Senegal Action Plan Review 2021-2023
- Action Plan: Senegal Action Plan 2021-2023
- Dates Under Review: 2021-2023
- Report Publication Year: 2022
This product consists of an IRM review of the Senegal 2021-2023 Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen.... The action plan is made up of 12 commitments. 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.
Overview of the 2021-2023 Action Plan
Most of the 12 commitments in Senegal’s first action plan focus on enhancing access to information and civic participation in budgets and public policies. As civil society and Governments are working to open private sector practices as well — including through beneficial ownership transparency, open contracting, and regulating environmental standards. Technical specificat... More organizations seek to consolidate their role in the formulation and implementation of public policies and assessment of government action, the OGP action plan offers a purposeful, and sustainable consultation framework. It also connects Senegalese reformers with best practices worldwide. Looking ahead, Senegal can continue to strengthen their modestly ambitious plan by defining clear objectives, baseline and progress indicators, and specifying the role of civil society in implementation.
|AT A GLANCE
Participating since: 2018
Action plan under review: 2021-2023
IRM product: Action Plan Review
Number of commitments: 12
Overview of commitments:
Compliance with OGP All OGP participating countries are expected to adhere to the Participation and Co-Creation Standards. Each Standard includes clear and measurable minimum requirements that all OGP participating count... for Co-creation:
Senegal’s first action plan is structured around transparency in public management; public service delivery; and citizen participation. It provides an open government lens to on-going reforms aligned with the country’s economic and social development priorities, with the African Peer Review Mechanism and programmes supported by international development partners. Specifically, the plan seeks to enhance access to information Government reformers are developing regulations that enshrine values of transparency, participation, and accountability in government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or reforming ... and transparency in sectors such as fisheries, to open budgets, to strengthen the anti-corruption legal and institutional framework, to improve electronic administration and access to public services, to ensure diverse participation, especially by women, youth, and persons with disabilities, in environmental issues and in other public policies.
Civil society organizations considered the action plan’s co-creation process as participatory and inclusive. After Senegal joined the OGP, the government focal point held by the Directorate for the Promotion of Good Governance (DPBG) convened the OGP National Technical Committee. The joint committee has 18 members, nine from public institutions and nine from civil society organizations (CSOs). To select the representatives from civil society, the DPBG shared information about the OGP process with organizations experienced in the fields of good governance, access to information and participation, and showing a track record of involvement with the government. CSOs designated their own representatives at the committee and ensured that they would reflect society’s diversity. CSO members selected Article 19 to co-chair the committee with the DPBG.
The co-creation process of the first action plan began in October 2019 and concluded in July 2021. Consultations took place in December 2020, in 13 out of 14 regions of the country. As reported by all government and civil society representatives interviewed, these consultations were held in a constructive, collaborative spirit. Throughout the process, the government was “open and responsive” and the final set of commitments included in the action plan reflect the priorities that emerged from regional consultations, according to civil society organizations. However, Article 19 noted the absence of online consultations as the main shortcoming. By the time of writing this report, the dedicated website for the OGP process in Senegal contained a description of the OGP governance structure and the action plan, but lacked more specific documents, such as reports from regional consultations or Technical Committee meetings.
The IRM identified four commitments (1, 3, 4 and 9) as the most promising for open government results, given their level of According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should “stretch government practice beyond its current baseline with respect to key areas of open government.” Ambition captures the po... and According to the OGP Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should include a clear open government lens. Specifically, they should advance at least one of the OGP values: transparency, citizen partic... to national priorities. Commitments 1 and 4 promise to increase citizens’ access to information through a national access to information law and targeted transparency in the fisheries sector. Commitments 3 and 9 promise to institutionalize civic participation in policy making. Specifically, OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... 3 engages civil society in updating the anti-corruption legal framework; commitment 9 aims to institutionalize participatory budgeting across local governments.
The remaining commitments are not evaluated as promising, due to either their limited ambition, specificity, or connection to open government values. For instance, commitments 2 and 12 are relevant to open government values and may result in significant gains, as they seek to strengthen participation in the state’s budget process and in public policies. However, the commitment texts lack the specificity of intended activities and the expected results needed to evaluate their full potential. Commitment 11 seeks to involve citizens into the environmental policymaking process through a consultative framework, but the extent of the civic participation component is not sufficiently clear. Other commitments address important policy aims, such as access to public service delivery, but lack clear connections to open government (commitments 5, 7 and 8). Finally, commitment 10 promises to train and work towards the participation of women and youth in politics, but the listed activities do not directly create opportunities for civic participation in government decision-making.
In future action plans, the Technical Committee should review the draft action plan to ensure that commitments have a clear open government lens. Commitment texts should clarify how implementation will make a policy area, institution, or decision-making process more transparent, participatory, or accountable to the public. Drafters are also encouraged to design ambitious commitments that introduce change or create new practices, policies, or institutions that govern a policy area, public sector and/or relationship between citizens and state.
Promising Commitments in Senegal’s 2021-2023 Action Plan
The following review looks at four commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential for 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.
If fully implemented, commitments related to access to information (1), anti-corruption and asset declarations (3), openness of the fisheries sector (4) and participatory budgeting at the local level (9), as indicated in table 1 below, could deliver substantial open government results. These commitments seek to institutionalize changes across government and maximize the potential of ongoing reforms by adding the value of an open government lens. These reforms promise to better inform the citizens and improve participation in shaping public policies on issues such anti-corruption, fisheries capture, or budget processes.
The remaining commitments seem, as written in the action plan, less connected to open government values, or less likely to change current government practice and are thus not reviewed in detail. However, during implementation there is opportunity to increase the specificity of these commitments to clarify expected results and bring long-lasting changes to government practices. For instance, commitment 2, on budget transparency, is relevant to civic participation and lists several civil society organizations monitoring budget matters. It is also aligned with the objectives of the Fiscal Openness Accelerator. This international project was launched in March 2020 by the International Budget Partnership and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, of which Senegal is a part of; it will pilot specific public participation mechanisms through the budget cycle. However, the commitment text is vague in regard to how the existing multistakeholder framework for budget monitoring in place since 2016, will be revitalized, and thus how the dialogue around the budget might improve, or how citizens might gain new opportunities to follow-up on the budget process. Future action plans could commit to applying open and participatory budgeting to specific sectors, such as Accountability within the public education system is key to improving outcomes and attainment, and accountability is nearly impossible without transparent policies and opportunities for participation ... and healthcare.
Commitment 11 seeks to strengthen citizen participation in environmental policy. With a starting point of low citizen involvement and high international pressure on environmental protection and climate changes issues, the commitment has the potential to set the path for sustainable and better owned policies, by creating long-term participation mechanisms. The proposed consultation framework, including civil society, could be significant and innovative. However, the IRM researcher was unable to access sufficient information on the scope, format, or intended civic participation components to determine the commitment’s potential for results. The remaining milestones are not directly related to open government, as they involve training and promotion of environmental issues more generally.
Similarly, commitment 12 ambitiously seeks to systematize citizen participation across public policies and represents an important issue linked to the decentralization process. However, the commitment text and interviews indicated that the details of intended activities and outcomes were still to be confirmed. In particular, how to document and address citizen input and grievances, and to whom, remains unclear. The commitment aims to expand the Civil Society Commission’s role in evaluating the implementation of public policies to include annual independent alternative reports on implementation of Senegal’s economic development plans and sustainable development goals. A roadmap and five thematic commissions (social protection; economic growth; education & professional training; employment and decent work; gender; local governance & public policies) will be developed to institutionalize public participation in development policies. While this commitment may prove noteworthy, the IRM evaluated this commitment’s potential for results to be modest, based on the information available at the time of writing.
Commitments 5 and 6 are assessed to have a modest potential impact to open up government. Improving relations between public administration agents and citizens is important, as is digitalizing administrative procedures, but these commitments would be more relevant and bring direct gains with the disclosure of new information, if mechanisms were created to hold public agents accountable or if the commitments devised new opportunities for participation, which is not clear at this stage.
Commitments 7 and 8 address relevant issues for civil society and are important for public service delivery, but the participatory aspects are unclear at the stage of this review. Commitment 7 will be relevant to civic participation, if organizations of persons with disabilities are involved in the formulation and implementation of the reform, specifically the call center and the High Authority for Equal Opportunities or the Presidential Council. However, these aspects are not clear in the commitment text. Commitment 8 foresees partnership with community relays, to facilitate access to formal justice for marginalized persons, but involvement of civil society organizations does not appear clearly in the commitment text and interviews conducted by the IRM researcher. For both commitments, a sound diagnosis of the problems to access formal To address barriers that prevent citizens from having their justice needs met, OGP participating governments are working to expand transparency, accountability, and inclusion into all systems of justi... and basic services for persons with disabilities is a prerequisite to better understand how government openness could facilitate the needed reforms.
In the context of the January 2022 local elections, commitment 10 aims at intensifying youth and women’s participation in government through leadership and management training. The proposed activities are relevant and significant in scope, as a large capacity-building programme might represent an incremental step towards implementing the 2010 gender parity law. To raise the level of ambition of this commitment, the IRM recommends that stakeholders consider avenues to increase enforcement of the parity law and to introduce measures for youth participation in governance. Moreover, commitments 9 and 10 could be mutually supportive, by including training for women and youth in participatory budgeting processes.
Table 1. Promising commitments
|Commitment 1: Adopting the Access to Information Act and subsequent Creating and passing legislation is one of the most effective ways of ensuring open government reforms have long-lasting effects on government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or r...: Identified as a national priority in regional citizen consultations, a sound access to information law and responsible public authority promises to crystalize current efforts to ensure the right to access public information.
|Commitment 3: Strengthening the powers of the National Office against Fraud and Corruption (OFNAC): In line with the recently adopted national anti-corruption strategy, the commitment foresees to update the legal framework in collaboration with civil society, to strengthen powers of the OFNAC and enforce asset declaration legislation.
|Commitment 4: Commitment to the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI): Following a similar engagement in the Applying open government values of transparency, participation, and accountability to extractive industries can decrease corruption, safeguard community interests and needs, and support environmental ..., the commitment aims for greater transparency, accountability, and participation in the fisheries sector by achieving Senegal’s accession to the FiTI and preparing a first action plan.
|Commitment 9: Promoting the participatory budget approach at the local level: Reviewing the regulation of consultation frameworks and building capacities of local governments and civil society organizations promise to expand participatory budgeting at the local level.
 See Senegal OGP National Action Plan 2021-23, p.43 of the English version.
 Interview with Cheikh Fall Mbaye (DPBG), OGP focal point, 6 October 2021. Interview with Falilou Mbacke Cissé (Institut Africain de Gouvernance, IAG), 26 November 2021.
 Interview with Cheikh Fall Mbaye (DPBG), OGP focal point, 6 October 2021. Interview with Falilou Mbacke Cissé (Institut Africain de Gouvernance, IAG), 26 November 2021.
 Interview with Cheikh Fall Mbaye (DPBG), OGP focal point, 6 October 2021. Article 19 written response to IRM researcher, 18 November 2021. The focal point provided the IRM researcher with the report of the convergence and writing workshops (April 2021) and the list of participants to the validation workshop (July 2021).
 See “Rapport consolidé des consultations citoyennes du PGO”, Direction de la Promotion de la Bonne Gouvernance and Expertise France (PAGOF programme), 26 January 2021.
 Video interviews were conducted in October and November 2021 with: Cheikh Fall Mbaye, Directorate for the Promotion of Good Governance and OGP focal point (6 October); Ndèye Fatou Sarr, RADDHO (12 November); Diafara Sèye, Ministry of Finance and Budget (12 November); Malick Diop, Plateforme des acteurs non étatiques (19 November); Rokhiatou Gassama, Conseil Sénégalais des Femmes (22 November); Alaya Ouarme, Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation (23 November); Falilou Mbacke Cissé, Institut Africain de Gouvernance (26 November). Written responses to questions addressed by the IRM researcher were received from: Action Solidaire International (9 November); FiTI and the Ministry of the Fisheries (16 November); Ministry of Territorial Collectivities, Development and Land Use Planning (17 November); Article 19 (18 November); OFNAC (18 November); Organization and Methods Office (19 November); Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation (20 November).
 OFNAC, written response to IRM researcher, 18 November 2021.
 Interview with Malick Diop (Plateforme des acteurs non étatiques, PFANE), 19 November 2021.
 Article 19, written response to IRM researcher, 18 November 2021.
 The Fiscal Openness Accelerator is a project developed by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). It seeks to improve transparency and enhance public participation in fiscal policies. The FOA is supported by the US Department of State and the OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund, managed by the World Bank. See https://www.fiscaltransparency.net/foaproject/
 Directorate for Planning and Economic Policies/ Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, written response to the IRM researcher, 20 November 2021.
 Interview with Ndèye Fatou Sarr (RADDHO), 12 November 2021.
 Interview with Rokhiatou Gassama, Conseil Sénégalais des Femmes (COSEF), 22 November 2021.
 In June 2021, out of 558 municipalities, only 15 women were mayors and two were presidents out of 46 departmental councils. See “Sénégal: Les femmes à l’assaut des collectivités territoriales – Le temps de l’affirmation”, Aliou Diouf, le Soleil, 8 June 2021: https://fr.allafrica.com/stories/202106090382.html. On gender parity in political elections, see also “Gender parity in Senegal – A continuing struggle”, Marianne Tøraasen, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Insight no. 2), 2017: https://www.cmi.no/publications/6230-gender-parity-in-senegal-a-continuing-struggle