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Lessons from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for Improving Governance

Monday, January 12, 2009 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a multisectoral initiative designed to help resource rich developing countries improve their governance. Although adherence is voluntary, participating governments are required to publish resource revenues and firms operating in these countries must publish what they pay governments to extract these resources. These same governments also must create multistakeholder monitoring groups to examine how governments use extractive industry revenues. Citizen participation is the foundation of the EITI, but not all participating governments allow citizens to fully participate in such activities. 

On January 12, 2009, Susan Ariel Aaronson, Associate Research Professor, International Affairs, George Washington University, presented the findings of her paper, which examines government behavior under the EITI and seeks to answer why repressive as well as democratic states are cooperating with it. Many of the countries involved are making top down and grass roots governance improvements prior to and as they implement EITI and some of these countries, including relatively repressive states such as Azerbaijan, seem to be trying to signal to investors and lenders that they are intent on improving governance.

Nilmini Rubin, Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, served as a discussant for this seminar, which was moderated by Kimberly Elliott, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development.

Access Susan Aaronson's presentation (pdf, 7M).

Read Senator Lugar's Op-ed on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff's report, "The Petroleum and Poverty Paradox."

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Photo of Kimberly Ann Eliott
Non-Resident Fellow