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Denmark Design Report 2017–2019

Cordelia Chesnutt

Denmark’s third action plan had similar thematic foci as previous plans: increasing open data, improving transparency in the public sector, and promoting open government globally. Civil society provided input during the co-creation process. However, the final commitments were proposed by government agencies, and most reflected existing initiatives. Future action plans could address higher-priority policy areas, such as the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, beneficial ownership transparency, and whistleblower protection.

Table 1. At a glance
Participating since:  2011
Action plan under review: 3
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 14Action plan development

Is there a multi-stakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design

Commitments relevant to OGP values: 12 (86%)
Transformative commitments:          0
Potentially starred:                           0

Action plan implementation

Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with Major “Did It Open Government?”:* N/A
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG:* N/A

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. Denmark joined OGP in 2011. Since, Denmark has implemented two action plans. This report evaluates the design of Denmark’s third action plan.

General overview of action plan
Denmark’s third action plan focused on improving open data and public services domestically, as well as supporting anti-corruption and transparency efforts globally. Denmark continues to perform highly in open government and anti-corruption. However, Denmark could consider including other open government policy areas in future action plans, such as whistleblower protection and beneficial ownership.

The Agency for Digitisation (AFD) began the third action plan’s co-creation process with an online hearing, during which civil society, government institutions, and citizens were able to give input. Unlike the previous action plan’s co-creation process, this process featured the AFD’s follow-up of the online hearing with many in-person meetings with civil society organisations (CSOs) on potential action plan topics. In August 2018, after the co-creation process concluded, the AFD held Denmark’s first formal multi-stakeholder forum meeting (the OGP Network Meeting). The meeting included representatives from civil society and government agencies responsible for the action plan’s commitments.

Civil society representatives and the AFD discussed general ideas for action plan themes (such as public information and party financing), but CSOs did not formally submit commitment proposals. Ultimately, the commitments chosen for the action plan were proposed by government agencies and reflected existing government initiatives. According to civil society, the AFD’s mandate does not extend beyond a coordinating role, which limits the overall ambition of Denmark’s action plan. The government believed that the OGP process is not the proper forum for high-level policy discussion and that it could duplicate the existing efforts of individual ministries.

Some notable commitments involved developing data-driven solutions to issues of political and social relevance in Denmark, such as those providing historical data from the National Archives (Commitment 1) and those developing portals with information on day-care facilities (Commitment 3).

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle
1. More open data

Publish datasets of historical significance in dialogue with stakeholders and provide video instructions on the use of this data.

Future action plans could improve access to historical data by addressing the timeliness of data publication, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, and current Danish accessibility laws. The number of datasets could be expanded based on their usefulness to stakeholders. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
3. Information portals for day-care facilities

Develop a common platform to collect data from municipal and day-care institutions across the country. Present the data in publicly available and easily accessible portals.

This commitment’s model—focusing on a single issue of social relevance to the wider population—could be used for future action plans. For example, the government could consider developing a single platform to provide comparable information for various welfare issues. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
9. National strategy for a stronger civil society

Implement the national civil society strategy to improve collaboration between the public sector and civil society, particularly in local communities.

The government could build off the existing national civil society strategy to strengthen civic engagement at the decentralised level, particularly by promoting local voluntary social work. 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.

Five KEY IRM Recommendations

  1. Expand participation in the multi-stakeholder forum
  2. Introduce whistleblower protection measures in the next action plan
  3. Address the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation
  4. Take measures to improve beneficial ownership transparency
  5. Focus on further strengthening foreign aid transparency

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Filed under: IRM Report

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