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Mexico Design Report 2019-2021

The design of Mexico’s fourth action plan, completed under a new federal administration, brought about significant progress. The dialogue between the Government and civil society resumed, two diverse and participatory mechanisms to create commitments were established, and the forum created detailed plans for the implementation of commitments. Commitments address diverse themes that are central to the public agenda, relevant to open government and marginally focused on accountability. This progress was achieved despite the limited resources allocated to the process. Moving forward, Mexico could take steps to broaden participation to include additional sectors.

Table 1. At a glance

Member since: 2011

Action plan under review: 4 (2019-2021)

Type of report: Design

Number of commitments: 13

Action plan development:

Is there a multi-stakeholder forum? Yes

Level of public influence: collaboration

Acted contrary to OGP process: no

Action plan design

Commitments: 13

Relevant to OGP values  13 (100%)

Transformative                4(31%)

Potentially starred:          4(31%)

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. Mexico joined OGP in 2011. Since, Mexico has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the design of Mexico’s fourth action plan.

General overview of action plan

The design of Mexico’s fourth action plan was completed under the administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Mexico has a solid regulatory and institutional framework on access to information and has performed well in terms of open government, open data, and budget transparency. However, the country still faces challenges with regard to human rights protection and civic space. Despite making progress in its regulatory framework, Mexico has not significantly advanced the anti-corruption agenda, as shown by various international metrics, in which the country ranks lower than others in the region.

In this context, the design of the fourth action plan generated relevant improvements, as compared to previous processes. This cycle the dialogue with the Nucleus of Civil Society Organizations, which was halted in the previous plan, resumed. The new authorities of the Secretariat of Public administration (agency in charge of the OGP process) facilitated the dialogue, and the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI in Spanish) also participated. The process was led by the Coordinating Committee of Open Government Partnership.

The action plan development included valuable innovations. First, the plan was developed through several inclusive, systematic steps. An element that stands out is a stage to design detailed action plans to improve the feasibility and guide the implementation of commitments, as recommended by previous IRM reports. Second, the co-creation of commitments included two types of spaces: one for public consultation and one for proactive proposals of commitments by public institutions and civil society organizations. The process also included “tests” for the co-creation committees and workshops on gender equality and the 2030 Agenda in an effort to broaden the engagement and diversity of participants.

As a result of the process, thirteen commitments were taken on, six that arose from the public consultation process (known as co-created commitments in the action plan), and seven that were proactively generated by government representatives and civil society organizations. In both cases, the majority of commitments are ambitious, consistent with the national public agenda, and thematically diverse (including thematic areas such as social policy, care, sexual and reproductive rights, sustainable development, gun control, and open government). While many themes were carried over from the previous action plan, current commitments are more detailed and include efforts to mainstream the gender perspective. Moving forward, the process would benefit from strengthening the accountability element, and rather than focusing on access to information and participation.

This progress was achieved despite the limited resources allocated to the process in Mexico. Moving forward, in addition to increasing these resources, the process would benefit from creating tools to engage stakeholders that have not yet participated, but whose voices are relevant.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of the implementation cycle
1. Open and responsible spending in social programs

Implement a project in five social programs increasing the traceability of public expenses through citizen participation mechanisms; identify risks and potential corruption; and initiate accusations when irregularities arise.



As part of the implementation of this commitment, the Government should ensure the use of disaggregated information. Strong inter-institutional coordination will be essential, given the variety of stakeholders involved, as well as respecting the ambitious social participation schemes that were proposed. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
9. Transparency for monitoring and control of trust funds

Design and implement a proactive transparency, monitoring and citizen control strategy to strengthen accountability and auditing of the public resources operated through public trust funds, as well as private funds that use public resources, or analogue contracts to fight corruption.

Considering the steps taken to eliminate all public trust funds, the IRM recommends leveraging the OGP working group as a dialogue space between civil society organizations and the Government (including agencies in charge of managing and controlling the trust funds such as SHCP) to ensure transparency around decision-making with regards to the trust funds. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
10. Strengthening transparency around the management of forests, water and fishing resources

Implement the recommendations put forward by the Index Natural Resource Transparency Index and create groups to monitor the transparency of the water, forestry and fishing sectors

The Government could consider, along with improving the quality of public information, designing mechanisms to ensure that proposals created as part of this commitment influence public policies, thus increasing citizen participation in decision-making. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
12. Flow of weapons transparency and gun control

Design and implement a proactive transparency strategy to raise the visibility and increase the quality of public information with regards to the flow of weapons to, within and from Mexico, strengthening accountability.

The Government could focus on increasing the level of ambition as it relates to participation, for example, by establishing a more permanent dialogue between Government and civil society, not only to control the fulfillment of proactive transparency agreements but also for decision-making for public policy solutions. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.
7. Democratic control on interception of private communications

Establish a formal multi-sectoral participation mechanism to analyze, discuss, design and evaluate public policies for the use of technology to intercept private communications, access to data, and geopositioning, respecting human rights and misuse of this technology by government institutions.

The IRM researcher recommends forming a permanent committee with representatives from the Government, civil society, and experts to give continuity to the process started by this commitment.


As part of the Open Response + Open Recovery, the researcher recommends leveraging the space opened up by the implementation of this commitment to democratically regulate the data collected as part of the control of the COVID-19, in the spirit of human rights protection.

Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.



The 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

1 Design a strategy to broaden the participation of sectors that have not engaged in the process, particularly the citizenry, private sector, Judiciary and Legislature.
2 Secure the participation of key government entities in the creation and implementation of commitments, as well as the necessary resources to increase inclusion and effective deliberation in upcoming action plans.
3 Increase the specificity of citizen participation mechanisms to be implemented.
4 Ensure that commitments aimed at increasing accountability guarantee the Government’s responsiveness to the demands made by the civil society and citizenry.
5 Reflect upon the focus of the current action plan and the challenges posed by the pandemic, and consider reinforcing the implementation of the nationally-relevant commitments, for instance, the reconstruction of the sectors and services that will be hardest hit by the sanitary and economic crises.



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