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Dominican Republic Design Report 2018-2020

The co-creation process of the Dominican Republic’s fourth action plan improved substantially as compared to previous processes. Its commitments seek to make significant progress at the municipal level, promote youth participation in transparency advocacy, and support the use of technology for citizen complaints. To improve the co-creation process and develop more ambitious plans, the IRM recommends formalizing the multi-stakeholder forum, strengthening civil society’s influence by sharing the leadership in drafting the plan, and deepening the participation of senior government officers, as well as other agencies and Government branches.

Table 1. At a glance

Member since: 2011

Action plan under review: 4 (2018-2020)

Type of report: Design

Number of commitments: 7

Action plan development

Is there a multi-stakeholder forum? Yes

Level of public influence: Involve

Acted contrary to OGP process: Yes

Action plan design

Commitments that are relevant to OGP values   7(100%)

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. The Dominican Republic joined OGP in 2011. This report evaluates the design of the Dominican Republic’s fourth action plan.

General overview of action plan

The Dominican Republic’s fourth action plan is focused mainly on the creation of technological tools for transparency and citizen participation. As in the previous action plan, it includes an initiative to promote the OGP agenda at the municipal level.

The Ministry of the Presidency’s General Directorate for Government Ethics and Integrity (DIGEIG in Spanish) was responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of the action plan. The DGEIG is currently working on a bill that would strengthen its mandate to lead the OGP process.

The process to identify the plan’s commitments included a socialization process across various regions, which led to roughly 260 citizen proposals. Yet, the majority of these proposals were not included because of their lack of relevance to OGP. The DGEIG took the set of proposals that were relevant to open government and designed 7 commitments.

The Dominican Republic does not have a formal multi-stakeholder forum to allow for the equal participation and influence of civil society and government. Civil society organizations focused on children, migration, education, health, and development participated by invitation. Despite leading a broad consultation process, there is no evidence that participants received feedback about how their inputs were taken into account and how they influenced the action plan commitments. The IRM recommends strengthening the future development of action plans by deepening the influence of civil society. This implies providing reasoned response to input provided by non-government stakeholders.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of the implementation cycle
I. Creation of integrity, transparency and accountability instruments for the municipal level

Creation of 10 pilot ethics commissions in municipal governments.

Implementation of ethics codes and citizen complaint mailboxes.

This proposal could improve citizen participation through the establishment of an external CSO committee to monitor the ethics commission’s activities.  The IRM recommends considering including high-level political support to implement this initiative. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

 

 

5. Strengthen Youth Councils for transparency

Train 1,200 youth on the legal framework relevant to auditing and social control in the Dominican Republic

Create a transparency network led by the youth .

The impact and sustainability of this commitment could be strengthened by identifying youth to share the acquired knowledge. The commitment would also benefit from engaging the National Institute for Public Administration (INAP in Spanish), given their educational experience. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
6. Citizen observatory to monitor open government commitments

Create the Open Government Observatory portal

Publish quarterly reports monitoring commitments

Implementation of this initiative will be a starting point to formalize the multi-stakeholder forum in the country. Thus, it should clarify its operation, governance principles, sustainability strategy and participation mechanisms for CSOs. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
 7. Tools for demands, investigation and follow-up

Development and creation of the citizen demand portal

Train 10 public agencies and launch a communication strategy

This tool could potentially strengthen the country’s anti-corruption efforts. The IRM recommends engaging the PEPCA, given its mandate to pursue corruption cases. The commitment should also consider alternative mechanisms to reach citizens that lack access to the internet. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Recommendations

The IRM key recommendations are prepared in the IRM Design Report. They aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM recommendations 

Deepen the influence of non-government stakeholders in the development of upcoming action plans, reaching the level of involve or collaborate. Formalize the multi-stakeholder forum.
Align the design of commitments and ensure that their objectives and activities/deliverables are coherent.
Develop a transition strategy for the 2020 presidential election, learning from the experience of other OGP member countries.
Deepen the open government debate by engaging senior officers, as well as other agencies and Government branches.
Continue to support local governments and deepen the reach of commitments at the municipal level.

 

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