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Canada

Promote Open Government Globally (CA0062)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Canada Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Global Affairs Canada; Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Capacity Building, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Canada End-Term Report 2016-2018, Canada Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Promote Open Government Globally Why do this: The Government is committed to working with international partners in government, civil society, private sector, and academia to support the principles of openness and transparency around the world. The world is witnessing a global transformation, fueled by citizens’ desire to better understand how their governments make decisions and develop policy. This global open government movement is essential to promoting the rule of law, reducing corruption, promoting public access to information, and developing effective and accountable institutions. How will it be done: Canada will undertake leadership roles in the global open government community, supporting the International Open Data Charter and the Open Government Partnership, and fostering new strategic partnerships through organizations like the International Organisation of La Francophonie. By working collaboratively with international partners to promote common, global principles of open government, Canada can cement its role as a world leader in openness and transparency.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

21. Promote Open Government Globally

Commitment Text:

The Government of Canada will work with international partners to promote the principles of open government around the world.

Milestones:

21.1. Participate in key forums internationally to learn from other countries and share our challenges and successes.

21.2. Strengthen the capacity to deliver open data in Francophone Africa through support to locally-led, multi-stakeholder processes and international conferences.

21.3. Promote the principles of the International Open Data Charter, participate in the development of enabling resources and tools for the Charter, and support the development of the World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer through the Open Data for Development (OD4D) network to measure the Charter’s implementation by governments around the world.

Responsible institutions: Global Affairs Canada; Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat; the International Development Research Centre

Supporting institutions: Open Government Partnership; Open Data Charter; La Francophonie

Start date: Not specified

End date: Not specified

Editorial Note: The text of the commitment was abridged for formatting reasons. For full commitment text, visit: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Canada_AP3.pdf.

Context and Objectives

This commitment is externally facing and designed to foster Canada’s engagement and leadership on global open data issues by participating in international forums on open government challenges, strengthening open data in Francophone Africa, and supporting international instruments for open data. Insofar as governments around the world face common challenges in implementing open data systems, this engagement presents a valuable opportunity for mutual learning.[Note194: It is worth noting that peer learning is mentioned in the Open Government Declaration. The Declaration is available at: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/open-government-declaration.] In line with milestones 21.1 and 21.3, the 2015 IRM midterm progress report recommended that Canada expand its OD4D network, and that it add specificity to the goals of the network going forward. While Milestone 21.2 seems more targeted at promoting improvements in the global south than in Canada, it has the potential to also produce a positive impact domestically, and can led to knowledge creation around open data in Canada as well as in recipient countries. Although Milestone 21.1 is relatively vague, providing no details as to which forums Canada will participate in and at what level, milestones 21.2 and 21.3 provide greater specificity, creating a reasonable level of clarity overall.

Completion

For Milestone 21.1, the self-assessment cites several forums which the government participated in at various levels, including the International Open Data Conference in Madrid in October 2016,[Note195: See: http://opendatacon.org/.] the OGP Global Summit in Paris in December 2016,[Note196: See: https://en.ogpsummit.org/osem/conference/ogp-summit/attendeelist.] further engagement with the Open Data for Development program, and initiatives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank which included components connected to open data. Substantial progress has been made on this commitment, and it seems to be on schedule to be implemented.

Regarding Milestone 21.2, Open Data for Development co-hosted a regional stakeholders’ meeting to commence work on a Francophone Africa open data hub, the 'Conférence d’Afrique Francophone sur les Données Ouvertes.'[Note197: See: http://cafdo.org/.] In response to queries by the IRM researcher, IDRC reported that as of October 2017, a host for the hub had been selected and they anticipated the project to be complete by June 2018. Substantial progress has been made on this commitment, and it is on schedule to be completed.

Regarding Milestone 21.3, the self-assessment points to the International Development Research Centre’s ongoing support of the Open Data Barometer, the fourth edition of which was launched in early 2017.[Note198: See: http://opendatabarometer.org/4thedition/acknowledgements/.] Work during this action plan cycle includes translation of the Barometer into French and Spanish, and the development of regional reports. In the beginning of 2017 Canada assumed a role as a lead steward of the Open Data Charter.[Note199: See: http://opendatabarometer.org/?_year=2016&indicator=ODB and https://opendatacharter.net/who-we-are/.] Substantial progress has been made on this commitment, and it is on schedule to be completed.

Early Results
In response to queries from the IRM researcher, the Treasury Board Secretariat reports significant capacity development as a result of the international engagement in the first milestone, including support for generating future action plan commitments.
Next Steps

International engagement is a core component of OGP as it facilitates mutual support and the transfer of best practices among participating governments. However, the IRM researcher recommends that the intended nature and results of this engagement be more detailed to provide a clearer roadmap for tracking success.

As noted in Commitment 18, it would be optimal if milestones related to international development contained a parallel focus on building skills within Canada or an express mechanism within the programming to ensure that government, civil society and business stakeholders were well positioned to take advantage of the ideas and expertise generated.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

21. Promote Open Government Globally

Commitment Text: The Government of Canada will work with international partners to promote the principles of open government around the world.

Milestones:

21.1. Participate in key forums internationally to learn from other countries and share our challenges and successes.

21.2. Strengthen the capacity to deliver open data in Francophone Africa through support to locally-led, multi-stakeholder processes and international conferences.

21.3. Promote the principles of the International Open Data Charter, participate in the development of enabling resources and tools for the Charter, and support the development of the World Wide Web Foundation's Open Data Barometer through the Open Data for Development (OD4D) network to measure the Charter's implementation by governments around the world.

Responsible institutions:Global Affairs Canada; Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat; the International Development Research Centre

Supporting institutions: Open Government Partnership; Open Data Charter; La Francophonie

Start Date: Not specified

End Date: Not specified

Editorial Note: The text of the commitment was abridged for formatting reasons. For full commitment text, visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Canada_AP3.pdf.

Commitment Aim

This commitment was designed to foster Canada's engagement and leadership on global open data issues. It called for participating in international forums on open government challenges, strengthening open data in francophone Africa, and supporting international instruments for open data.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

As of June 2017, Canada's government had participated in several international open data forums. These forums included the International Open Data Conference in Madrid,[Note185: See homepage, International Open Data Conference, http://opendatacon.org/.] the OGP Global Summit in Paris, and initiatives of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank (21.1). Under Milestone 21.2, Open Data for Development co-hosted a regional stakeholders' meeting to commence work on a francophone Africa open data hub, the Francophone African Conference on Open Data and Open Government.[Note186: See homepage, CAFDO, http://cafdo.org/.] Regarding Milestone 21.3, Canada's midterm self-assessment cited the International Development Research Centre's support of the Open Data Barometer[Note187: See “Acknowledgments,” Open Data Barometer, http://opendatabarometer.org/4thedition/acknowledgements/.] and Canada's assumption of a leading role in the Open Data Charter.[Note188: See “The Open Data Barometer,” http://opendatabarometer.org/?_year=2016&indicator=ODB; and “Who We Are,” Open Data Charter, https://opendatacharter.net/who-we-are/.]

End of term: Complete

Over the second year of implementation, Canada substantially boosted its international engagement after its election to the OGP steering committee, a position which is set to be followed by a term as lead Government Chair from October 2018-September 2019. It also raised its engagement through its chairmanship of the International Aid Transparency Initiative and the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (21.1). Under Milestone 21.2, Canada's self-assessment points to language on open government which was included in the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie's 2016Antananarivo Declaration.[Note189: XVIe Conférence des chefs d'État et de gouvernement des pays ayant le français en partage Antananarivo (Madagascar), les 26 et 27 novembre 2016, available at: https://www.francophonie.org/IMG/pdf/som_xvi_decl_antananarivo_vf.pdf (in French).]

In November 2017, Open Burkina was selected to coordinate the African francophone open data community and act as a regional hub to coordinate research, innovation, and capacity building in francophone Africa. As of June 2018, activities have commenced with local representatives in eight countries. Such activities include local capacity building, agenda building, and work with multi-stakeholder partners.[Note190: See homepage, Open Burkina, https://www.openburkina.bf/.] Regarding Milestone 21.3, Canada signed the Open Data Charter in 2018.[Note191: See Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board, Letter to Members of the Advisory Board of the Open Data Charter, 12 March 2018, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4pnyLgEJbI6SGItV1g1M0xPSFZ3S0dZX0M3MUhOdHBDelE4/view.]The fourth edition of the Open Data Barometer was published in May 2017 and covered 115 countries.[Note192: See “The Open Data Barometer.”]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

The government designed this mostly outward-facing commitment to foster Canadian leadership on open government issues. As noted under Commitment 18, this evaluation aims to assess the results within Canada. Thus, projects which are valuable and highly impactful internationally may be scored here as creating only marginal change.

Nonetheless, indications show that Canada's participation in international fora are beginning to bear fruit in terms of opening government domestically. The following reflects this work: the networking of Canadian practitioners with international colleagues and the focus on the need to lead by example. The latter gives greater prominence to open data champions within Canada. For example, Canada's role in the Open Data Charter not only helps to generate support for this issue internationally, but also helps Canadian officials track the evolution of global open data standards. Similarly, the Open Data Barometer includes an assessment of Canada which, while favourable (the country ranked second overall in the 2017 assessment), nonetheless helps to identify areas for improvement. Those areas include opening up national environment statistics. As a consequence, this commitment is scored as having a major impact.

Carried Forward?

Canada's fourth action plan includes international development initiatives under Commitment 8 (Feminist Open Government) and Commitment 10 (Leadership and Collaboration).


Commitments

Open Government Partnership