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Morocco Action Plan Review 2021-2023

This product consists of an IRM review of the Morocco 2021-2023 action plan. The action plan is made up of 22 commitments that the IRM has filtered and clustered into 21. This review emphasizes its analysis on the strength of the action plan to contribute to implementation and results. For the commitment-by-commitment data, see Annex 1. For details regarding the methodology and indicators used by the IRM for this Action Plan Review, see Section III Methodology and IRM Indicators.


Participating since: 2018

Action plan under review: Second

IRM product: Action Plan Review

Number of commitments: 22

Overview of commitments:

· Commitments with an open gov lens: 21 (95%)

· Commitments with substantial potential for results: 1 (4.5%)

· Promising commitments: 5

Policy areas carried over from previous action plans:

· Access to information

· Public service transparency

· Budget transparency

· Integrity and anti-corruption

· Citizen participation in policymaking

Emerging in this action plan:

· Gender equality and inclusivity

· Open justice

· Transparency in healthcare and education

· Open communities (local authorities)

Compliance with OGP minimum requirements for co-creation:

· Acted according to OGP process: yes

Morocco’s highly inclusive co-creation process resulted in an action plan of modest ambition with a focus on strengthening transparency. Looking ahead, commitment implementers should collaborate with civil society to consider how milestones can build towards ambitious reforms that strengthen public accountability and civic participation in future action plans.

Morocco’s second OGP national action plan covers 22 commitments divided into five thematic groups: transparency and quality of public services; equality and inclusivity; open justice; citizen participation; and open local communities.[1] Multiple commitments are carried forward from Morocco’s first action plan[2] in the areas of access to information, transparency and quality of public services, budget transparency, integrity and anti-corruption, public funding of civil society, and citizen participation. The action plan introduces new policy areas such as gender equality, inclusion of children and people with disabilities, open justice, healthcare and education, public consultations, and open local communities. The action plan aligns with Morocco’s New Development Model (NDM)[3] which emphasizes improving public services, gender equality, administrative reform, and justice in view of economic and societal development. This report uses the commitment numbers as provided in the English version of the action plan.

The government and civil society organized a lengthy and thorough co-creation process between January 2020 and June 2021.[4] In October and November 2020, 10 co-creation events moderated by civil society organizations discussed and gathered proposals in different wide-ranging thematic areas.[5] Overall, more than 800 citizens and civil society stakeholders participated in the consultation process which produced 232 proposals for commitments.[6] The government provided individual responses to all proposals, showing whether and how the proposal was adopted or, if rejected, for what reasons.[7] Through Morocco’s Open Government Portal, the government held an online public consultation in May 2021 on the combined commitments before the final adoption of the action plan.[8] As the document notes, the final set of draft commitments were determined by the 11 implementing public institutions.[9]

During development of the second action plan, there was a disconnect between government efforts to engage civil society and civil society’s level of involvement. The government received 232 comments and proposals through the Open Government Portal during co-creation.[10] Ouiame El Moustamide from the Department of Administrative Reform notes that that Steering Committee members were involved in various stages, but their comments were not captured in writing.[11] The IRM researcher experienced difficulties contacting non-governmental stakeholders, including members of the Steering Committee. However, Nadia Hmaity and Houdna Bennani from the Democratic Association of the Women of Morocco, national Steering Committee members, noted that the action plan reflects some civil society input, as for example Commitment 11 which adopted proposals on including quotas for women in decision making. From their perspective the government, rather than the Steering Committee, ultimately drafted and approved the final text.[12] The IRM recommends that the government continue to strengthen mechanisms and relationships to collaboratively design and implement action plans in partnership with civil society. In particular, the government should consider how to engage civil society during implementation and monitoring of the action plan.

Most commitments advance the open government value of transparency, with a few also promising to strengthen civic participation. Only Commitment 3, which aims to implement the Public Service Charter, has the potential to advance public accountability as written. One commitment—Commitment 6 on healthcare governance—does not have a clear open government lens.

One of the main strengths of the action plan is the continuity both in many of the commitments and in the governance and coordination of the OGP process by the Department of Administrative Reform team, which became part of the Ministry of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform in November 2021. This also influenced the IRM selection of promising commitments (see Section II of this report) two of which are continuations of efforts from the first action plan—Commitment 3 on the Public Services Charter, and Commitment 21 on access to information in local authorities. The other two promising commitments are new: Commitment 11 on the promotion of gender equality, and Commitment cluster 1 (Commitments 15 and 16) on opening justice. All four commitments cover important themes for Moroccan society and bear a potential for serious reforms both in terms of open government values and in their respective policy fields. One of these four—Commitment 21 on strengthening access to information and citizen participation at the local level—was assessed as having substantial potential for results.

Section II: Promising Commitments in Morocco’s 2021-2023 Action Plan

The following review looks at the four commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential to realize the most promising results. This review will inform the IRM’s research approach to assess implementation in the Results Report. The IRM Results Report will build on the early identification of potential results from this review to contrast with the outcomes at the end of the action plan’s implementation period. This review also provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan.

The IRM identified four promising commitments (see Table 1) due to their potential to introduce serious reforms both in terms of open government and in their respective policy fields. Only Commitment 21 was evaluated to have a substantial potential for results within the implementation period. However, all four reforms could significantly change open government practices in the longer term, especially if implemented with a focus on citizens’ voices and needs and a high level of civil society involvement and inclusion.

Commitments 3 and 11 are very broad in scope and call for the time-intensive development of many plans, policies, and regulations. The open government impact of these implementing documents will likely not yet be visible by the end of the action plan period. Therefore, analysis of early open government results in the forthcoming results report will be largely shaped by the extent to which implementing agencies undertake a participatory process to develop the plans, policies, and regulations around public service delivery and gender equality. Additionally, the IRM recommends focused implementation on the activities that most directly strengthen government transparency, accountability, and/or civic participation. Similarly, successful implementation of the open justice cluster (Commitments 15 and 16) would include prioritization of activities that directly increase the access of citizens to justice and information.

The remaining commitments in the action plan— such as commitments 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 12, and 18—are largely of modest ambition and primarily focus on advancing government transparency, which is an important but initial step to open government. Some commitments, such as 6, 7, and 8 introduce ambitious reforms in their respective policy field, but do not contain a strong open government lens. Other commitments continue preexisting reforms like commitments 9, 10, and 17 on setting up a national integrity portal, on promoting open data, and continuing NGO training efforts by setting up a national portal for training NGOs, respectively. Elements that could raise the potential for open government results are the introduction of sturdy accountability mechanisms that would allow citizens to hold public officials to account as well as civic participation mechanisms that would allow citizens to have a say in government decision-making.

Several commitments in the action plan build towards greater civic participation in policymaking. Commitment 20 holds a modest potential to further accountability and civic participation in environmental policy by providing CSO training and publishing environmental data. Commitment 19, importantly, aims to establish draft laws on public consultations and contractual volunteering. This commitment is evaluated as modest as written, as the ambition does not go as far as to adopt the draft laws and their structures, priorities, and guarantees. Furthermore, the Ministry of State in charge of Human Rights and the Relations with Parliament will determine the details of the draft law, which will then be provided for a public consultation, according to the Ministry’s experts.[13]

Commitment 22 includes a toolkit of practices and materials on citizen participation to be shared with territorial collectivities during a series of consultations on citizen participation. The commitment text is not specific regarding the proposed toolbox or concrete and measurable impact indicators. However, by May 2022, the Directorate General of Territorial Collectivities had developed 15 best practice guides, 11 tools for successful citizen participation mechanisms, and seven videos to assist with citizen participation efforts.[14] The pilot region Draa Tafilalet implemented a Citizens Jury on economic development and the regions Souss-Massa and Fes-Meknes launched online public consultations on civil society and rural development, respectively.[15]

Table 1. Promising commitments

Promising Commitments
Commitment 3 promises to strengthen transparency and accountability in public service delivery through the implementation of the Public Service Charter.
Commitment 11 aims to promote gender equality and women’s participation in public life as well as their economic empowerment.
Open Justice Cluster (Commitments 15 and 16) seeks to improve access to justice by strengthening the tools and legal framework for digitalization of the legal process.
Commitment 21 promises to provide assistance and technology to local authorities to strengthen citizens’ access to information at the territorial level.

[1] Morocco Action Plan 2021-2023, Open Government Partnership, July 2021,’action%20OGP-QM4ok.pdf

[2] Morocco Action Plan 2018-2020, Open Government Partnership, 26 September 2018, also see Morocco Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, 12 November 2021,

[3] New Development Model, Special Commission on the Development Model, April 2021,

[4] Etapes de cocréation, Gouvernement Ouvert Maroc,

[5] Événements de cocréation, Gouvernement Ouvert Maroc,

[6] Morocco Action Plan 2021-2023, Open Government Partnership, July 2021, page 4,’action%20OGP-QM4ok.pdf

[7] Liste des propositions, Gouvernement Ouvert Maroc,

[8] Engagements proposés, Gouvernement Ouvert Maroc,

[9] Morocco Action Plan 2021-2023, Open Government Partnership, July 2021, page 4,’action%20OGP-QM4ok.pdf

[10] List of suggestions. Open Government Portal. Government of Morocco.

[11] Ouiame El Moustamide. Department of Administrative Reform. Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of Digital Transformation and Administrative Reform. Information provided during the pre-publication comment period for the report.

[12] Nadia Hmaity and Houdna Bennani, Democratic Association of the Women of Morocco, interview with IRM researcher 18 November 2021.

[13] Halima Ghiate, Mohamed Reda, Soufiane Ouchen, Ministry in charge of Human Rights and the Relations with Parliament – Department of Relations with Parliament, interview with IRM researcher 11 November 2021.

[14] National Portal for Territorial Collectivities. « Virtual Toolbox. » via le lien; National Portal for Territorial Collectivities. « Planning and Framing Participatory Processes »

[15] Information provided Naima El Oukid, Chief of service, in the Directorate General of Territorial Collectivities (DGTC) of the Ministry of Interior, during the report’s public comment period. 9 May 2022.


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