Skip Navigation

Ghana Action Plan Review 2021-2023

This product consists of an IRM review of Ghana’s 2021-2023 action plan. The action plan is made up of 14 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 IV. Methodology and IRM Indicators.’

Overview of the 2021-2023 Action Plan

Ghana’s fourth action plan includes commitments that reflect national priorities, primarily around government transparency and public accountability. A lack of specificity in commitment design makes the potential for results and connection to open government unclear for many commitments. Looking ahead, stakeholders should consider revising the action plan to establish a clear implementation roadmap with concrete steps.


Participating since: 2011

Action plan under review: 2021-2023

IRM product: Action plan review

Number of commitments: 14

Overview of commitments:

  • Commitments with an open government lens: 11 (78%)
  • Commitments with substantial potential for results: 1 (7%)
  • Promising commitments: 3

Policy areas carried over from previous action plans:

  • Right to information
  • Beneficial ownership transparency
  • Extractive sector transparency
  • State-owned enterprise transparency
  • Asset declaration
  • Open data
  • Budget transparency
  • Witness protection

Emerging in this action plan:

  • Citizen complaint center
  • Audit transparency
  • Open parliament

Compliance with OGP minimum requirements for co-creation:

  • Acted according to the OGP process: Yes

Ghana’s fourth action plan contains 14 commitments, many of which are reforms continued over successive action plans. These include access to information, beneficial ownership transparency, open data, and transparency in the extractive sector. This action plan also introduces new policy areas such as anti-money laundering, open parliament, and gender inclusion. The commitment numbers used in this report reflect the order in which they appear in the action plan.

The action plan was developed through a multistakeholder forum with representation of civil society. While fruitful meetings were held even throughout the pandemic, a relatively small number of organizations have been actively engaged in the process. The IRM continues to recommend that Ghana raise awareness and encourage participation of a wider range of stakeholders.

A lack of specificity in commitment design contributed to difficulty in assessing commitments’ relevance to open government and potential for results. Around a third of commitments were assessed to have no or limited connection to open government (Commitments 4, 5, and 8). The remaining commitments were not assessed to be promising, as they either faced significant implementation challenges according to interviews conducted (Commitments 3 and 6) or were one-time activities with limited scope (Commitments 7 and 10).

Overall, to achieve the action plan’s full potential, Ghana should focus on identifying specific and measurable activities to ease implementation and monitoring. To maximize open government outcomes, those implementing the action plan should prioritize activities that directly impact citizens’ access to government-held information, citizens’ ability to participate in government decision making, and citizens’ ability to hold public officials to account.

Three commitments were evaluated as most promising to contribute to substantial open government results. Commitment 11 aims to implement Ghana’s 2019 Right to Information Law through training for responsible officials and the public, improved records management, and clear and standardized administrative processes. Commitment 13 seeks to establish an Open Parliament Plan and parliamentary Open Government Steering Committee in collaboration with civil society. Commitment 14 aims to improve accessibility and scope of open data available on the National Open Data Portal and to implement to National Open Data Sharing Policy.

All three commitments benefit from CSO and high-level government support and budgetary funding and lay important groundwork for future reforms to strengthen civic participation and public accountability. However, a lack of concrete details of the intended activities leaves some questions as to how activities will be carried out and their likelihood to address the policy problem. The following section analyzes these three commitments in depth and provides recommendations for how stakeholders can strengthen the design of five additional commitments that lacked sufficient information to be evaluated as ‘promising’ but could result in notable outcomes.

Promising Commitments in Ghana’s 2021-2023 Action Plan

The following section focuses on the three commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential to realize the most promising results.

  • Commitment 11 promises to increase citizens’ access to information through the institutionalization and operationalization of the Right to Information Law.
  • Commitment 13 promises to open parliament through the creation of an Open Parliament Action Plan and establishment of a multistakeholder Open Parliament Steering Committee.
  • Commitment 14 has the potential to strengthen citizens’ access to open data through implementation of the National Data Sharing Policy and the provision of resources and training to encourage ministries’ provision of data to the Open Data Portal.

It provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan for each commitment. 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 implementation period of the action plan.

This section also provides information on why the remaining 11 commitments are not considered promising and shares commitment design recommendations on how they could reflect ambitious open government results.

Recommendations to improve commitment design

Most commitments in this action plan provide a high-level overview of the intended reform with limited specific information on the planned activities and how these activities would address the policy problem. As a result, around a third of commitments in this action plan propose potentially ambitious reforms that the IRM could not definitively evaluate as promising due to a lack of information confirming their level of ambition and open government lens—despite information from the interviews conducted.[1] The availability of information therefore influenced the selection of promising commitments.

Commitments 1, 3, 4, 9, and 12 propose reforms that reflect important national issues. However, a lack of specificity around the commitments’ planned activities, expected outcomes, and open government lens provided insufficient information to determine whether implementation would result in substantial changes to government practice. To be evaluated as having a substantial potential for results, the commitment text must include sufficient details to indicate that the reform will change or create new ‘rules of the game’ that introduce binding and institutionalized changes across government.

[1] The IRM researcher conducted eight interviews with members of government and civil society to inform this report.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open Government Partnership