Basque Country Design Report 2018-2020
- Action Plan: Basque Country Action Plan 2018-2020
- Dates Under Review: 2018-2020
- Report Publication Year: 2021
The Basque Country’s first action planAction plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen... was developed with participation from seven government agencies of three levels (the Basque Government, the three provincial councils and municipalities of the three provincial capitals). Both the design process and the content of the plan are considered positive. The plan included a variety of civil society groups and promoted their participation, but their ability to make recommendations was lower than that of government agencies.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2018
Action plan under review: First
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 5
Action plan development
Is there a multi-stakeholder forumRegular dialogue between government and civil society is a core element of OGP participation. It builds trust, promotes joint problem-solving, and empowers civil society to influence the design, imple...? Yes
Level of public influence: Collaborate
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values 5 (80%)
Transformative commitments: 0 (0%)
Potentially starred: 0 (0%)
The Open Government PartnershipThe Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Euskadi joined OGP in 2018. This report assesses the Basque Country’s first action plan.
General overview of the action plan
Leveraging the Basque Government’s fiscal and political autonomy from Spain, it has promoted open government policies in the past ten years. As a result, the Basque Country is well-positioned in various transparencyAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More, open dataBy opening up data and making it sharable and reusable, governments can enable informed debate, better decision making, and the development of innovative new services. Technical specifications: Polici... and overall government quality rankings. It was selected by the Open Government Partnership to create its first action plan, as part of the OGP Local support program.
The action plan was developed with direct collaboration of public institutions and civil society groups, through a series of forums. The creation and subsequent implementation of the plan is led by a promoting group, comprised of eight entities – seven of which include the regional executive, provincial and main cities. Additionally, a multi-stakeholder forum that includes institutional and civil society representatives is where stakeholders deliberate, create and monitor the action plan.
Although civil society representatives participated in the design of the plan and in the forums where it was created, their influence has been limited. The seven government agencies promoting the plan have stronger technical, organizational and coordination capacities, while the heterogeneous and uncoordinated civil society group lacks these abilities.
The action plan included five commitments. The first two (1. Accountability through the design of mandate plans and 2. Open data Euskadi and Linked open data) seek to improve access to information and empower the citizenry to advance effective accountability. Commitments 3 and 4 (3. i-lab in Euskadi and 4. Open Eskola) aim to enhance citizen participationAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, citizen participation occurs when “governments seek to mobilize citizens to engage in public debate, provide input, and make contributions that lead to m... More in public affairs through public innovation and capacity buildingEnhancing the skills, abilities, and processes of public servants, civil society, and citizens is essential to achieving long-lasting results in opening government. Technical specifications: Set of ac.... CommitmentOGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... no. 5 (5. Basque Integrity System) focuses on strengthening and standardizing public integrity systems of the Basque Country’s public administrations.
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Next steps||Status at the end of the implementation cycle|
|Commitment 1. Accountability through mandate plans
Develop, collaboratively and by consensus with the citizens, basic and advanced standards for information disclosure (what, how, when and under which principles) for mandate commitments of Basque institutions (different levels of government – autonomous and other local levels).
|To advance accountability, future commitments should include mechanisms to strengthen the citizens’ ability to demand accountability from their political representatives, as well as punishment for unsatisfactory work.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
|Commitment 4. Open Eskola (Open schools for citizens)
Develop an open school model for citizens to meet and learn as a way to promote a more publicly active citizenry, and more open and transparent authorities, with shared values of participatory culture and responsibility for continuous improvement.
|To enhance the potential impact of Open Eskola, the government could work with interested individuals in real participatory processes. This would entail helping them in these processes and promoting reflection upon them, rather than solely offering standardized content.
Making a connection between Open Eskola and lessons facilitated by the i-lab could also strengthen the potential impact of this commitment.
|Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five key IRM recommendations
|1||Strengthen, within the multi-sectorial forum and the Open Forum, the role of civil society in the design and monitoring of the action plan, engaging additional organizations with a proven ability and setting up internal coordination mechanisms|
|2||Increase the role of the media in the design and monitoring of the plan|
|3||Include open government commitments that address sectorial policies of relevanceAccording to the OGP Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should include a clear open government lens. Specifically, they should advance at least one of the OGP values: transparency, citizen partic... to the citizens: health, educationAccountability within the public education system is key to improving outcomes and attainment, and accountability is nearly impossible without transparent policies and opportunities for participation ..., budgets, etc.|
|4||Increase the ambitionAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should “stretch government practice beyond its current baseline with respect to key areas of open government.” Ambition captures the po... level of accountability mechanisms|
|5||Create at least one commitment with potential transformative impact and major qualitative change|
Leave a Reply