This piece describes a mechanism to bring greater transparency to extraction -- and thus reduce the corruption that makes resource rich countries poor.
The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) that aligns the interest of oil industry firms and citizens of petro-states. The EITI is a voluntary initiative to which extractive industry (such as oil and mineral rich) governments agree to adhere. Under EITI procedures, firms are required to “publish what they pay” policymakers for the right to explore and extract energy or miners. Energy officials, in turn, must record the revenues they receive and entrust an independent administer to compare extractive sales and revenues. And citizens can use these reports to monitor and influence government spending.Bottom Line: Transparency and accountablity are necessary (but not sufficient) for good governance. The EITI is a step in the right direction, a step towards the day that poor citizens of resource-rich countries will benefit from "their" resources.
The EITI is less than four years old, but already it seems to have helped many participants improve their governance and gradually avoid or reduce the resource curse. In recent work, I performed a preliminary review of governance and human rights statistics for EITI-implementing countries in 2007 and compared their performance to 25 other developing county extractive exporters. Eleven countries were able to improve the business climate (economic growth regulations), and on average they performed better than their non-EITI peers