Ghana Design Report 2017-2019
Ghana’s third 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... aimed to promote access to information and civic participation to prevent corruption in different public policy areas. As in previous action plans, the passing of the The legal right to request information from the government allows the public to follow government decision-making, participate in ensuring better decisions, and hold the government accountable. Techni... bill continues to be a centerpiece for the OGP agenda in the country. The Collaboration between government, civil society and other stakeholders (e.g., citizens, academics, private sector) is at the heart of the OGP process. Participating governments must ensure that a dive... gained political momentum in 2017, improving the role of the national The Steering Committee is OGP’s executive decision-making body. Its role is to develop, promote and safeguard OGP’s values, principles and interests; establish OGP’s core ideas, policies, and ru.... However, in the forthcoming action plan the government needs to invest disproportionately in engagement after feedback is collected. This will ensure that adequate spaces for iterative dialogue are created to discuss 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... proposals and their design.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2011
Action plan under review: 3rd
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 8
Action plan development
Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Consult
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values 8 (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 The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (OGP) 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 The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Ghana joined OGP in 2011. Since, Ghana has implemented 2 action plans. This report evaluates the design of Ghana’s 3rd action plan.
General overview of action plan
Ghana’s third action plan had a strong focus on initiatives that aim to address corruption, through disclosure of information in different sectors, enacting new Creating and passing legislation is one of the most effective ways of ensuring open government reforms have long-lasting effects on government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or r... and promoting citizen feedback at the local level. Approval of the Right to Information Bill –stalled for almost 20 years- was also included as one of the action plan’s commitments. Its passing would be a major step to provide CSOs and citizens with the necessary legal framework to access government held information but will also require additional efforts to ensure definition of all complementary guidelines for its implementation.
The OGP processes gained political momentum in 2017, when the new government moved the OGP Secretariat from the Ministry of Public Sector Reform to the Office of the Senior Minister. OGP has been integrated into the National Public Sector Reform Strategy 2018-2023. The process has also benefited from more flexible funding arrangements.
A 20-member Steering Committee was responsible for the co-creation process; CSOs and government institutions were equally represented. The committee met six times during development of the NAP; selected stakeholders were invited to provide inputs on an as-needed basis. Most meetings were held in Accra with very limited opportunities for participation from actors outside the city.
One key area of opportunity for the country continues to be the need to provide feedback on how the government incorporates CSOs inputs into the action plan. In addition, information about the process, meeting minutes and implementation evidence needs to be available on a public platform –a website or online repository- to foster citizen engagement and 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.
The eight commitments included in Ghana’s action plan focused on initiatives that contribute to prevent government corruption in different areas -such as the extractives sector and during government contracting- with relatively limited 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.... The IRM recommends that the OGP Secretariat Ghana needs to strengthen its efforts to promote the open government agenda as a cross-cutting initiative that can contribute to address challenges in different public policy sectors that have a direct impact on citizen’s lives.
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Moving forward||Status at the end of implementation cycle.|
|II. Anti-corruption transparency
Update and pass legislation in key areas related to prevent government corruption.
|A future version of this commitment could focus on developing complementary legislation and guidelines to implement new legislation, such as specific protection mechanisms for whistleblowers.||Forthcoming: this will be assessed in the Implementation Report, after the end of the action plan cycle.|
|IV. Fiscal Transparency and Accountability
Develop regulations on public financial management; build national consensus on debt and deficit limits
|The government needs to provide information on the follow-up mechanisms that will ensure public officials adhere to the new regulations and limits. Engage CSOs and provide the required training for them to understand and use public financial information to conduct oversight activities.||Forthcoming: this will be assessed in the Implementation Report, after the end of the action plan cycle.|
|VI. Right to information
Pass the Right to Information Bill and develop strategies for its implementation
|As part of the next action plan cycle, the government could implement an awareness campaign targeting different audiences to explain the benefits of the new bill. It could also promote dialogue with CSOs on sensitive areas.||Forthcoming: this will be assessed in the Implementation Report, after the end of the action plan cycle.|
|VII. Civic Participation and Accountability
Expand Transparency of public service delivery is not enough on its own; giving citizens opportunities to monitor progress on the ground and hold their governments accountable improves the quality of these s... units; monitor civic participation.
|In order to close the feedback loop, a future action plan could work on developing a mechanism to solve cases when citizen’s complaints or requests have not been addressed properly by government officials.|
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations
|1. Include more detailed information, in the design of commitments, on the expected goal or change and the means to achieve the goal.|
|2. Supplement and/or strengthen commitments on transparency with broader focus on According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, public accountability occurs when ”rules, regulations, and mechanisms in place call upon government actors to justify their actions, act upon criticisms ... More and civic participation.|
|3. Develop a dedicated OGP website and provide reasoned feedback to the public on how commitments in the action plan were selected.|
|4. Conduct outreach and awareness raising activities with wider range of stakeholders across Ghana, to encourage better awareness and participation in the OGP process.|
|5. Support effective implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Law through stronger coordination between the Ministry of information, government agencies and civil society.|