Following a review of Requirement 1 in Tajikistan in accordance with Article 8.a of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard (Article 8, Section 1, Part 2 of the 2023 EITI Standard) and Board Decision 2022-34, the Board finds that Tajikistan has achieved ‘mostly met’ on EITI Requirements 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 on government, company, and civil society engagement, and ‘partly met’ on Requirements 1.4 and 1.5 on multi-stakeholder oversight and work planning.
The Board commends Tajikistan for revisiting the MSG’s composition and taking initial steps to revitalise the EITI process following the challenges it faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. To sustain implementation, the Board recommends further strengthening of MSG governance and alignment of objectives for EITI implementation with national priorities to facilitate a more impactful multi-stakeholder oversight of the extractive industries in Tajikistan. The Government of Tajikistan should ensure sustained commitment to EITI both at the political and operational level.
While recognising that the EITI continues to create a space for civil society participation in natural resource governance in Tajikistan, the Board also expresses strong concern that the wider restrictions on civic space are affecting civil society’s ability to engage in wider public debates on natural resource governance. The Board recommends that Tajikistan continue to use the EITI process to monitor and address any allegations of constraints on civil society’s ability to meaningfully engage in public debate on extractive industry governance in accordance with the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society. The Board urges the Government of Tajikistan to take swift action in following up on the corrective actions related to adherence to the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society. Failure to make significant progress on these corrective actions could lead to the suspension of Tajikistan at its next Validation in 2024.
The Board has determined that Tajikistan will have until a next Validation commencing on 1 July 2024 to carry out corrective actions regarding Government engagement (Requirement 1.1), Industry engagement (Requirement 1.2), civil society engagement (Requirement 1.3), MSG governance (Requirement 1.4), and Work plan (Requirement 1.5) as well as other corrective actions from Tajikistan’s last Validation in 2020. Failure to demonstrate progress on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency or Outcomes and impact in the next Validation may result in temporary suspension in accordance with Article 6 of the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Tajikistan may request an extension of this timeframe or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.
Corrective actions and strategic recommendations
The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions to be undertaken by Tajikistan. Progress in addressing these corrective actions as well as the corrective actions from the previous Validation in 2020 will be assessed in the next Validation commencing on 1 July 2024:
- In accordance with Requirement 1.1, Tajikistan should ensure that there is sustainable and consistent oversight and funding for all aspects of the EITI implementation, including for work plan activities, EITI reporting, dissemination of EITI-related data and staffing of the national secretariat, as part of its full, active and effective engagement in the EITI process. The provision of funding could include funding from both development partners and government allocations to support all aspects of the annual EITI work plan.
To strengthen implementation, the government constituency should provide strategic direction to the EITI process, ensure alignment of EITI with national priorities, increase institutional capability and champion EITI with other agencies. The government is encouraged to adopt measures to ensure institutionalisation of EITI to withstand changes in within the ministry.
- In accordance with Requirement 1.2, extractive companies in Tajikistan should demonstrate that they are fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process, not only by providing inputs to documents but also by conducting outreach to companies that are not members of the EITI Council and providing strategic input to EITI to create impact. It is also recommended to create a platform for company participation and coordination with the broader constituency.
- In accordance with Requirement 1.3 and the EITI protocol: Participation of civil society, Tajikistan, particularly the government, should ensure that civil society, including those outside the Tajikistan EITI MSG, is able to express their views, including critical views, on all aspects of natural resource governance without restraint or fear of reprisal. The government should ensure that the EITI process provides a safe space for CSOs to engage in debates on natural resource governance related to the extractive sector including in MSG meetings, EITI activities and other platforms for debate. The government should undertake measures to prevent civil society actors from being harassed, intimidated, or persecuted for expressing views related to natural resources governance. The government and MSG are required to find pragmatic solutions to any practical constraints on civil society’s ability to freely express themselves on all issues covered by the EITI process, including in regions hosting extractive activities. To address issues on self-censorship, civil society is encouraged to raise through the MSG any concerns related to constraints on their engagement in public debate on natural resource governance. The government and MSG should monitor and discuss any legal and regulatory reforms to ensure that there continues to be an enabling environment for civil society participation and ensure that the MSG is discussing the status of civil society participation in the EITI regularly. The civil society constituency should reinvigorate its full active and effective engagement in the EITI process. This could include active engagement in discussions to make EITI implementation more relevant, development of a capacity-building plan for civil society organisations, and fundraising. The civil society constituency should work to broaden the constituency engaged in the EITI process to include more relevant community organisations based outside the capital city Dushanbe.
- In accordance with Requirement 1.4, Tajikistan should ensure that the EITI Council exercises oversight of all aspects of EITI implementation beyond the production of EITI Reports, including active engagement in the design of the EITI process, outreach and dissemination of EITI findings and follow-up on EITI recommendations to strengthen the governance of the extractive industries. The EITI Council is required to review its Terms of Reference and other governance documents to ensure their alignment with provisions of the 2019 EITI Standard, including with regard to gender considerations in the process for nominating EITI Council members and per diem policies. Each constituency, including industry and civil society, is required to publicly codify its MSG nominations procedures to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and open to all members of the respective constituencies, without interference from other constituencies, in order to lead to more pluralistic and diverse representation in the EITI process. The MSG is required to address capacity and resource constraints to ensure they have the capacity to carry out their duties. In particular, it should ensure that the Tajikistan EITI national secretariat has sufficient capacities to support the MSG’s work and to serve each constituency on the MSG in a balanced manner. The MSG should ensure that written records are kept of its meetings, reflecting the substance of diverse opinions expressed.
- In accordance with Requirement 1.5, Tajikistan’s EITI work plan should include detailed actions related to contract transparency, systematic disclosures and addressing corrective actions identified during the last Validation of Tajikistan. It should also clearly identify needs to address capacity constraints, including regarding each constituency’s understanding of the benefits of EITI implementation, and be the product of consultations with key stakeholders in the broader constituencies beyond the MSG. To strengthen implementation, the MSG could consider extending the scope of EITI reporting and reflect this in the work plan. For instance, Tajikistan is encouraged to consider including anti-corruption in future EITI work plans. The linkages between national objectives and actual implementation of activities related to these objectives should be further strengthened.
The government and all stakeholders are encouraged to consider these recommendations, and to document Tajikistan’s responses to these recommendations in the next annual review of outcomes and impact of EITI implementation.
In January 2020, the EITI Board agreed that Tajikistan had made “meaningful progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. The next Validation of Tajikistan was scheduled to commence on 23 July 2021. In December 2020 and October 2022, the EITI Board agreed revisions to the Validation schedule, with Tajikistan’s next Validation to be scheduled once this targeted assessment is completed.
The International Secretariat’s Validation team prepared a targeted assessment following procedures that mirror the Validation procedure and Validation Guide. Stakeholder consultations were undertaken in person on 27 February – 3 March and virtually on 9-11 October 2023. The International Secretariat finalised the assessment on 24 October 2023.
The Validation Committee recommends to the EITI Board that it does not reflect the score of this targeted assessment in Tajikistan’s Validation scorecard, but rather fold it into the next Validation of Tajikistan commencing on 1 July 2024.