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Kaduna State, Nigeria Design Report 2018-2020

Kaduna State’s first action plan represents an admirable step towards open government reform. Now familiar with OGP, Kaduna State should formalize the State Steering Committee to ensure sustainable and well-documented OGP processes. In turn, the Steering Committee should increase commitments’ scope and specificity to develop ambitious future commitments to further the government’s anticorruption efforts.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2018
Action plan under review: First
Report type: Design Report
Number of commitments: 5

Action plan development
Is there a multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values:   5 (100%)
Transformative commitments:  0
Potentially starred commitments:  0

Commitments

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. Kaduna State joined OGP in 2018. This report evaluates the design of Kaduna’s first action plan.

General overview of action plan

Kaduna was the first Nigerian state to join OGP in 2018. Its first action plan builds on previous open government initiatives and aligns with similar commitments at the federal level. The plan therefore offers opportunities for information sharing and mutual learning between levels of government. The action plan is also consistent with the 2016–2020 State Development Plan, which includes governance as a central theme.

The action plan was co-created by the State Steering Committee and five Technical Working Groups with equal government and civil society representation. The Committee held a two-day public consultation workshop to incorporate broader public input into the commitment drafts. However, the State Steering Committee could strengthen the co-creation process through greater documentation of how working group members were selected and how public input was incorporated into the action plan.

The action plan features five commitments in the areas of participatory budgeting, open contracting, ease of doing business, access to information, and civic participation. Four commitments are expected to result in a moderate change in government practices. Commitment 3, on ease of doing business, is coded as minor. All commitments are relevant to OGP values and are specific enough to be verifiable. Some milestones throughout the action plan would benefit from greater specificity of intended actions and outcomes. Overall, Kaduna State’s first action plan sets a strong foundation for increasingly ambitious open government reforms in future commitments.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle
Commitment 1 Participatory Budgeting: Increase budget transparency and citizen participation through Community Development Charters throughout the state budget process To maximise this commitment’s impact, the office that processes community charters should inform citizens of how their feedback was incorporated into the state budget. The office should also encourage community charters to be developed inclusively, ensuring that marginalised community members are heard. The government could provide citizens’ guides and budgets in local languages and in formats accessible to nonliterate citizens. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
Commitment 2 Open Contracting Data Standards: Implement the Open Contracting Data Standards to improve accountability and transparency in the procurement process For effective implementation, the Public Procurement Authority should ensure contract information is simplified, published in a user-friendly format, and available in offline formats. The IRM researcher recommends expanding procurement data to cover all Local Government Councils and streamlining complaint and dispute mechanisms to reduce the length of bureaucratic procedures. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
Commitment 4 Access to Information: Pass the Bill on Freedom of Information For effective implementation, educate civil society, media, and the public on their right to information. Consider producing simplified and translated versions of the law and publicise them online and offline. Any future versions of this commitment should consider establishing corresponding institutions. To fully implement the law, such institutions could include a dedicated Freedom of Information (FOI) Act Unit staffed with trained officers, associated procedures, and sanctions for noncompliance. Observation of the federal government’s implementation of FOI-related OGP commitments may provide valuable insights. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
Commitment 5 Citizens’ Feedback Portal: Increase and strengthen citizen-government engagement through multiple channels, such as the CitiFeeds app To amplify this commitment’s open government impact, the government should provide public responses to citizen feedback received through the app and other channels. It should also proactively disclose relevant information. The government could explore how to strengthen the legal mandate to respond to citizen feedback on technology platforms. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Recommendations

IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan. Please refer to Section V: General Recommendations for more details on each of the below recommendations.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM recommendations

Formalise the OGP process to ensure sustainability. Establish a clear role and mandate for the State Steering Committee. Seek a legal mandate and budgetary provisions for OGP activities.
Increase documentation of the co-creation process. Update and expand Kaduna’s OGP repository and website to publish evidence, updates, and other documentation of OGP processes.
Add more specific activities in milestones, to ensure commitments are verifiable. Aim to design milestones that are “SMART”: specific, measurable, accountable, relevant, and time bound.
Increase the scope of commitment activities, to raise the level of ambition. Design commitments with a focus on the problem to be addressed rather than the instrument or document to be created.
The State Steering Committee should prioritise discussion on continuing and expanding Commitment 1 on participatory budgeting in the second action plan. Future iterations of this commitment could focus on government responsiveness, inclusive civic participation, and facilitation of participation throughout the entire budget cycle.

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