Estonia Action Plan Review 2022-2024
This product consists of an IRM review of the Estonia 2022–2024 Action 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.... The action plan comprises five activities that the government has clustered into two commitments. This review emphasizes its analysis on the strength 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 III.
Overview of the 2022–2024 Action Plan
Estonia’s sixth action plan is focused and ambitious. It continues the previous action plans’ efforts to increase According 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 and civic participation in policy-making, and introduces novel commitments around evidence-based policy-making. In both policy areas, the key challenges are stimulating sustainable cultural change in the public sector to reinforce the impact of new policy frameworks and tools.
|AT A GLANCE
Participating since: 2011
Action plan under review: 2022–2024
IRM product: Action Plan Review
Number of commitments: 2
Overview of commitments:
Commitments with an open government lens: 2 (100%)
Commitments with substantial potential for results: 2 (100%)
Promising commitments: 2
Carried over from previous action plans:
· Co-creation in policy-making
Emerging in this action plan:
· Evidence-based policy-making
Compliance with OGP All OGP participating countries are expected to adhere to the Participation and Co-Creation Standards. Each Standard includes clear and measurable minimum requirements that all OGP participating count... for co-creation: Yes
Estonia is starting its sixth action plan at the time of taking up the role of government co-chair of the OGP Steering Committee. During its tenure, Estonia intends to promote co-creation in public policy-making, highlight the role of civil society in tackling public health and humanitarian crises, and encourage peer learning within the global OGP community.
Estonia’s sixth action plan includes five activities, clustered into two commitments: 1) increasing co-creation in policy-making, and 2) promoting evidence-based policy-making. This action plan has a clear focus and high According 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... as both commitments seek to spur substantial changes in the government’s policy-making practices. The IRM has thus selected both as promising commitments.
Two of the three activities in the OGP 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... on fostering co-creative policy-making continue where the previous action plan left off. The sixth action plan will introduce an expert group to analyze gaps in regulations, policies, and public sector organizations’ capacities and a roadmap to drive wide-scale adoption of co-creative policy-making approaches. This commitment takes a broad view of the key enablers of institutional change and has strong potential to leverage the co-creation instruments that the government has been developing over several action plans.
Evidence-based policy-making was included in the action plan on the initiative of the Government Office. According to the OGP point of contact (PoC), the Government Office plans to encourage government institutions to use data and empirical evidence in their work to improve the quality and transparency of public decisions. One of the activities in this commitment aims to create a framework for government agencies to conduct systematic small-scale experiments with target groups to test innovative solutions to complex problems before designing large-scale policies. This is a novel approach and could lead to more transparent and effective policies if the design of the framework actively encourages the take-up of experimentation as a policy-making method. It will, however, also require dedicated work to drive cultural change in the public sector toward valuing innovation and risk-taking.
The other activity in this commitment seeks to develop a decision-making support tool for policy makers. This tool will collect and systematize data on public policy challenges, perform automated data analysis, provide visualizations of the results, and allow for search of the data to answer specific questions. As the volume of data generated in the world increases at an exponential rate, this commitment seeks to help public officials use the available data to inform government decisions. Although the commitment is bold and innovative, the development of such a tool may face hurdles, from legal access barriers to questions about the accuracy and trustworthiness of data from various sources. The IRM recommends devoting attention to ensuring the quality and transparency of the data used to inform public policy decisions.
While the action plan is ambitious and structured into verifiable milestones, it was shaped more by the Government Office than non-governmental stakeholders. For example, during the public crowdsourcing campaign conducted from February to April 2022, several contributors proposed ideas related to youth participation, climate and environment, and open government in local municipalities, which did not end up in the action plan. According to the PoC, the main reason for excluding certain ideas was their limited scope or scale, which did not correspond to IRM’s recurring recommendation to raise the ambition of OGP commitments. Other reasons included the responsible ministries’ lack of resources, mandate, or will to implement the proposed ideas within the next action plan cycle. However, the Government Office did discuss all ideas with the proposers and ministries in a seminar on 3 May, and contributors claim to be satisfied with the quality of the government’s feedback and justifications. Moreover, while some issues (e.g., open government in local municipalities) were not formulated into separate commitments, they are included in the mandate of the expert group established under Commitment 1.2. In future co-creation processes, stakeholders would like to see more time devoted to discussing who could take ownership of proposals that do not fit the scope of OGP action plans. They regard the Government Office as a valuable mediator of civil society’s ideas to governmental stakeholders.
Promising Commitments in Estonia 2022–2024 Action Plan
The following review looks at the two commitments, both of which the IRM identified as having the potential to realize promising results. Promising commitments address a policy area that is important to stakeholders or the national context. They must be verifiable, have a relevant open government lens, and have modest or substantial potential for results. This review also provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan.
Table 1. Promising commitments
|1. Increasing co-creation in policy-making: This commitment continues developing a government-wide digital tool for legislative drafting and co-creation. It also continues building a public toolbox of co-creation methods to serve as a resource for policy makers, and testing specific co-creation methods in real-life policy-making exercises.
|2. Fostering evidence-based decision-making: The activities under this commitment could improve government transparency by enabling the public to see what evidence led the government to adopt certain decisions or policies.
 Open Government Partnership, Estonia 2022–2024 Action Plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Estonia_Action-Plan_2022-2024_EN.pdf
 Ott Karulin (national Point of Contact for OGP, Government Office), interview by the IRM, 5 October 2022.
 Statista, Volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide from 2010 to 2020, with forecasts from 2021 to 2025, https://www.statista.com/statistics/871513/worldwide-data-created/
 Ott Karulin (national point of contact for OGP, Government Office), interview by the IRM, 5 October 2022.
 Kai Klandorf (Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations), interview by the IRM, 28 October 2022; Kairi Tilga (Estonian Cooperation Assembly), interview by the IRM, 4 November 2022.
 Kai Klandorf (Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations), interview by the IRM, 28 October 2022.
 Kairi Tilga (Estonian Cooperation Assembly), interview by the IRM, 4 November 2022.