Costa Rica Design Report 2017-2019
- Action Plan: Costa Rica Action Plan 2017-2019
- Dates Under Review: 2017-2019
- Report Publication Year: 2020
- Researcher: Israel Aragón
Costa Rica’s third 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... addresses three Sustainable Development GoalsOGP countries are experimenting with open government innovations to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 16+ which includes peaceful, just and inclusive societies... (SDGs) and includes, for the first time, all three branches of the government. During the design phase, open workshops were held in several cities across the country, but the government did not provide feedback about how citizen inputs were considered. The plan does not have any potentially transformative commitments due to design deficiencies. Going forward, the government could increase the public’s influence in the plan design and commitments could be more specific and results-driven to increase 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....
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2012
Action plan under review: 3 (2017-2018)
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 12
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: Consult
Acted contrary to OGP process: No*
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values: 11 (92%)
Transformative commitments: 0
Potentially starred: 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 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. Costa Rica joined OGP in 2012 and has since implemented two action plans. This report assesses the design of Costa Rica’s third action plan.
General overview of the action plan
Costa Rica’s solid democratic institutions have contributed to strengthening the country’s open government process. The third action plan covers more themes than previous plans, including genderOGP participating governments are bringing gender perspectives to popular policy areas, ensuring diversity in participatory processes, and specifically targeting gender gaps in policies to address gov... equity, environment and open contractingA transparent procurement process, known as open contracting, increases competition, improves public service delivery, and ensures governments better value for their money. Technical specifications: C....
Unlike the first action plan, the third plan was created by a multi-stakeholder forum, with the participation of government, civil society, higher 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 ... and private sectorGovernments are working to open private sector practices as well — including through beneficial ownership transparency, open contracting, and regulating environmental standards. Technical specificat... representatives. This broad participation led to the incorporation of diverse themes in the action plan, which was developed through open workshops, and allowed participating citizens to become proposing members. Three sessions were also hosted outside the metropolitan area of San Jose; however, proposals made during these events were not included in the plan. Additionally, the government made available a form in the national open government website where citizens were able to submit 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... proposals and other suggestions.
Commitments are mostly relevant to access to information, with less emphasis on 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 and accountability. The most ambitious commitments sought to increase public procurementTransparency in the procurement process can help combat corruption and waste that plagues a significant portion of public procurement budgets globally. Technical specifications: Commitments enhancing ... 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 (commitment 6) and introduce open government values into the judiciaryWhile a majority of open government reforms occur within the executive branch, OGP members are increasingly taking on commitments to increase the openness of the judicial branch. Technical specificati... (commitment 7) and the legislature (commitment 8).
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Moving forward||Status at the end of the implementation cycle|
|6. Incorporating open contracting standards into the Integrated Public Procurement System (SICOP in Spanish)
Disclose data generated by the SICOP in an 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..., neutral and interoperable format, in line with the Open Contracting Partnership standards.
|The impact of this commitment will depend on the eventual use of the SICOP; therefore, the target audience should be better defined in order to refine the data generated by the system. It is also necessary to create assessment and accountability processes.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
|7. Open JusticeAn open, independent, and impartial justice system serves as a foundation for better access to justice by fulfilling all people’s civil liberties and allowing individuals to more effectively protect... Policy
Promote judiciary-wide management that is based on the open justiceTo address barriers that prevent citizens from having their justice needs met, OGP participating governments are working to expand transparency, accountability, and inclusion into all systems of justi... guiding principles: transparency, participation and collaboration to guarantee impartial, independent and equal access to justiceAccessible justice systems – both formal and informal – ensure that individuals and communities with legal needs know where to go for help, obtain the help they need, and move through a system tha... More, as well as effective legal protection for integrated wellbeing of the people.
|This commitment has one of the highest potential impacts of the action plan. Thus, it would benefit from quantifying the policy’s expected outcomes to be able to assess whether those are achieved or not. If these metrics are incorporated into the performance review process, the likelihood of successfully implementing the policy will be higher.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
|8. Open ParliamentEnsuring access to legislative information and creating mechanisms for public participation are critical to building an open, trusting relationship with citizens. Technical specifications: Commitments... Policy for Costa Rica’s Legislature
Create and implement an institutional open parliament policy for Costa Rica’s Legislature
|The recommendation is for the National Open Government Commission (CNGA in Spanish) to prioritize the implementation of this commitment. The legislature is key for the democratic process and for the promotion of reforms and regulations the country requires in order to address the ongoing economic situation and the citizens’ needs. The government could continue using the new structure, which would operate under a future decree, designed to support the implementation of the action plan.||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 the implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five key IRM recommendations
|Increase public influence on the action plan development process and dedicate more time to its design process to more carefully plan the implementation and monitoring of each commitment|
|Include more ambitious commitments and ones that address the concerns of Costa Rica’s general population|
|Follow up with CSOs that are starting to engage in open government processes and create mechanisms to increase public influence in the action plan development process.|
|Create forums for CSOs to work in collaboration with the institutions in charge of implementing commitments, so that they can influence processes, even outside of the CNGA|
|Monitor the success and completionImplementers must follow through on their commitments for them to achieve impact. For each commitment, OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) evaluates the degree to which the activities outlin... of commitments in terms of their ability to address the identified problems, rather than the implemented activities|
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