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UK EITI MSG - working to become less male, less white, less dominated by big corporate NGO interests: simply fairer

There's a dispute at the UK EITI multi-stakeholder group. The group is supposed to include fair representation of UK civil society. Publish What You Pay (PWYP) has, however, to date nominated as substantive members (or alternates) only white men in paid appointments at London-based international NGOs. Most of these NGOs, of course, have no community engagement in the UK at all.

Some of us decided that this was outrageous. Particularly in view of the high UK African interest in the EITI, and the exclusively white nature of the leadership of every single NGO within the PWYP alliance. It was simply a matter of the career interests of white men in London being put before genuine community engagement and even equality. So we created EICS to argue for a fair and equal policy of civil society representation at the MSG and within the EITI more widely. 

At the UK MSG, we agreed that there should be a single means of people being nominated and made only one demand. This was that there should be an equalities policy which ensured that women, non-white people and people from local communities were guaranteed representation. This was rejected by the exclusively white and male PWYP MSG representatives, on the grounds that only they may co-ordinate civil society. PWYP's position was rejected and the UK MSG is now working towards a sustainable means of nominating people in a fair and representative way. PWYP, having lost the argument, has now decided to boycott the process. 

In the meantime, EICS members will now step down and nominate to the MSG women, non-white and local community members from genuine community organisations. There will be gaps left should PWYP decide that not having uniformly white men from London-based international NGOs exclusively led by white people might be a good thing. 

Watch this space....

  

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