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Brazil End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

Two commitments in Brazil’s 2016–2018 action plan resulted in outstanding changes in government practices. These led to a cultural shift in the openness of educational resources and data (Commitment 6) and significantly increased civic participation in budgetary planning (Commitment 14). Overall, the action plan is limited in ambition and in implementation. Moving forward, government agencies and civil society stakeholders should consider designing result-oriented commitments with measurable activities, for effective implementation.

Table 1: At a Glance
Mid-term End of term
Number of Commitments 16
Level of Completion
Completed 0 3
Substantial 3 7
Limited 13 6
Not Started 0 0
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values 16 16
Transformative Potential Impact 2 2
Substantial or Complete Implementation 3 10
All Three (✪) 1 1
Did It Open government?
Major 1
Outstanding 2
Moving Forward
Number of Commitments Carried Over to Next Action Plan 0

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their citizenry to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a review of the activities of each OGP-participating country. This report summarizes the results of the implementation of the plan, from December 2016 to June 2018, and includes some relevant developments up to August 2018.

The Open Government Interministerial Committee (CIGA) coordinates the OGP process in Brazil. The Ministry of Transparency, Oversight, and Comptroller-General leads CIGA. The CIGA executive body, known as CIGA Executive Group (GE-CIGA), comprises 18 ministries. The president of the republic’s office leads this group. GE-CIGA also oversees implementation of the action plan.

Civil society organizations were involved during the action plan development as well as during the implementation period. A formal Civil Society Working Group (CS-WG) was established and consisted of seven organizations. Peers elected these organizations through a public call launched by the government. The CS-WG played a consultative role (acting under no binding decision-making procedures within the CIGA or in a broader sense). However, the parties reached an informally agreement with CIGA that they would collaborate on CIGA’s decisions.

The plan included 16 commitments. It covered areas already addressed by previous action plans (e.g., health data and social participation). It also involved new areas (e.g., penitentiary data, environmental data, and legislative and judiciary branches of government). The government published its final self-assessment report, dated September 2018, online.[1] The consultation process for the next action plan started in April 2018 and is still under development, following best practices learned from the current action plan. That process includes a co-creation phase of agenda setting (from April to May 2018) and co-creation writing workshops (from May to August 2018).

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their action plan. The Open Government Interministerial Committee Executive Group (GE-CIGA) has promoted regular, public, and well-documented collaborative monitoring exercises throughout the implementation period. To do so, the GE-CIGA employed a detailed methodology, published online. This methodology includes a set of topics predefined by the government; a set of topics defined by civil society, using civic tools to moderate the debate; and others based on common themes. Onsite working groups discussed the topics. The government organized and sponsored such sessions, with a balanced number of participants from government and civil society. The working groups then decided on the final wording of the commitments, which were submitted to GE-CIGA and approved for inclusion in the action plan.

Follow-up meetings included both the GE-CIGA and the Civil Society Working Group (CS-WG). The government held seven meetings from April 2017 to July 2018. Thus, monitoring occurred during the entire implementation period. Meetings were livestreamed, and all those involved in the preparation of the action plan were invited in advance to participate in the calls. The government published the minutes of all meetings online.

Meetings were held in Brasilia. The IRM researcher attended five of these meetings and observed that they followed a predetermined agenda. At the meetings, civil society and government representatives discussed the implementation of commitments. There was an active debate among participants, with both government and civil society representatives pushing for positive results. In some cases, civil society organization representatives pushed government officials for more impactful efforts, as in the case of Commitment 1. In other cases, the opposite took place. For example, regarding Commitment 8, government representatives asked civil society to be more responsive to their agreed tasks.

Table 2: Consultation during Implementation

Regular Multi-stakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes Yes
2. Did it meet regularly? Yes Yes

Table 3: Level of Public Influence during Implementation

The IRM has adapted the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Participation” to apply to OGP.[2] This spectrum shows the potential level of public influence on the contents of the action plan. In the spirit of OGP, most countries should aspire for “collaborative.”

Level of Public Influence during Implementation of Action Plan Midterm End of Term
Empower The government handed decision-making power to members of the public.
Collaborate There was iterative dialogue AND the public helped set the agenda.
Involve The government gave feedback on how public inputs were considered.
Consult The public could give inputs.
Inform The government provided the public with information on the action plan.
No Consultation No consultation

[1] Brazilian Government, Relatorio Final de Autoavaliacao: 3rd Plano de Acao Nacional, September 2018, http://governoaberto.cgu.gov.br/noticias/2018/balanco-final-do-3o-pan-do-brasil-final.docx.

[2] “IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum,” International Association for Public Participation, http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf.

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