Transparency and Accountability Initiatives in the Extractives Sector
Research on the impact and effectiveness of transparency and accountability initiatives (TAIs) targeted at the extractives sector is hard to come by. With the exception of some more systematic evaluation of the impact of multi-stakeholder initiatives, in particular the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the existing evidence is weak. Indeed, beyond the EITI-focussed literature, the emphasis tends to be on the perceived challenges and risks associated with TAIs, accompanied by some anecdotal evidence of purported success. There is also some discussion of the factors which are considered to be conducive to such success. Given these gaps in the existing literature, this helpdesk report firstly looks at the strength of the evidence base generally, with some discussion of the inherent challenges of measuring impact in the field. It then goes on to present the limited evidence of impact and effectiveness of initiatives involving a range of different actors. In doing so it adopts a broad definition of TAIs which includes both supply and demand side interventions which are considered to play a role in supporting accountable natural resource governance. Finally, the report provides a selection of potential areas for future research which have been suggested by various commentators. It should also be noted that, because of the international attention it receives and the treatment it is afforded in the literature, EITI features prominently in this helpdesk report.