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Indonesia End-of-Term Report 2016-2017

Commitments included in Indonesia’s fourth action plan leaned heavily towards improving access to information. Consultation between the government and civil society moved in a positive direction, but the general lack of political support for open government posed bureaucratic challenges to the implementation efforts. Going forward, both government and civil society need to focus on delivering fewer but more ambitious commitments to optimize the impact for citizens.

 

Table 1: At a Glance
  Mid-term End of term
Number of Commitments 45
Level of Completion
Completed 9 16
Substantial 16 20
Limited 19 8
Not Started 1 1
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values 42 42
Transformative Potential Impact 0 0
Substantial or Complete Implementation 25 36
All Three (✪) 0 0
Did It Open Government?
Major 3
Outstanding 0
Moving Forward
Number of Commitments Carried Over to Next Action Plan 9

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from government to its citizenry to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a review of the activities of each OGP participating country. This report summarizes the final results of the period between October 2016 and December 2017 and includes relevant developments up to May 2018.

The Open Government Indonesia (OGI) National Secretariat within the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) led OGP coordination for Indonesia’s fourth national action plan with significant contributions from the President’s Executive Office (KSP) and the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform (PAN-RB).[1] A total of 10 other ministries and two government agencies along with five local governments also contributed to the 50 commitments in the action plan. This included five commitments from the Regency Government of Bojonegoro, which are assessed in a separate report as part of the OGP Local Program.

The government established a multistakeholder forum with civil society representatives during the development of the action plan, but it did not meet regularly during the implementation period. In December 2018, the government released a self-assessment report for the second year of the action plan.[2] However, it was published only in Indonesian and lacked description of specific activities carried out in the implementation process.

At the time of the writing of this report, the Government of Indonesia had published its fifth national action plan in December 2018. With fewer commitments, the action plan continues to build upon the themes of access to information, civic participation, and public accountability, among others, but also sees the inclusion of themes such as beneficial ownership and open contracting, which were previously left out.

 

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their national action plans. OGI consulted parties from government and civil society identified as relevant stakeholders during the development of the action plan who then remained involved during the implementation period. Civil society representatives coordinated with OGI on who would be responsible to consult the responsible institution for each commitment based on their fields of expertise and scope of work.[3]

Throughout the implementation period, OGI regularly met with government officials and civil society representatives carrying out the commitments to discuss the progress of each commitment’s implementation.[4] Although the meetings are invitation-only, civil society members who were not involved during the action plan’s development period and were not able to participate during the implementation period based on the recommendation of the civil society that was already involved.[5]

Early into the implementation period, each civil society chose which commitments to focus on based on their expertise and programs. For the most part, civil society worked with government separately on implementing individual commitments rather than collectively in a general forum, as was done during the action plan development process. Nevertheless, many expressed concerns over the government’s perceived lack of commitment to the OGP action plan, as it was often represented by staff without the proper authorities to speak on behalf of their respective institutions and/or to make decisions.[6] This resulted in some discrepancy between what was agreed upon and reflected in the commitments and what the government implemented afterward.[7] Another common criticism highlighted the government’s tendency to focus on technology-related commitments.[8] Although civil society agreed that moving the government’s process online could eliminate many barriers, it also exposes the government to the risks of neglecting the portion of the society that is not privileged with adequate access to technological infrastructure.

For example, throughout the implementation process, the government adjusted the indicators for some commitments depending on its assessment of the progress made at certain points within the period.[9] When asked by the IRM researcher about its involvement in this particular process, civil society responded that these adjustments were made without prior consultation with its members.[10] Consequently, while civil society did have the opportunity to provide feedback, the comments had little to no effect, as the changes had already been made by the time the members were informed. Civil society members believe that any changes to commitment indicators, albeit for internal purposes, should be made in consultation with them because they co-created the action plan with the government.[11]

Table 2: Action Plan Consultation Process

Regular Multistakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes Yes
2. Did it meet regularly? No No

 

Table 3: Level of Public Influence during Implementation

The IRM has adapted the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Participation” to apply to OGP.[12] This spectrum shows the potential level of public influence on the contents of the action plan. In the spirit of OGP, most countries should aspire for “collaborative.”

Level of Public Influence during Implementation of Action Plan Midterm End of Term
Empower

 

The government handed decision-making power to members of the public.    
Collaborate There was iterative dialogue AND the public helped set the agenda.    
Involve The government gave feedback on how public inputs were considered.    
Consult The public could give inputs.  
Inform The government provided the public with information on the action plan.  
No Consultation No consultation    

 

About the Assessment

The indicators and method used in the IRM research can be found in the IRM Procedures Manual.[13] One measure, the “starred commitment” (✪), deserves further explanation due to its particular interest to readers and usefulness for encouraging a race to the top among OGP-participating countries. Starred commitments are considered exemplary OGP commitments. To receive a star, a commitment must meet several criteria:

  • Starred commitments will have “medium” or “high” specificity. A commitment must lay out clearly defined activities and steps to make a judgment about its potential impact.
  • The commitment’s language should make clear its relevance to opening government. Specifically, it must relate to at least one of the OGP values of Access to Information, Civic Participation, or Public Accountability.
  • The commitment would have a “transformative” potential impact if completely implemented.[14]
  • The government must make significant progress on this commitment during the action plan implementation period, receiving an assessment of “substantial” or “complete” implementation.

Starred commitments can lose their starred status if their completion falls short of substantial or full completion at the end of the action plan implementation period. At the end of term, Indonesia’s action plan did not contain any starred commitments.

Finally, the tables in this section present an excerpt of the wealth of data the IRM collects during its reporting process. For the full dataset for Indonesia, see the OGP Explorer at www.opengovpartnership.org/explorer.

About “Did It Open Government?”

To capture changes in government practice, the IRM introduced a new variable “Did It Open Government?” in end-of-term reports. This variable attempts to move beyond measuring outputs and deliverables to looking at how the government practice has changed as a result of the commitment’s implementation.

As written, some OGP commitments are vague and/or not clearly relevant to OGP values but achieve significant policy reforms. In other cases, commitments as written appear relevant and ambitious, but fail to open government as implemented. The “Did It Open Government” variable attempts to captures these subtleties.

The “Did It Open Government?” variable assesses changes in government practice using the following spectrum:

  • Worsened: Government openness worsens as a result of the commitment.
  • Did not change: No changes in government practice.
  • Marginal: Some change, but minor in terms of its effect on level of openness.
  • Major: A step forward for government openness in the relevant policy area, but remains limited in scope or scale.
  • Outstanding: A reform that has transformed “business as usual” in the relevant policy area by opening government.

To assess this variable, researchers establish the status quo at the outset of the action plan. They then assess outcomes as implemented for changes in government openness.

Readers should keep in mind limitations. IRM end-of-term reports are prepared only a few months after the implementation cycle is completed. The variable focuses on outcomes that can be observed in government openness practices at the end of the two-year implementation period. The report and the variable are not meant to assess effect because of the complex methodological implications and the time frame of the report.

 

Commitment Implementation
General Overview of Commitments

As part of OGP, countries are required to make commitments in a two-year action plan. The tables below summarize the completion level at the end of term and progress on the “Did It Open Government?” metric. For commitments that were complete at the midterm, the report will provide a summary of the progress report findings but focus on analysis of the “Did It Open Government?” variable. For further details on these commitments, please see the Indonesia IRM progress report (2017).

Indonesia’s fourth national action plan comprises six general themes: enhanced public participation (commitments 1–4), Ombudsman capacity building (commitments 5–8), LAPOR!-SP4N integration (commitments 9–15), village governance (commitment 16), public information disclosure (commitments 17–20), and data governance (commitments 21–22).

Additionally, five local governments contributed commitments to this action plan: The City Government of Banda Aceh (commitments 23–25), the City Government of Bandung (commitments 26–33), the City Government of Semarang (commitments 34–39), the Regency Government of Bojonegoro (commitments 40-44), and the Provincial Government of the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (commitments 45–50). Commitments 40–44 are not included in this report due to Bojonegoro’s participation in the OGP Local Program. They are instead assessed in a separate IRM report. Please note that this report retains the original numbering of the commitments in the same order as they were originally published in Indonesia’s fourth national action plan.

[1] “Indonesia Open Government National Action Plan 2016–2017,” Open Government Indonesia National Secretariat, 2016, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Indonesia_NAP_2016-2017_ENG_1.pdf.

[2] “Laporan Pelaksanaan Rencana Aksi Open Government Indonesia Tahun 2017,” Open Government Indonesia National Secretariat, 2018, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Indonesia_End-Term_Self-Assessment_2016-2018.pdf.

[3] Tities Eka Agustine (Open Government Indonesia National Secretariat), interview by IRM researcher, 16 November 2018.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Astrid Debora Meliala (Indonesian Center for Environmental Law), interview by IRM researcher, 12 December 2018.

[9] Debby Adelina Suryani (Open Government Indonesia National Secretariat), interview by IRM researcher, 16 November 2018.

[10] Astrid Debora Meliala, interview.

[11] Darwanto (MediaLink), interview by IRM researcher, 12 December 2018.

[12] For more information on the IAP2 Spectrum, see: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf

[13] IRM Procedures Manual, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/about-irm.

[14] The International Experts Panel changed this criterion in 2015. For more information, visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/node/5919.

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