard. The Validation report, in addition, seeks to identify the impact of the EITI in the country being Validated, the implementation of activities encouraged by the EITI Standard, lessons learnt in EITI implementation, as well as any concerns stakeholders have expressed and recommendations for future implementation of the EITI.
Validation assesses progress against the EITI Standard (set out in section 3 of the EITI Standard). The methodology is set out in the Validation Guide, with guidance on assessing each provision of the EITI Standard. In some cases, the Validation Guide specifies the evidence that the validator must use to ensure that a provision has been satisfied. In other cases, there are different approaches that a country might take to address an EITI provision, and the Validation Guide provides examples of the types of evidence that the validator might consider.
Validation will assess progress in implementing one or several of the following components of the EITI Standard: Stakeholder engagement (Requirements 1.1 to 1.4), Transparency (Requirements 2 to 6) and Outcomes and impact (Requirements 1.5 and 7). The components assessed in the Validation are determined by the outcome of the previous Validation and the Validation schedule established by the EITI Board.
1. Preparation for Validation
Prior to the commencement of Validation, the multi-stakeholder group (MSG) oversees the collation of data and documentation that demonstrates evidence of addressing each EITI Requirement within the component(s) being assessed, using Board-approved templates. This work may be undertaken with support from, for example, the national secretariat, a consultant or the Independent Administrator. A guidance note on preparing for Validation is available.
The International Secretariat’s country team will provide guidance. This support may involve a mission to the country ahead of Validation, which a member of the Validation team may join to consult stakeholders and provide information on the Validation process. Any consultations should seek the views of representatives from each constituency in a balanced manner.
The onus is on implementing countries to demonstrate progress and provide evidence. The national secretariat should collate the documentation and other sources that demonstrate adherence using the Board-approved templates provided by the International Secretariat. In second and subsequent Validations, the MSG is encouraged to focus on demonstrating progress in addressing the corrective actions.
The dossier submitted by the MSG should include clear references to publicly available documents and information on how to access them. Where source documents are not publicly available (e.g. MSG meeting minutes, ToRs), these should be provided as an annex. Stakeholders are also invited to prepare any other documentation they consider relevant, including efforts to go beyond the EITI Standard.
The MSG should submit the completed data collection and documentation templates to the International Secretariat by the commencement of Validation.
Ahead of the Validation, the International Secretariat launches a call for views on stakeholder engagement in the EITI. The call for views is public and shared with the MSG and other relevant stakeholders.
The Validation Committee may also engage an external expert to provide input on any aspect of the EITI Standard on selected Validations.
2. Review of information and preliminary assessment
The International Secretariat’s Validation team reviews the information submitted by the MSG, as well as responses to the call for views on stakeholder engagement. The composition of the Validation team will be communicated to the MSG and national secretariat.
The Validation team proposes a preliminary assessment of each EITI Requirement, as well as the effectiveness and sustainability indicators, following the Validation Guide. The Validation team proposes corrective actions for requirements where gaps are identified or evidence is not sufficient to demonstrate that the requirement has been fully met. If the Validation team is aware of a relevant publicly available source that addresses the gaps, it will highlight this in the draft assessment.
In second and subsequent Validations, the assessment will focus on the corrective actions determined in the preceding Validation, any indication of backsliding, innovations, efforts to implement encouraged aspects of the EITI Standard and the effectiveness and sustainability of implementation.
The Secretariat’s Validation team will offer the MSG the opportunity to discuss preliminary findings at a teleconference. The Validation team may undertake targeted virtual stakeholder consultations at this stage, consult the International Secretariat’s country team or draw on external experts to seek further information. In exceptional cases, especially if there are severe concerns related to stakeholder engagement, the Validation team may visit the country to undertake in-person consultations and seek further information.
The Validation team drafts an assessment that summarises progress in implementing the EITI Requirements related to the component(s) being assessed. The draft assessment, the underlying documentation and feedback on stakeholder engagement is shared with the MSG and the EITI Board’s Validation Committee for information.
3. Stakeholder comments
The MSG is invited to provide further evidence and other feedback on the Secretariat’s preliminary assessment within four weeks from receiving the document in the local working language. The National Coordinator (NC) should compile MSG comments and additional evidence in one file and submit these to the International Secretariat. The NC is encouraged to attach to the comments the minutes of the MSG meeting(s) where the comments were discussed and agreed. In exceptional circumstances, stakeholders may contact the International Secretariat directly to provide comments.
The International Secretariat’s Validation team is expected to review all submissions from stakeholders received within the assigned 4-week period and provide a response to the MSG. The Secretariat is expected to give weight to comments agreed by the MSG over comments from individual stakeholders or constituencies. However, possible limitations to the ability of stakeholders to have their position reflected in the MSG’s submission should be taken into account. The Secretariat may request further information from stakeholders as considered necessary.
Any information on disclosures or developments taking place after the commencement of Validation will be considered in the Secretariat’s final assessment, if it is referred to in the MSG-endorsed feedback and materially affects the assessment. If individual stakeholders or constituencies submit information on new developments, these will be submitted to the Validation Committee but not taken into account in the Secretariat’s assessment. Representations received after the period for MSG comments will not be considered.
4. Board review
The final assessment and all underlying documentation are submitted to the Validation Committee for review. The Validation Committee shall consider the submission by any external expert appointed to provide input and may commission the International Secretariat to undertake further consultations.
The Board will not consider developments taking place after the commencement of Validation that were not included in the MSG’s feedback, unless there is recent evidence of considerable deterioration or improvement on one or more of the requirements related to stakeholder engagement (1.1 to 1.3).
The Validation Committee will make a recommendation to the EITI Board on the country’s progress in addressing EITI Requirements, performance on the sustainability and effectiveness indicators, the timing of the next Validation and, where applicable, any corrective actions required.
The EITI Board will determine the assessment of each EITI Requirement and the consequences of Validation, in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of Section 4 of the EITI Standard.
Documents related to the Validation are considered confidential until the Board has reached a decision. Board members are encouraged to reach out to local stakeholders from their constituency to seek their views, without sharing confidential Board documents.
Once the Board has reached a decision, the documents will be made publicly available. The Validation Committee will consider stakeholders’ requests for comments to be treated confidentially. In accordance with Article 10 of Chapter 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard, an implementing country may petition the Board to review its decision related to Validation.