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Côte d’Ivoire Action Plan Review 2020-2022

This product consists of an IRM review of the Côte d’Ivoire 2020-2022 Action Plan. The action plan is made up of ten commitments that the IRM has filtered and clustered into eight. This review emphasizes its analysis on the ability of the action plan to contribute to implementation and results. For the commitment-by-commitment data, see Annex 1. For details regarding the methodology and indicators used by the IRM for this Action Plan Review, see Section IV. Methodology and IRM Indicators.

Overview of the 2020-2022 Action Plan

Côte d’Ivoire’s third action plan continues reforms in civic participation and transparency in national and local budget processes. The plan also continues to build on ambitious commitments to improve transparency around the assets of high-ranking public officials and civil servants. Looking ahead, greater inclusion of civil society in commitment implementation will raise the ambition of these reforms and strengthen relations between government and civil society.

AT A GLANCE Participating since: 2015

Action plan under review: 2020-2022

IRM product: Action Plan Review

Number of commitments: 10

 Overview of commitments:

  • Commitments with an open gov. lens: 7 (70%)
  • Commitments with substantial potential for results: 4 (40%)
  • Promising commitments: 4

 Policy areas carried over from previous action plans:

  • Open budgets
  • Anticorruption strategy
  • Asset declarations
  • Healthcare/contraceptive products

Emerging policy areas:

  • Teleworking
  • Provision of school canteens

Compliance with OGP minimum requirements for co-creation:

  • Acted according to the OGP process: Yes

Côte d’Ivoire’s third OGP action plan consists of ten commitments covering six policy areas. Most commitments stem from the previous action plan, although with renewed focus. Ongoing reforms include open budgets and asset transparency, anticorruption efforts, and reproductive health transparency. New areas include developing legislation for teleworking and school canteen provisions. Strategically, half of the commitments align with the National Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals, while those considered as promising are linked to support and funding by international partners.

Civil society reported that the co-creation process was improved from the previous action plan. The OGP Technical Committee was reconfigured to include equal government-civil society representation.[1] The civil society platform (PSCI-OGP) played a central role from the start, proposing policy areas to the Technical Committee.[2] PSCI-OGP consulted citizens through webinars and proposed or reformulated the majority of commitments in the action plan. The public could also provide input through the online OGP website.[3] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, planned face-to-face public consultations were shifted online.

For the purposes of this report, Commitments 1 and 2 are clustered together as they both aim to expand budget openness. Commitments 4 and 5 are likewise evaluated together as they both seek to strengthen asset transparency. The IRM evaluated both of these clusters as having promising potential for results and therefore they are analyzed in detail in this report. Both clusters aim to consolidate and expand work commenced in previous action plans. They also seek to establish a legal framework and collaborative environment on which to base reforms. The IRM strongly recommends that civil society be engaged from the very start of the legislative review and drafting processes.

Commitment 3, which aims to collaboratively develop a national anticorruption strategy may result in significant open government gains. However, the IRM lacked sufficient information on the intended content of the strategy to evaluate this reform as a promising commitment.

Three commitments (7, 8, and 10) are not directly relevant to the open government values of transparency, accountability or civic participation. Meanwhile, Commitments 6 and 9 are evaluated to have modest ambition as they are either one-time events or limited in scope. These commitments relate to government provision of contraceptives, school canteen food, and teleworking legislation.

To ensure that commitments in future action plans contain an open government lens, the Technical Committee should review all commitments to determine whether they set out to make a policy area, institutions, or decision-making process more transparent, participatory or accountable to the public. To design ambitious commitments, PSCI-OGP and government partners should strive to create commitments that represent change or create new practices, policies, or institutions that govern a policy area, public sector and/or relationship between citizens and state.

Promising Commitments in the Côte d’Ivoire 2020-2022 Action Plan

 The following review analyzes four commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential to render the most promising results. This review will inform the IRM’s research approach to assess implementation in the Results Report. The IRM Results Report will build on the early identification of potential results from this review to contrast with the outcomes at the end of the action plan’s implementation period. This review also provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan.

If fully implemented, the four promising commitments on open budgets (Commitments 1 and 2), and transparency and strengthening of the asset declarations system (Commitments 4 and 5), as indicated in Table 1 below, could deliver substantial open government results. Both clusters introduce binding and institutionalized changes across government that represent an important departure from standard practice. These clusters also have the potential to increase citizen access to budget and asset information. The open budget cluster would also significantly increase the public’s ability to participate in national and local budget processes.

Through Commitment 3, the High Authority for Good Governance’s aim to collaborate with civil society to develop a national anticorruption strategy holds potential for significant open government reforms. This commitment promises to address an issue of national importance and engage civil society in both developing and monitoring the strategy. The IRM did not assess this commitment in detail as the strategy’s content, and therefore its relation to open government, is yet to be determined.

However, the IRM acknowledges that this commitment may result in significant outcomes, especially if the following criteria are met: (i) consultations should be inclusive and non-government priorities and perspectives should be reflected in the final draft; (ii) the resulting strategy should institutionalize transparency, accountability and participation in pursuit of anti-corruption aims; (iii) the strategy should focus on binding and institutionalized changes across government. In this sense, Côte d’Ivoire could look at examples of consultative approaches to create anticorruption strategies with an open government lens, such as the open and participatory drafting of the Croatian Anti-Corruption Strategy or the establishment of a joint committee with civil society to oversee the implementation of Afghanistan’s Anti-Corruption Strategy.[4]

Commitments 6 through 10 (which cover the areas of teleworking, contraceptives, and school canteens) are not analyzed in this report as they are either unconnected to open government values or have modest ambition due to being a standalone initiative that does not change standard government practice. Commitments are relevant to open government if they make a policy area, institution, or decision-making process more transparent, participatory or accountable to the public. Based on these criteria, Commitments 7, 8, and 10 address important national issues but do not have an open government lens. For example, Commitment 7 promotes the use of technology, but not towards greater government transparency, civic participation or public accountability. On the other hand, Commitment 6 is relevant to open government because the government will consult with workers and employers when drafting the teleworking law, but this commitment has moderate ambition as it is a one-time project. Commitment 9 is relevant as it will result in greater public information on government funding and purchase of contraceptives. While important, this reform is modest in scope and therefore not discussed in detail.

 Table 1. Promising Commitments

Promising Commitments
Open Budget Cluster (Commitments 1 and 2): The creation of a participatory budgeting decree and guide promise to standardize civic participation in budget formation across Ivorian communes. Likewise, the government’s inclusion of civil society in validation sessions for budget guidelines begins to increase civic participation in fiscal processes at the national level.

 

Asset Transparency Cluster (Commitments 4 and 5): The government aims to issue a legal mandate for the annual asset declaration of public officials and civil servants and create an online platform featuring disaggregated statistics on asset declaration. These measures would improve asset declaration transparency for the general public and their overall management by the relevant authorities, with an overall aim to fight corruption.

 

[1] Civil society members of PSCI-OGP platform, interview/email exchange with the IRM researcher, May 2021.

[2] Website for Côte d’Ivoire’s OGP Civil Society Platform: https://psci-pgo.org/en

[3] Côte d’Ivoire’s OGP government website: http://ogp.gouv.ci/

[4] See: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/members/croatia/commitments/HR0022/ and https://www.opengovpartnership.org/members/afghanistan/commitments/AF0010/

 

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