Harnessing diversity for an inclusive EITI agenda for Uganda
On a related note, we have an exciting new development - we have just commenced a new project called “Harnessing Diversity for an inclusive EITI agenda for Uganda,” funded by VOICE Global.
The launch of our project coincides with Uganda joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The project which is implemented in partnership with CSCO and PWYP - Uganda promotes awareness and deepens the understanding of the EITI among civil society, local authorities, and communities to drive greater engagement and support for the EITI implementation.
Allowing greater voice from the marginalized and disadvantaged, including women in the country's EITI implementation, remains crucial. The EITI promotes the open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources through its multi-stakeholder and global standards.
This EITI reminds us of the importance of effectively placing people at the heart of our work and giving voice to those whose voices remain unheard. Through this work, GRA hopes to facilitate broad citizen engagement to achieve a more inclusive EITI agenda that considers diverse voices and perspectives.
GRA is taking stock of the EITI processes' opportunities and simultaneously strengthening local civil society action and ownership of these processes.
The EITI process provides opportunities to work at the interface between the government and civil society, and therefore GRA is working to ensure that we facilitate appropriate collaboration mechanisms. It is essential to create a climate of mutual understanding, respect, trust, open dialogue, and shared priorities. GRA’s project seeks to develop a shared understanding of how state and civil society have linked roles in realizing the EITI and the need for appropriate institutional relationships.
The project further provides strategic opportunities to stimulate community engagement. The impacted communities who should benefit from well-functioning accountability mechanisms such as the EITI often struggle to make their voices count. As part of our initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the EITI implementation process, we look forward to developing substantive and meaningful engagement opportunities with affected communities- not only to survey needs but also to identify viable, effective, and sustainable solutions.
GRA’s project seeks to support communities to gain space and representation in civil society and government platforms to be part of dialogue and action planning concerning the EITI process.
The project focuses on four ways of making our voices heard and of making representation work in the EITI process; these are: ensuring adequate representation of all stakeholders, ensuring diversity in composition-representativeness in terms of things like age and gender demographic representation and age, Consultation and dialogue between citizens, it is important to consult all groups, including youth, to ensure no one is adversely affected and the process by focusing on how government and private sector implement the EITI and how decisions get made.
The project will advocate for and support opportunities for civil society representation and local communities' representation in EITI structures and processes at various levels: in small-scale local community forums, district and regional initiatives, and national-level consultations or representation meetings. Creating a much more robust civil society voice will invariably make EITI implementation and monitoring smoother.
With voice and representation at the crux of the EITI implementation, this project is timely. And demands for diversity and representation at the table where government and companies make decisions are timely. If more women are at the table, matched by a greater representation of other groups, more diversified inputs and points of view can be generated.