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Ukraine End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

The third national action plan resulted in major achievements in several policy areas. New reports on the extractive sector and the introduction of online tools for monitoring public contracting led to outstanding changes. However, the verification system for beneficial ownership of companies was not implemented. Moving forward, the government needs to continue with transparency reforms and prioritize commitments that produce tangible results in the fight against corruption.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their citizenry to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a review of the activities of each OGP-participating country. This report summarizes the results of the period December 2016 through August 2018.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine represents the leading office responsible for coordinating Ukraine’s OGP process and action plan. Two persons from the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers coordinate national OGP activities. A multi-stakeholder group, the Coordination Council, established in June 2012 and renewed in February 2017, oversees the implementation of the national action plan. The law requires the council to have 14 members. Those members should come from both public authorities and civil society.

Ukraine has substantially advanced in implementing the starred commitment on public procurement and fully implemented the starred commitment on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

The government published its end-of-term self-assessment report at the end of November 2018.

At the time of writing this report, Ukraine had not published its fourth action plan. However, the government had conducted consultations with various institutions, civil society and public.

Consultation with Civil Society during Implementation

Countries participating in OGP follow a process for consultation during development and implementation of their action plan.

In Ukraine, the multi-stakeholder forum is institutionalized in the form of Coordination Council. It includes seven representatives from authorities and seven from civil society. The council has two co-chairs, one from the government and one from civil society.

During the first year, the multi-stakeholder group conducted its work informally. Initially, work evolved this way due to the transition period, during which members were elected. Later, challenges of gathering a quorum led to a more informal nature for the work. The newly elected council members met in May 2017 at a methodological workshop on OGP.

The second year witnessed more organized, yet rare, activity from the multi-stakeholder forum. An official meeting of the new Coordination Council took place in October 2017. The council elected the co-chair from civil society and established work procedures. It also created four sectoral working groups comprising authorities and civil society partners.

In practice, the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers monitored the overall OGP process. Simultaneously, dedicated council members both from authorities and civil society took the lead in monitoring and pushing forward sectoral commitments.

Civil society co-created the council agenda and were engaged in working groups. Furthermore, within individual commitments, joint authorities–civil society working groups established a format for iterative dialogue. This stands true especially on the draft law on public consultations and on the e-democracy roadmap. Such work merits the “collaboration” level of public participation.

Table 2: Consultation during Implementation

Regular Multi-stakeholder Forum Midterm End of Term
1. Did a forum exist? Yes Yes
2. Did it meet regularly? No No

Table 3: Level of Public Influence during Implementation

The IRM has adapted the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Participation” to apply to OGP.[1] This spectrum shows the potential level of public influence on the contents of the action plan. In the spirit of OGP, most countries should aspire for “collaborative.”

Level of Public Influence during Implementation of Action Plan Midterm End of Term
Empower The government handed decision-making power to members of the public.    
Collaborate There was iterative dialogue AND the public helped set the agenda.
Involve The government gave feedback on how public inputs were considered.    
Consult The public could give inputs.    
Inform The government provided the public with information on the action plan.    
No Consultation  

No consultation

   

About the Assessment

The indicators and method used in the IRM research can be found in the IRM Procedures Manual.[2] One measure, the “starred commitment” (✪), deserves further explanation due to its particular interest to readers and usefulness for encouraging a race to the top among OGP-participating countries. Starred commitments are considered exemplary OGP commitments. To receive a star, a commitment must meet several criteria:

  • Starred commitments will have “medium” or “high” specificity. A commitment must lay out clearly defined activities and steps to make a judgment about its potential impact.
  • The commitment’s language should make clear its relevance to opening government. Specifically, it must relate to at least one of the OGP values of Access to Information, Civic Participation, or Public Accountability.
  • The commitment would have a “transformative” potential impact if completely implemented.[3]
  • The government must make significant progress on this commitment during the action plan implementation period, receiving an assessment of “substantial” or “complete” implementation.

Starred commitments can lose their starred status if their completion falls short of substantial or full completion at the end of the action plan implementation period.

In the midterm report, Ukraine’s action plan contained two starred commitments. At the end of term, based on the changes in the level of completion, Ukraine’s action plan still contained two starred commitments.

Finally, the tables in this section present an excerpt of the wealth of data the IRM collects during its reporting process. For the full dataset for Ukraine, see the OGP Explorer at http://www.opengovpartnership.org/explorer.

About “Did It Open Government?”

To capture changes in government practice, the IRM introduced a new variable “Did It Open Government?” in end-of-term reports. This variable attempts to move beyond measuring outputs and deliverables to looking at how the government practice has changed as a result of the commitment’s implementation.

As written, some OGP commitments are vague and/or not clearly relevant to OGP values but achieve significant policy reforms. In other cases, commitments as written appear relevant and ambitious, but fail to open government as implemented. The “Did It Open Government” variable attempts to capture these subtleties.

The “Did It Open Government?” variable assesses changes in government practice using the following spectrum:

  • Worsened: Government openness worsens as a result of the commitment.
  • Did not change: No changes in government practice.
  • Marginal: Some change, but minor in terms of its effect on level of openness.
  • Major: A step forward for government openness in the relevant policy area, but remains limited in scope or scale.
  • Outstanding: A reform that has transformed “business as usual” in the relevant policy area by opening government.

To assess this variable, researchers establish the status quo at the outset of the action plan. They then assess outcomes as implemented for changes in government openness.

Readers should keep in mind limitations. IRM end-of-term reports are prepared only a few months after the implementation cycle is completed. The variable focuses on outcomes that can be observed in government openness practices at the end of the two-year implementation period. The report and the variable do not intend to assess impact because of the complex methodological implications and the time frame of the report.

Commitment Implementation

General Overview of Commitments

As part of OGP, countries are required to make commitments in a two-year action plan. The tables below summarize the completion level at the end of term and progress on the “Did It Open Government?” metric. For commitments that were complete at the midterm, the report will provide a summary of the progress report findings but focus on analysis of the “Did It Open Government?” variable. For further details on these commitments, please see the Ukraine IRM progress report 2016–2018.

The commitments cover several topics. They can be best grouped by the core open government values. These include actions related to access to information, civic participation, and use of technology to improve transparency. The plan also includes two important commitments focusing on decentralization and expansion of administrative services. However, these two commitments are not clearly relevant to OGP values.

[1] “IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum,” International Association for Public Participation, http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf.

[2] IRM Procedures Manual, “About the IRM,” Open Government Partnership, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/about-irm.

[3] The International Experts Panel changed this criterion in 2015. For more information, visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/node/5919.

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