Catalysing transformative change in beneficial ownership transparency

  • Publication date: 01 September 2020
  • Authors: Open Ownership, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

Annex 1: Programme design research framework

Research themes and questions

Theme 1: Develop preliminary country selection process and criteria

  • 1. What criteria should we use to select target countries for the project?
  • 2. Who are the main secondary beneficiaries (CSOs, industry, and others), what role do they play in implementation, and how should we engage them in our programme design?

Theme 2: Understand the priorities, needs and demands of implementers

  • 3. Who are the main practitioners leading implementation of BO disclosure efforts that cover the extractives sector, and how should we adapt our support services to different implementers?
  • 4. What are the main challenges faced by implementers and do our support services match these?
  • 5. What do practitioners need to overcome their challenges, and how can we design our support services to facilitate this?
  • 6. What are the current enablers and blockers to delivering support and guidance and how can these be incorporated into our programme design?

Conceptual framework

Conceptual framework for Opening Extractives

The research framework proposes a theoretical framework for country classification, support, and implementers and secondary beneficiaries, which will inform the sampling for the programme design research. The research will test the assumptions in the theoretical framework, to see if the selection criteria and support models are suitable for programme design.

Country selection should be driven by wanting to see effective implementation translating to visible and measurable impact. Therefore, the programme should initially prioritise quick wins and low hanging fruit, i.e. countries that have the highest chance of successful BOT implementation, resulting in the largest measurable impact as a result of the programme. Successful impact of BOT is seen as the publication of high quality data that is actively used by a range of different stakeholders (industry, government, civil society) for their respective purposes.

As a secondary goal, initial country selection should be generating sufficient lessons to work across a range of contexts going forward. Therefore, secondary selection criteria will be geography and income group, to generate the range of lessons needed for the programme’s MEL framework. Additional criteria may become relevant later on in the programme, e.g. whether a country is a regional influencer or not. It is envisioned that the criteria, as well as risks and spoilers to, initially, successful implementation and, subsequently, impact, will be continuously reviewed and informed by the programmes MEL framework throughout the project.

A longlist of countries for the programme has been drawn up where both organisations have a historical engagement or relationship. These countries are shown in Table 5.

Table 5. Countries where both organisations have an historical engagement or relationship
Name Income group[15] Region
Argentina UMIC LAC
Armenia UMIC E&CA
Canada HIC North America
Indonesia LMIC EA&P
Kyrgyz Republic LMIC E&CA
Mongolia LMIC E&CA
Nigeria LMIC SSA
Norway HIC E&CA
Philippines LMIC EA&P
Senegal LMIC SSA
Trinidad & Tobago HIC LAC
Ukraine LMIC E&CA

The conceptual framework proposes a number of criteria that are influential/critical to the success of BOT implementation, as well as a number of criteria that will determine the level of benefit or impact a country will have from successful implementation. A number of these criteria can be controlled through country selection, i.e. success is dependent on certain characteristics of the countries chosen, such as political willingness and a certain level of technical capability. Other criteria that determine successful implementation are directly influenced by the amount or type of assistance given based on both organisations’ comparative advantages. The latter will therefore not be decisive in country selection but will be used in designing support modalities. The list of criteria below is based on a review of organisations’ documents, templates, and institutional knowledge. There are a number of assumptions being made about how these criteria influence implementation. We will carry out an initial assessment of the longlist countries to test and demonstrate the validity of our assumptions, and we will continue to monitor and improve these assumptions over the programme lifetime as part of our MEL framework.

Theme 1

The proposed primary selection criteria are:

  • 1. Criteria influencing success of implementation
    • 1.1. Governance/regulatory effectiveness. Assumption: Governance and regulatory effectiveness is required to effectively implement the policy and associated legislation for BOT. Higher governance/regulatory effectiveness leads to more effective implementation of policy/legislation.
    • 1.2. Political interest/will. Assumption: Sustained commitment over time (committed resources and political will/stability) and local support/buy-in (or absence of spoilers/opposition) in are necessary for effective implementation.
    • 1.3. Rule of law (regulatory enforcement). Assumption: Adherence to legislation is key to successful implementation for both disclosures as well as use.
  • 2. Criteria influencing levels of impact
    • 2.1. Level of corruption involving the extractives sector. Assumption: Higher levels of corruption in the extractives sector translate into larger impact when BOT is implemented.
    • 2.2. Current visibility of BO. Assumption: Ascertaining the correct BO is important for the private sector to calculate risk as part of regular business processes. Countries in which there is currently a low visibility of BO (poor availability of data) BOT will have the largest impact.
    • 2.3. Demand for BOT from existing user groups. Assumption: The existence of users who want and are able to use BO data to drive impact is a key enabler for impact.
  • 3. Criteria influencing success of implementation that determine the type of support. The following criteria are also influential/critical to successful implementation, but are the areas in which EITI and OO can provide support, and can tailor the level of support based on each country context.
    • 3.1. Technical capacity. Technical capacity includes both human resources (skills and knowledge) as well as the infrastructure in place already. EITI and OO can provide expertise and technical assistance, including lessons from BOT implementation elsewhere in the world. Assumption: Delivering BOT is a technical project and requires sufficient levels of technical capacity. Higher levels of technical capacity lead to more successful implementation.
    • 3.2. Effectiveness of existing multi-stakeholder groups. EITI and OO can work effectively with EITI multi-stakeholder groups and their constituencies to mobilise support from and consult industry civil society stakeholders on BOT reforms. Assumption: EITI multi-stakeholder groups that can effectively coordinate and consult with members from government, civil society, and industry are critical to successful BOT implementation.
    • 3.3. Progress along BOT journey. EITI and OO can guide countries along the BOT journey irrespective of where countries are along this path. Assumption: Meaningful progress towards BOT at the point of engagement will mean more successful/effective implementation.

Theme 2

We expect countries will need different levels of support based on criteria 3.1 (Technical capacity) and 3.2 (Multi-stakeholder organisation). For the purposes of the research design, we expect an implementation model can be broadly divided into:

  • High level of support: Design and support implementers through each stage of delivery;
  • Medium level of support: Research, scope and review;
  • Standard level of support: Share and guide implementers through existing resources and lessons generated from the project.

These levels of support will imply different implementation services (defined as tools, services, and their expected outcomes). For criteria 3.3 (Progress along BOT journey), the research will use the Open Ownership Implementation Guide, which divides implementation into the following phases:

Figure 4. Phases of the OpenOwnership Implementation Guide

Phases of the Open Ownership Implementation Guide

OO and EITI will complete the support model below based on their internal knowledge and documents:

02 Commit 03 Legal 04 Systems 05 Data 06 Publish
Standard Level of Support
Medium Level of Support
High Level of Support
✓ = 1. Map tools, services and outcomes
2. Identify gaps in existing support services. Implementer challenges and demands from the research not covered by the current support services offered, at different stages of implementation.

Research methodology

Guiding questions

The following questions for each theme will guide the secondary and primary research outlined below. Specific (sub-)questions will be developed per interview.

  • Theme 1
    • 1. Criteria assessment
      • 1.1. Do the criteria make sense? Do they contribute to the success of implementation? Are there other criteria that are critical that have not been included?
      • 1.2. Are there additional critical risks/spoilers?
      • 1.3. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected BOT implementation?
      • 1.4. Do the assumptions hold? Are there any other assumptions that are implied but not considered?
    • 2. Assessment of countries against the criteria
      • 2.1. How do the countries score against the different criteria?
    • 3. Mapping of secondary beneficiaries
      • 3.1. Can we create a secondary beneficiary typology?
      • 3.2. Can we identify any professional bodies (e.g. industry associations, civil society, coalitions, or umbrella bodies)?
      • 3.3. What civil society bodies (including journalists) are focused specifically on extractives, corruption, or transparency?
      • 3.4. What are the largest private sector actors in extractives, and who are their compliance staff?
      • 3.5. Are there additional “sponsors” that can be engaged?
      • 3.6. What are our existing contacts in the private sector and civil society in the country?
  • Theme 2
    • 4. Practitioners leading implementation of BO disclosure efforts
      • 4.1. Do we have established contact in the countries in question? Who are known implementers?
      • 4.2. Can we create a typology of implementers according to their roles?
      • 4.3. Can we identify the mandated agency/ministry and the lead person?
      • 4.4. Can we identify lead people in other relevant ministries and agencies, the judiciary and legislative (e.g. parliamentary committee)?
      • 4.5. Can we identify the lead person in the technical implementer or service provider?
      • 4.6. What are ongoing reform efforts and projects related to BO disclosure (assessed under criteria 3.3)?
    • 5. Practitioners challenges
      • 5.1. What are known challenges that implementers face?
      • 5.2. How do they respond to these problems?
      • 5.3. What are the most pressing challenges?
      • 5.4. What are additional challenges?
      • 5.5. Can we create a typology of challenges (technology, inter-agency coordination, regulatory, etc.)?
      • 5.6. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected practitioner challenges?
    • 6. Technical assistance
      • 6.1. Can we map these problems against our existing tools and services?
      • 6.2. For which service is the demand largest, within a country and across countries?
      • 6.3. Which additional tools and services will they need?
    • 7. Support and guidance enablers and blockers
      • 7.1. What are the known enablers and blockers?
      • 7.2. How have we overcome these?
      • 7.3. How do we engage efficiently with the enablers?
      • 7.4. Which of these are within our control and which are not?
      • 7.5. Do any of the enablers and blockers relate to country selection?

Phase 1: Desk research and consulting the “internal knowledge bases” (Week 18-19)

Stage 1
  • a. Review existing documentation of both organisations;
    • Open Ownership
      • pilot programme methodology;
      • implementation guide;
      • implementation mode and levels of support;
      • implementation model: levels of support;
      • implementation services;
      • BOLG survey;
      • country scoping templates/SWOT analysis;
      • country assessments.
    • EITI
      • Implementation Progress Report;
      • framework for assessing progress on Requirement 2.5;
      • validation assessments;
      • 2020 Country reports.
  • b. Refine/complete criteria and the support model.
Stage 2
  • a. Develop a scoring/mapping tool for each of the criteria using the sources below;
  • b. Develop typologies for secondary beneficiaries and implementers.
Criteria Internal sources External sources
1.1. Governance/regulatory effectiveness ▪ OO: Regulatory and governance effectiveness is assessed in Country engagement assessments;
▪ EITI: Req. 2.5 reports and assessments.
▪ World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI).
1.2. Political interest/will ▪ EITI: Political will and commitments are measured in the Implementation Progress Report; Req. 1.1 reports and assessments (non-BO specific);
▪ OO: Commitments are tracked in the internal country tracker; political will is assessed in Country engagement assessments.
▪ BO requirements (NRGI);
▪ Additional institutional memberships: FATF; EU.
1.3. Rule of law (regulatory enforcement) ▪ EITI: Enforcement mechanisms in countries according to reports, 2020 validations, disclosure framework assessments. ▪ World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI);
▪ WJP Rule of Law Index;
▪ OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (enforcement);
▪ FATF MERs R24 and R25 enforcement mechanisms.
2.1. Level of corruption involving the extractives sector ▪ FATF increased monitoring;
▪ FATF High Risk jurisdictions;
▪ TI Corruption Perception Index;
▪ World Bank’s Control of Corruption Index;
▪ Financial Secrecy Index;
▪ TI M4SD.
2.2. Current visibility of BO ▪ EITI: Req. 2.5 reports and assessments. ▪ Open Data Barometer/Index;
▪ Current BO disclosures and requirements (incl. NRGI);
▪ FSI.
2.3. Demand for BOT from existing user groups ▪ OO: Country assessments.
3.1. Technical capacity ▪ OO: Assessed in Country engagement assessments (including similar/other projects); review Systems Tracker for indicators and explore potential for future use. ▪ Open Data Barometer/Index.
3.2. Effectiveness of existing multi-stakeholder groups ▪ EITI: Req. 1.4 reports and assessments. ▪ CIVICUS reports.
3.3. Progress along BOT journey ▪ EITI: Measured in Implementation Progress Review; Included in 2.5 Assessment template;
▪ OO: Country engagement assessments; country tracker (Notion); Scoping studies/country reports.
▪ FSI.
Stage 3
  • a. Conduct initial (desk) mapping of the countries long list in question against the criteria/assumptions for country selection;
  • b. Map contacts against implementer/secondary beneficiary typologies and support model.
Stage 4
  • a. Add to desk mapping with more in-depth information through focus group discussions with EITI and OO country managers.
Stage 5
  • a. Identify country selection for research;
  • b. Identify participants for key-informant interviews and implementer interviews against the typologies for Phase 2;
  • c. Develop interview guides and notes templates.

Phase 2: Primary research

Key-informant interviews

The research team seeks to conduct a number of interviews with people with expertise in providing technical assistance to the implementation of BOT. As BOT is relatively new, we will also consult those with experience in providing technical assistance on other open (digital) data projects. Research participants’ experience should collectively cover each of the four regions and each of the three income groups of the country longlist.

  1. Experienced practitioners who have worked in technical assistance of government BOT projects (e.g. World Bank, IMF, FATF, IDB);
  2. Experienced practitioners who have worked in technical assistance of other government open data projects (e.g. OCP; OGP) or in the extractives sector (e.g. NRGI; TI M4SD).
Implementer interviews

The research team will conduct between 12 and 18 interviews with the contacts mapped against the typologies for implementers and secondary beneficiaries developed in Phase I. In principle, government implementers will be interviewed, and secondary beneficiary interviews will be used to triangulate information.

To address both Theme 1 and 2, the country sample should include all income groups (high income, upper middle income, lower middle income) and each of the four regions from the longlist, and include countries that have successfully implemented BOT/made a significant amount of progress along the BOT journey, as they will have the benefit of being able to reflect back on their BOT journey and assess what the most important criteria for success were. The sample will also need to include countries at varying stages of BOT implementation (at commitment stage, implementation stage, and publication stage), with varying levels of technical capacity (high and low) and multi-stakeholder organisation (high and low).

Example country participant selection:

  • High income countries (2)
    • Publication stage; high tech; low multi-stakeholder organisation;
    • Implementation stage; high tech; high multi-stakeholder organisation.
  • Upper middle income countries (2)
    • Publication stage; low tech; high multi-stakeholder organisation;
    • Commitment stage; high tech; low multi-stakeholder organisation.
  • Lower middle income countries (2)
    • Commitment stage; low tech; high multi-stakeholder organisation;
    • Implementation stage; low tech; low multi-stakeholder organisation.

Phase 3: Synthesis and write up

In the final phase, the research team will write up the findings and produce the following outputs:

  • outline of process for country selection with set criteria;
  • overview of priority countries;
  • country needs assessment and scenarios/case studies demonstrating potential technical assistance delivery models responding to the user needs;
  • approach to identifying in-country stakeholders to engage with beyond government practitioners.

[15] World Bank, “World Bank list of economies 2019”. Available at: [Accessed 10 June 2020].

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