The Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) has launched the first 19 progress reports for the second cohort of OGP participating countries. During this period, the IRM team encourages you to make comments on the drafts before they are finalized in the coming months. (See how to comment below.)
About these reports
IRM progress reports are carried out by an independent researcher under the guidance of the International Experts' Panel. In each country, a researcher or team of researchers carries out consultative processes in order to review government progress with robust consultation with civil society. The goal of the IRM is to deliver credible, non-partisan description of the OGP process, results of commitments, and to provide technical recommendations based on the input of government, civil society, and the private sector. Each report is written in such a way as to aid in the design of the second action plan, identifying areas of accomplishment and key areas for improvement.
The forthcoming reports cover the large group of countries that joined OGP, submitting their action plans in 2012. The reports cover development and implementation of the action plans up until mid-2013. Countries covered include:
- Albania (Albanian and English)
- Chile (+ Eng ExSum)
- El Salvador (+ Eng ExSum)
- Czech Republic
- Greece (Greek and English)
- Guatemala (+ Eng ExSum)
- Paraguay (+ Eng ExSum)
- Spain (+ Eng ExSum)
In the coming weeks, all reports will be put out for public comment in the primary national administrative languages. From that date, the comment period will be open for two weeks.
What’s new in Cohort 2?
Several improvements have been made between the progress reports for the first and second cohorts:
- Ambition: OGP countries are expected to make ambitious commitments (with new or pre-existing activities) that stretch government practice beyond an existing baseline. In order to aid in assessing this, the new progress reports include qualitative assessments of two variables for each commitment or major action to be found in the executive summary and explained in the fact sheet for each individual commitment:
- Potential impact: To contribute to a broad definition of ambition, the IRM researcher judged how potentially transformative commitment might be in the policy area. This is based on researcher’s findings and experience as a public policy expert.
- New or pre-existing: The IRM researcher also recorded, in a non-judgmental fashion whether a commitment was based on an action that pre-dated the action plan.
- Relevance: OGP action plan commitments are to enhance at least one of four key OGP values: access to information, civic participation, accountability, and technology and innovation for transparency and accountability. OGP values were coded for their relevance to these four values. Those that do not touch on one of these values, have been marked as “unclear” relevance to OGP in the executive summary.
- Starred commitments: In order to identify the strongest, most potentially impactful commitments, those commitments which were completely or mostly achieved, which had a high potential impact, and which were relevant to OGP values were given stars. This gives the reader a more rapid means of assessing the major accomplishments of a country.
In the coming weeks, the IRM will continue to publish a number of products of use to various audiences:
- More IRM progress reports: Additional reports for all active OGP countries will be issued in waves on each Monday in February.
- Commitment database: As with the first cohort of countries, a database of commitment descriptions and assessment of implementation will be released in open data format. Users are encouraged to use this database to carry out analysis of their own on OGP performance. This will include at least 800 commitments made by OGP countries from Cohorts 1 and 2.
- Process database: A new database on OGP process will be released. The database will assemble the charts from research during preparation of action plans, consultation during implementation, and the end-of-year self assessment processes.
How to comment
Visit the IRM page and as shown in the graphic above, click on the 'Comment' button to the right of the relevant national flag. Comments will be collated and published, except where the requester asks to be anonymous. Where relevant, comments will be integrated into a final version of the report. All comment periods will be open for at least 2 weeks from the date of posting of the English and administrative language versions of the reports.