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Macedonia End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

Implementation of Macedonia’s third action plan was collaborative, with 14 public institutions and several civil society organizations involved. Despite political instability and a change of government, more than half of its 33 commitments were substantially completed by end of term. Achievements include publication of financial data for several local governments and improved national budget transparency. Progress was limited on transparency in public procurement and asset declarations.

Table 1: At a Glance
  Mid-term End of term
Number of Commitments 34 33
Level of Completion
Completed 3 5
Substantial 8 13
Limited 13 13
Not Started 10 2
Number of Commitments with…
Clear Relevance to OGP Values 30 30
Transformative Potential Impact 2 2
Substantial or Complete Implementation 11 18
All Three (✪) 1 2
Did It Open Government?
Major 2
Outstanding 0
Moving Forward
Number of Commitments Carried Over to Next Action Plan 14

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their 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 results of the period July 2016 to July 2018 and includes some relevant developments up to August 2018.

The Ministry of Information Society and Administration (MIOA) is coordinating OGP activities in the country. MIOA was in charge of development and implementation of the third action plan for the 2016–2018 period. MIOA organized a consultative process through working groups of each of the topics. Civil society organizations (CSOs) also played a vital role, mostly during the design phase and, to a lesser extent, during implementation. In several commitments, they were the primary organizations in charge of coordinating the implementation of activities. Working alongside the CSOs were 14 public institutions, including seven ministries, three state commissions, two secretariats and two agencies.

The action plan 2016–2018 focused mostly on open data, access to information, openness on a local level, and climate change. It included 34 commitments grouped by eight thematic areas. By the end of the reporting period, two commitments led to major changes in government practice.

In Novemeber 2018, MIOA published an end-of-term self-assessment for the 2016-2018 action plan.[1] In July 2018, MOIA published the fourth action plan for the 2018-2020 period.[2]

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their action plan.

The consultation process during the second year of implementation of the action plan was less effective compared to the first year. In the first year, the Macedonian government (MIOA) formed six working groups, each focusing on a different thematic area, to address and consult on commitment implementation. During the second year, however, none of the working groups gathered to consult on implementation of commitments. Additionally, there was no structured or systematic forum through which working group members could exchange information or consult on their shared commitments.

Instead, there are several examples where state institutions bilaterally communicated with CSOs regarding specific commitment activities. In regard to Commitment 3.1 (Freedom of Information), there was no channel of communication or consultation with all members of the relevant working group. However, the Commission for Protection of the Rights to Free Access to Public Information (CPRFAPI) conducted meetings with some CSOs (in particular with the Association for Equality, Solidarity and Equality of Women, ESE) to plan an awareness-raising media campaign,. When implementing Commitment 5.4 (Involve CSOs when planning IPA2), the Secretariat for European Affairs invited some CSOs to participate in nine sectorial working groups, but other working group members assigned to this commitment were not involved. Similar examples include the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning and Republic of North Macedonia (UNDP), regarding the eighth chapter of the 2016–2018 action plan about climate change. Overall, government institutions consulted CSOs on a number of commitments during implementation, but the multistakeholder forum itself was inactive.

Table 2: Consultation during Implementation

Regular Multistakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes Yes
2. Did it meet regularly? Yes 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.[3] 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    

 

 

[1] Available here: http://www.mioa.gov.mk/sites/default/files/pbl_files/documents/ogp/en-finalen_izvestaj_ap_ovp3_2016-2018.pdf.

[2] The 2018-2020 actioon plan is available in Macedonian and English, and contains 23 commitments. See Republic of Macedonia Action Plan 2018-2020 at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/macedonia-action-plan-2018-2020.

[3] For more information, see: “IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation”, IAP2, 2018, https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/pillars/Spectrum_8.5x11_Print.pdf.

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