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Brazil Design Report 2018-2020

Brazil led a strong, collaborative co-creation process (developed with federal government, civil society, and some state and municipal government actors). The parties tackled topics such as freedom of speech, budget participation, and public accountability. The consultation process was extensive; however, the action plan lacks overall ambition. Going forward, it is recommended that the government more strategically include civil society organizations in the plan’s development process. It should also construct results-driven commitments that include clear strategies to achieve an expected goal.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2011

Action plan under review: 4

Report type: Design

Number of commitments: 11

 

Action plan development

Is there a multi-stakeholder forum: Yes

Level of public influence: Collaborate

Acted contrary to OGP process: No

 

Action plan design

Commitments relevant to OGP values: 9 ( 81%)

Transformative commitments:  0 ( 0%)

Potentially starred:  0 (0%)

 

Action plan implementation

Starred commitments: N/A

Completed commitments: N/A

Commitments with Major DIOG*: N/A

Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: N/A

 

*DIOG: Did it Open Government

The Open Government Partnership (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) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Brazil joined OGP in 2011. Since then, Brazil has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the design of Brazil’s fourth action plan.

General overview of action plan

Despite changing priorities resulting from political transitions, Brazil remains committed to open government efforts. Its fourth action plan, in particular, responds to the country’s challenges regarding freedom of speech, budget participation, and public accountability.

The action plan’s development took place through an iterative consultation process that maintained parity between the government and civil society through its entirety. The plan’s development actively involved 105 people representing 88 institutions: 39 civil society organizations, 39 federal government bodies, and 10 state and municipal government bodies. Nevertheless, stakeholders thought there could be a broader range of actors, apart from those already participating in the process. As was the case with the previous action plan, the level of public influence reached the threshold of “collaboration” per the International Association for Public Participation’s “Spectrum of Participation.”

Although the plan’s development process met OGP’s standards and had strong public involvement, it did not translate into a more ambitious action plan. Of the 11 commitments in the action plan, six are considered to have minor potential impact. They represent first steps forward but are limited in scope or scale. Only four have the potential to achieve moderate change, while none were considered transformative. The action plan focused on nine themes: subnational governments, an open-data ecosystem, open science, social control and citizen’s feedback, transparency in environmental disaster repairs, open legislature, land transparency, climate and water resources, and freedom of information.

 Table 2. Noteworthy commitments 

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle
3. Innovation and Open Government in Science

Promote the use of open data and open data practices in scientific research.

Achievements from this commitment can be used as models to address other challenges faced by government and civil society in fields outside of science. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
6. Transparency and Public Oversight over Mariana’s Reparation Process and Other Municipalities in the Region

Promote access to information and public accountability related to the mitigation and recovery process of dam disasters.

To increase its potential impact, this commitment’s milestones could highlight activities conducted by the Renova Foundation portal. Those activities include establishing on-site offices to guide civic monitoring and repairs in the region, creating accountability materials, constructing budget transparency tools, and documenting best practices for future use. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
8. Land Transparency

Consolidate a complete, updated, and geo-referenced registry of urban and rural land properties.

The commitment could be strengthened by institutionalizing civic participation opportunities in the process of consolidating and updating the registry.

 

Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
11. Access to Information Act in States and Municipalities

Create a unified platform for access to information requests. It should be available at no cost to states and municipalities.

To strengthen the commitment’s impact, the portal should be widely advertised across civil society and the public to promote its use. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Recommendations

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

Broaden the base of participation in the OGP process.
Develop more ambitious commitments.
Continue to expand the engagement of the executive branch with other branches of government.
Increase expertise exchanges through the São Paulo subnational OGP initiative.
Increase the visibility of non-OGP open government initiatives.

 

 

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Filed under: IRM IRM Report

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