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Republic of Korea Transitional Results Report 2018-2020

The Open Government Partnership 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. Action plan commitments may build on existing efforts, identify new steps to complete ongoing reforms, or initiate an entirely new area. OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Civil society and government leaders use the evaluations to reflect on their progress and determine if efforts have impacted people’s lives.

The IRM has carried out this evaluation. The IRM aims to inform ongoing dialogue around the development and implementation of future commitments. For a full description of the IRM’s methodology, please visit

This report covers the implementation of the Republic of Korea’s fourth action plan for 2018–2020. In 2021, the IRM will implement a new approach to its research process and the scope of its reporting on action plans, approved by the IRM Refresh.[1] The IRM adjusted its implementation reports for 2018–2020 action plans to fit the transition process to the new IRM products and enable the IRM to adjust its workflow in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on OGP country processes.

Action Plan Implementation

The IRM transitional results report assesses the status of the action plan’s commitments and the results from their implementation at the end of the action plan cycle. This report does not revisit assessments for verifiability, relevance, or potential impact; the IRM assesses those three indicators in IRM design reports. For more details on each indicator, please see Annex I in this report.

General highlights and results

The Republic of Korea’s fourth national action plan (2018–2020) included 12 commitments, which the IRM organized into 13. Eight commitments were fully implemented, four saw substantial implementation, and one commitment saw limited progress by the end of the action plan cycle. The completion rate was similar to the previous action plan, where 10 out of 13 commitments were completed by the end of the implementation cycle. However, despite a high completion rate, it is not clear for all commitments what actual results have been achieved in terms of changes to government practice. In preparing this report, the IRM reached out to implementing agencies but, as detailed in Section 2.4, received few responses.

An important challenge during implementation was personnel rotation within government institutions responsible for commitments. While most officials were supportive of the process, the learning curve impacted continuity of activities. Civil society remained engaged throughout implementation of the action plan. The research conducted for this report found at least two instances where CSO or citizen input was considered to adjust implementation of commitments. These adjustments meant changing availability of sensitive information for a specific group or improving quality of available data.

The three noteworthy commitments (5.2, 10, and 11) as identified in IRM’s 2018–2020 Design Report were completed. Commitments 10 and 11, which focused on publishing data on priority areas and enhancing the quality of public data, were both completed. However, there is not enough information available to determine if any early results were achieved. The IRM requested information on how new available datasets and standards for disclosure reflect citizen input, and on the level of engagement by civil society organizations during the process. The IRM did not receive a response from implementing agencies.

Three commitments (4, 5.1, and 5.2) have demonstrated early results, including two that were not identified as noteworthy in the Design Report (4 and 5.1). Commitment 4 has contributed to major changes in government practice through citizens petitions; the government has conducted safety inspections for different product categories and has taken specific measures according to its findings, including product recall, disposal, and import restrictions. As part of Commitment 5.1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) held a policy recommendation contest that allowed citizens to provide input on relevant issues. As a result, MOFA introduced changes to the new electronic passport for citizen convenience. Commitment 5.2 regarding operating the open communication forum, Gwanghwamoon 1st Street, resulted in 111 policy suggestions being adopted by the government, one of them resulted in the introduction of a simplified insurance-benefit claims process without a paper-based application.

COVID-19 pandemic impact on implementation

The Republic of Korea’s response to COVID-19 has been praised internationally as it allowed the country to flatten “the epidemic curve quickly without closing business, issuing stay-at-home orders, or implementing stricter measures.”[2] The Republic of Korea’s success relied on detection, containment, and treatment, with a collaborative approach to decision making between the government and scientific community.[3]

Both government and CSO representatives consulted for this report agreed that the only relevant change from the COVID-19 pandemic on the OGP process was the transition from in-person to online meetings. A government representative highlighted how this allowed for more remote participation during the process.[4] She added that despite concentrating more resources on the pandemic response, public participation remained as a priority in government policy.[5]


[1] For more information, see:

[2] June-Ho Kim et al., “Emerging COVID-19 success story: South Korea learned the lessons of MERS” (Our Word in Data, 5 Mar. 2021),

[3] Id.

[4] Jihye Park (Ministry of the Interior and Safety), response to an IRM questionnaire, 8 April 2021.

[5] Id.


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