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Ghana Implementation Report 2017-2019

Funding shortfalls and stalled legislation continue to limit commitment implementation in Ghana. However, passage of the long-awaited Right to Information Act and establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor marked important progress in establishing the legal and administrative infrastructure needed to further open government. Moving forward, government and civil society should capitalize on these achievements by ensuring full implementation of the RTI Act and an independent and well-resourced Special Prosecutor.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2011

Action plan under review: Third

Report type: Implementation

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

Potentially starred: 0

Action plan implementation

Starred commitments: 0

Completed commitments: 1

Commitments with Major DIOG:* 0

Commitments with Outstanding DIOG:* 0

Level of public influence: Involve

Acted contrary to OGP process: No

*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. Ghana joined OGP in 2011. Since, Ghana has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the implementation of Ghana’s third action plan.

General overview of action plan

The overall level of implementation was moderate. Notably, implementation of Commitment 4 (beneficial ownership transparency) was completed. Yet the IRM assessed the open government impact as “marginal” as it did not create public beneficial ownership information during the implementation period.

Commitments 4 and 6 were substantially completed. The passage of an almost 20-year-old Right to Information Bill was a significant milestone. However, civil society is concerned with the one-year moratorium on its implementation (ending January 2020) to allow the government to prepare an implementation roadmap.

Government and civil society worked together throughout implementation. However, Steering Committee meetings were infrequent and limited to the capital. Moving forward, the Ghanaian OGP Secretariat should prioritize the creation of an OGP repository. This public database of OGP activities, meetings, and commitment progress is an essential transparency tool to quickly educate government and civil society participants who are new to the OGP process.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Status at the end of the implementation cycle
Commitment 6: Right to Information


Parliament to pass RTI bill by June 2018; and the Ministry of Information to develop strategies for the implementation of the RTI law by September 2018.

The RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989) finally passed in March 2019. It had stalled for almost 20 years, according to civil society advocates, owing to uncertainty about its implications, a lack of political will and disagreements between the state and civil society over some of the bill’s content. The Media Foundation for West Africa and the RTI Coalition welcomed the passage as a boon for anticorruption and accountability. However, they are concerned about the government moratorium on implementing the law until early 2020 for budgetary reasons. Implementation strategies are unclear.


Five Key IRM 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. In Ghana’s 2017–2019 Design Report, the IRM recommended the following:

Include more detailed information in the design of commitments, on the expected goal or change, and the means to achieve the goal.
Supplement and strengthen commitments on transparency with a broader focus on public accountability and civic participation.
Develop a dedicated OGP website and provide reasoned feedback to citizens on how commitments were selected for the action plan.
Conduct outreach and raise awareness with a wider range of stakeholders across Ghana to encourage better participation in the OGP process.
Support effective implementation of the Right to Information Law through stronger coordination between the Ministry of information, government agencies, and civil society.


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