Tool 11: Options for Independent Oversight

This tool is an overview of WSI oversight mechanisms that are independent of the WSI facilitators, managers, and coordinators.

Tool An overview of WSI oversight mechanisms that are independent of the WSI facilitators, managers, and coordinators. For each option, requirements are established to help WSI participants identify feasible options.
Related Key Activities Assign appropriate roles and responsibilities. Monitor WSI participant adherence to governance.
Questions Addressed Most of our stakeholders and participants only look at their own interest. How can the WSI look at its work objectively, give voice to the concerns of weak stakeholders, and reflect the public interest?
Purpose Enhance controls to detect illicit practices and reduce power imbalances:

  • Ensure efficient functioning through higher levels of compliance.
  • Increase trustworthiness of the WSIs.
Possible Users WSI initiators and participants.
Level of Effort Ranges from providing information to media or oversight bodies to enshrining roles in the WSI governance structure, to conducting comprehensive social audits.
WSI Phase 2: Formalization; 3: Implementation.

Oversight refers to mechanisms that review institutional performance, paying particular attention to identifying failures in carrying out mandates, preserving participant discipline, and addressing inefficiencies. Without effective oversight, WSIs can be vulnerable to weak or biased institutional performance, as participants inherently have vested interests in particular WSI outcomes, and these interests at times conflict with the interests of other WSI participants or affected stakeholders.

Independent oversight mechanisms can address power imbalances and give a specific voice to stakeholders that are affected by the outcomes of a WSI (e.g., local communities), but that are less able to pursue their interests within the WSI. An independent third party (with no vested interests in the WSI outcomes) is granted a special role to oversee the WSI operations or implementation of specific WSI agreements (financing agreements, MoUs, etc.), in order to verify compliance with agreed procedures and ensure that the public interest is safeguarded.

Guidance for implementation

Steps to guide the development of oversight mechanisms are included here:

Additional information