Seychelles Design Report 2019-2021
- Action Plan: Seychelles Action Plan 2019-2021
- Dates Under Review: 2019-2021
- Report Publication Year: 2020
Seychelles’ successful co-creation of its first national action plan represents an admirable step towards developing a national strategy for open government. To continue this momentum, the Seychelles should aim to formalize OGP processes, broaden the co-creation process to include more civil society representation, and increase commitments’ scope to raise the level of ambition.
|Table 1. At a Glance
Participating since: 2018
Action plan under review: First
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 4
Action plan development
Is there a multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values: 4 (100%)
Transformative commitments: 0
Potentially starred commitments: 0
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. (Seychelles) joined OGP in 2018. This report evaluates the design of Seychelles’ first action plan.
General overview of action plan
Seychelles’ first national action plan offers the opportunity to build on recent good governance momentum. Seychelles benefits from emerging access to information and budget transparency processes. Additionally, the country is experiencing an upward trend in civil liberties and civic participation. The government designed the first action plan to align with good governance aims under Goal 1 of the National Development Strategy.
The government approached its first action plan design process as a learning experience and relied heavily on an existing multistakeholder forum. As a result, the multistakeholder platform was informal and overwhelmingly composed of government representatives. The government should expand its efforts to include civil society organizations and citizens beyond the Citizen Engagement Platform Seychelles in future action plan co-creation. A multistakeholder forum with parity of government and civil society representatives will facilitate greater public participation in future action plan cycles.
The action plan features commitments related to public participation in the budget process, access to information, fisheries transparency, and citizen e-engagement. All four commitments are relevant to OGP values. The action plan contains two commitments with a moderate potential impact and two commitments with a minor potential impact on government practices.
In the future, more specific commitments will make it easier to assess the level of ambition. Greater details, for example, on training content and the number of intended participants, would have brought greater clarity to the first two commitments. More closely connecting commitment milestones to the policy objective would also raise the level of ambition. For example, the government should go a step beyond publishing the FiTI Report and outline activities that ensure the report informs policy making. Increasing the specificity and closely tying commitment milestones to the policy objective will lead to more transformative commitments in future Seychelles’ action plans.
Table 2. Noteworthy Commitments
|Commitment Description||Moving Forward||Status at the End of Implementation Cycle|
|Implementation of the Access to Information Act: Train Information Commissioners and Officers to respond to information requests. Education the public of their right to information.||For successful implementation, the Information Commission and the DICT should develop an implementation framework to guide a phased approach. Implementation could be linked to the government’s performance management framework. The Commission should also explore its authority to penalize noncompliance and opportunities for greater proactive disclosure. Create mechanisms to ensure continued responses to information requests during the COVID-19 pandemic.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
|Implementation of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative: Establish a FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group and publish a FiTI Report.||To maximize the impact of the commitment, the government should target communication to facilitate policy change such as educating commercial fishermen on the importance of beneficial ownership transparency. Extend disclosure to include working conditions in the fishing industry and highlight opportunities for communities to participate in development projects. Produce simplified versions of the FiTI Report to aid public consumption.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
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
|Formalize the OGP process to ensure sustainability. Establish a clear role and mandate for the OGP multistakeholder forum. Develop an online repository/portal/website to publish evidence, updates, and other documentations of the national OGP process.|
|Establish procedures to ensure equal and ongoing engagement of civil society in the co-creation process, including civil society outside of the usual or formal channels. Create a process for transparent selection of civil society organizations.|
|Increase the scope and specificity of commitments to raise their level of ambition. Thoroughly assess the impact of the first action plan and leverage OGP to raise the level of ambition of future commitments. Follow the IRM Procedures Manual and OGP Participation and Co-Creation Standards closely in designing commitments for the action plan.|
|Broaden and strengthen the consultation process to ensure that commitments reflect thematic areas important to the public. Prioritize dialogue around issues of national importance such as strengthening whistleblower protections, public officials’ asset declaration, an independent civil service commission as well as increasing the autonomy of the Ombudsman’s office, and human rights and anti-corruption commissions.|
|Undertake a sensitization campaign to familiarize civil society and the public with OGP to facilitate active participation during co-creation and implementation processes.|