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Has the EITI been successful?

Reviewing evaluations of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Has the EITI been successful? Many efforts have been devoted to improving resource governance through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. A review of 50 evaluations concludes that the EITI has succeeded in diffusing the norm of transparency, establishing the EITI standard, and institutionalizing transparency practices. Yet, there remains an evidence gap with regard to the mechanisms linking EITI adoption and development outcomes. Addressing this gap will require developing a theory of change for the EITI and demonstrating causality through more sophisticated methods. The cost-effectiveness of the EITI will also need to be compared to other policy options.
31 August 2017
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Has the EITI been successful?

Main points

  • Evaluations should be more specific about what they assess, both in terms of measured outcomes and mechanisms tested
  • Evaluations should consider crucial issues in assessing the effectiveness of the EITI
  • Evaluations should be methodologically more sophisticated

Cite this publication

Lujala, P. ; Rustad, S. ; Le Billon, P. (2017) Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2017:5)

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About the authors

Päivi Lujala

(PhD Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2008) is a Professor at the Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu. Her research focuses on two broad topics: management of valuable natural resources in the Global South and adaption to climate (change) related natural hazards. Her work on natural resources has focused on citizen engagement, transparency, and accountability in natural resource revenue management.

Siri Aas Rustad

(PhD Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 2012) is a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Her research interests are, among others, conflicts related to natural resources, natural resource management, conflict trends and dynamics, the geography of conflict, and human consequences of conflict. Her work has appeared in such journals as World Development, Political Geography, Journal of Peace Research, International Interactions, and Conflict Management and Peace Science.

Philippe Le Billon

(PhD Geography, Oxford University, 1999) is a Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs of the University of British Columbia (UBC). He works on the environment, development, and security nexus, with a focus on conflicts and natural resources including extractive sectors. He is the author of Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Patrick Crowley