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Sri Lanka Hybrid Report 2019-2021

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 partnered with Sachini De Fonseka, an independent researcher, to carry 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 Hybrid Report covers Sri Lanka’s second action plan for 2019–2021. IRM publication on the national OGP process was delayed, as the current administration in Sri Lanka is yet to resume the OGP process and there was no OGP point of contact or points of contact in implementing agencies. Consequently, this Hybrid Report assesses both design and implementation of the action plan. It provides an independent review of characteristics of commitments and strengths and challenges of the action plan. It offers an overall implementation assessment that focuses on policy-level results. It also checks compliance with OGP rules and informs accountability and longer-term learning.

Starting in January 2021 the IRM began rolling out the new products that resulted from the IRM Refresh process.[1] The new approach builds on the lessons after more than 350 independent, evidence-based and robust assessments conducted by the IRM and the inputs from the OGP community. The IRM seeks to put forth simple, timely, fit-for-purpose, and results-oriented products that contribute to learning and accountability in key moments of the OGP action plan cycle.

Overview of the Action Plan

Sri Lanka’s second action plan was designed through an improved, collaborative process. The commitments responded to citizens’ demands and national development priorities. However, implementation of the plan stalled soon after its submission. Consequently, none of the commitments produced intended results. To remain in OGP, the government of Sri Lanka needs to restart the national OGP process.

General Highlights and Results


Participating since: 2015

Action plan under review: 2019-2021

IRM product: Hybrid Report

Number of commitments: 15

Overview of commitments:

  • Commitments with an open gov lens: 14 (93%)
  • Commitments with transformative potential impact: 1 (1%)
  • Promising commitments: 4 (27%)
  • Completed commitments: 2 (12%)
  • Commitments with major early results: None

Policy areas carried over from previous action plans:

  • Public Health
  • Access to Information
  • Environment
  • Rights of Women
  • Anti-Corruption

Emerging policy areas:

  • Disaster Management
  • E-Agriculture
  • Transportation
  • Rights of Children
  • Rights of People with Disabilities
  • Public Participation in Local Government

Compliance with OGP minimum requirements for Co-creation:

  • Acted contrary to OGP process: Yes

Sri Lanka joined OGP in 2015 and has since had two action plans. This report evaluates the design and implementation of Sri Lanka’s second action plan for 2019–2021, which was developed under Sri Lanka’s previous administration. Seven of the 15 commitments had moderate or transformative potential impact (47% of commitments), representing a downgrade from the previous action plan in which 16 of the 23 commitments were ambitious (69%). Only two commitments were substantially implemented (12%). Approximately half of commitments were not started (seven of 15 commitments), a higher portion than the previous action plan in which less than a fifth of commitments were not started (four of 23 commitments). None of the commitments produced notable early results for opening government, given limited implementation. Sri Lanka was found to be acting contrary to OGP process,[2] having not published a repository in line with IRM guidance[3] and fallen short of the threshold for participation during implementation of the action plan as required by the OGP Co-Creation and Participation Standards.[4]

Moving forward, the IRM recommends the following:

  • Resume the OGP process, appointing a Ministerial and working-level point of contact (POC) and establishing the space for ongoing dialogue with civil society throughout the OGP cycle.
  • Develop a new action plan in accordance with the priorities of the current administration and citizen needs, focusing on ambitious commitments that are resourced for implementation.
  • Re-engage with the regional and global OGP platform, sharing lessons on open and good governance, and—with the OGP Support Unit—to access support to meet OGP standards and minimum requirements on participation and co-creation.

Overview of Design

The action plan’s commitments addressed diverse policy areas, including commitments carried forward from the previous plan on health, the Government Information Centre, open data, the National Environmental Act, women’s rights, anti-corruption, and the right to information. The action plan also included new commitments on disaster management, e-agriculture, transportation, children’s wellbeing, the rights of people with disabilities, and citizen participation in local government.

Although this action plan was less ambitious than Sri Lanka’s first action plan, some commitments offered promising opportunities to open government. Under Commitment 2, an Office of Assets Disclosure and an online public portal for officials’ asset declarations were to be established. Commitment 3 intended to expand access to information requests and proactive disclosures, as well as establishing a disabled-friendly information request portal and a government e-record management system. Commitment 9 planned for a consultative process to pass the Disability Rights Bill. Through Commitment 12, the action plan aimed to implement potentially transformative concluding observations of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) by 2020.

The design process for this action plan saw stronger collaboration between the government and civil society. Sri Lanka’s former government oversaw development of the action plan, with a more collaborative process than the previous action plan. Consultations were held in all provinces and with government and CSO stakeholders, including a qualified third-party monitoring, evaluation, and learning specialist.

Overview of Implementation

Following the presidential election in November 2019, implementation on the part of government almost entirely halted. The new government did not appoint an OGP focal point and did not follow through on implementation of the plan. For most commitments, minimal progress took place, although some sectors of civil society continued to implement certain milestones independently.

None of the action plan’s promising commitments saw substantial implementation. Under Commitment 2, Transparency International Sri Lanka ran several campaigns on asset declaration, but the government did not establish an Office of Assets Disclosure or an online asset declaration portal. While there was localized progress on proactive disclosure, the remainder of Commitment 3’s access to information initiatives were not undertaken. The Disability Rights Bill remained stalled (Commitment 9) and the intended CEDAW concluding observations were not implemented (Commitment 12).

The action plan made some progress on citizen involvement in transport and local government, without producing any substantial changes to government practice. Commitment 13 introduced citizen participation to three pilot local councils in the Western province. Citizens participated in these councils by providing proposals to the council budgets, submitting Right to Information requests as necessary, and serving as observers at council meetings and as members of the councils’ standing and advisory committees as members. Under Commitment 14, the National Transport Commission surveyed passengers on their needs, as well as listing transport information and a complaints portal on its website.

[1] “IRM Refresh”, Independent Reporting Mechanism, Open Government Partnership,

[2] “Procedural Review”, Open Government Partnership,

[3] “IRM Guidance for Online Repositories”, Open Government Partnership, March 2020,

[4] Acting Contrary to Process – Country did not meet (1) “involve” during the development or “inform” during implementation of the action plan, or (2) the government fails to collect, publish and document a repository on the national OGP website/webpage in line with IRM guidance.


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