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Uruguay Design Report 2018-2020

The co-creation process of Uruguay’s fourth action plan was better structured and included more dialogue instances than previous plans, demonstrating the country’s strengthened OGP process. However, there are opportunities for improving the geographic and thematic diversity of civil society, as well as its sustainability. The IRM researcher recommends identifying opportunities to allow for organizations to allocate time and capacities to better and more sustainably commit to the action plans (e.g. technical assistance and support or learning events). There is also an opportunity to strengthen future plans in terms of ambition, creating feedback channels to be accountable to stakeholders participating in the implementation cycle. 

Table 1. At a glance

Member since: 2011
Action plan under review: 4
Type of report: Design
Number of commitments: 39

Development of the action plan
Is there a multi-stakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence:  Collaborate
Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Design of the action plan
Commitments that are relevant to: 38(98%)
Transformative commitments:                 0
Potentially starred:                           0

Implementation of the action plan
Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with major DIOG*: N/A
Commitments with outstanding DIOG*: N/A
 

*DIOG: Did it open government?

Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) conducts yearly assessments of each OGP member’s activities to ensure that governments comply with their commitments. Uruguay joined OGP in 2011 and has since implemented three action plans. This report assesses the design of the country’s fourth action plan.

Overview of the action plan

Uruguay’s fourth action plan demonstrates the political will to continue strengthening the open government agenda. Through systematic work, the Open Government Working Group reached a level of maturity that was reflected in a well-structured action plan.

The Working Group included representatives from the Executive Branch, the Judiciary, regional governments, and representatives of the Open Government Network, integrated by civil society organizations. However, unlike the previous action plan, it lacked representation from the legislature and academic partners. The co-creation process included more dialogue instances than previous action plans, as well as equal representation between government and civil society for decision-making. Civil society was underrepresented geographically and thematically. It remains a challenge to recruit organizations whose main focus is not open government, as well as those based outside the capital city.

Despite the more structured and mature co-creation process, the plan was less ambitious than the previous one, with no potentially transformative commitments, while the previous one included six. The plan includes 39 commitments assigned to 28 organizations, 21 of which reflect civil society demands. Commitments are grouped in 11 thematic areas: environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources; gender and generation equality; transparency of electoral processes and anti-corruption; access to public information; open justice; open municipalities in the Canelones Department; participatory societies; equality, development, and citizenry; transparency and accountability; health and wellbeing; and the Internet of things.

 Table 2. Noteworthy commitments 

Commitment description Next steps Status at the end of the implementation cycle
I. Implementation of the National Water Plan

Incorporating access to public information and citizen participation elements in the construction and implementation of Regional Watershed Plans, as determined by the National Water Plan.

To increase the impact of the pilots, their design should be strategic and their impact should be measured and analyzed to systematize lessons learned.

 

 

Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan.
2. One single National Environmental Complaint System

Development of a single national system to manage all environmental complaints that is accessible to the citizenry and that allows for interested stakeholders to track their status.

 

 

The IRM recommends the government to host creation events around the identified protocol in order to promote a strategic participation process and include the voices of participating stakeholders.

 

Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan.
7. System to receive and process claims

Implementation of a system to receive and process claims, securing the protection of whistleblowers

 

 

To increase the impact of this commitment, the IRM recommends considering increasing the number of pilot organizations, assessing its operations, and the possibility to extend it to all public entities in the short term. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan.
13. Access to court proceedings

Enable access to court proceedings, ensuring transparency of the process.

 

To increase the potential impact of this commitment, the IRM researcher recommends establishing a consultation or feedback process with users and potential users to allow for an assessment of the system and the extent to which it addresses needs, as well as the need to make any necessary adjustments.

 

Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan.
38. Open data and services and the Internet of things

Co-create, together with the citizenry, civil society organizations, academia and companies, civic technology solutions based on open services.

 

The IRM recommends assessing the use of the implemented tools, as well as gathering feedback to identify changes and improvements that respond to the needs of the citizens. Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan.

Recommendations

The IRM recommendations aim to inform the design of the upcoming action plan and guide the implementation of the current plan.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM recommendations

1. Strengthen ongoing participation and monitoring by civil society
2. Include commitments to advance accountability
3. Include the private sector and its representative organizations in the open government process
4. Increase participation of the local and municipal governments
5. Continue efforts to promote openness in the three branches of the government

 

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