1 Feb 2011
Limited Partnership: The Public, Business, NGOs and Governments in the EITI
Article by Susan Aaronson, published in Public Administration and Development, Volume 31, Issue 1, pages 50-63.
This article assesses the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a public-private partnership designed to help resource-rich countries avoid corruption in the management of extractive industry revenues. Thirty-two nations have adopted EITI, and the numbers of implementing nations are rapidly increasing. However, the EITI partnership is not as effective as it could be for three reasons. First, the partners (governments, civil society, and business) have different visions of EITI. Second, some implementing governments have not allowed civil society to participate fully in the process or have not consistently provided civil society with the information they need to hold their governments to account. In this regard it is a limited partnership. Third, in many participating countries, the public and legislators may not be aware of EITI. Thus, although public participation is essential to the success and potential positive spillovers of EITI, the public is essentially a silent partner, limiting the ability of the EITI to succeed as a counterweight to corruption.