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Cote d'Ivoire

Promote Participatory Budget in 05 Communes (CI0014)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Côte d’Ivoire Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of Senior Ministry, Ministry of Interior and Security

Support Institution(s): Decentralized authorities; Civil Society Organizations; Local economic operators;

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Fiscal Openness, Gender, Marginalized Communities, Public Participation, Public Participation in Budget/Fiscal Policy, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information, Social Accountability Measures & Feedback Loops, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Côte d’Ivoire End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Cote d’Ivoire Mid-Term IRM Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Current Situation or problem/question to be addressed/having to be resolved: Lack of transparency in budget development and implementation; Main purpose: Encourage local authorities to practice participatory budget; Brief description of Commitment: Create conditions to ensure the participation of all local players in decentralized authorities budget development and implementation. OGP addressed challenges by the commitment: More efficient public resources management. Relevance: -Budget transparency -Participation of populations in public affairs management, in their collectivity's budget development and management -Populations take ownership of the management of projects in their collectivities; -Local elected representatives' duty of accountability; Ambition: -Train Five (05) pilot communes on participatory budget practice -Promote an active and participative citizenship -Build the operational capacities of civil society organizations in the area of participatory and commitment approach in public interest actions -Initiate and propose exchange and consultation mechanisms about gender planning and budgeting performance -Strengthen the capacities of women's groups in the target collectivities in planning and budgeting processes at local level; -Build the capacities of local authorities in gender planning and budgeting performance.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

14. Promote participatory budgeting

Commitment Text:

Brief description of the commitment:

Create conditions to ensure the participation of all local players in decentralized authorities budget development and implementation.

Verifiable and measurable steps to implement the commitment:

14.1. Promote an active and participative citizenship

14.2. Strengthen the operational capacities of civil society organizations in terms of participative approach and commitment in public interest actions

14.3. Strengthen the capacities of women’s groups in the target collectivities in planning and budgeting processes at local level.

14.4. Initiate and propose exchange and consultation mechanisms about gender planning and budgeting performance

14.5. FIVE Communes are experimenting with the participative budgeting.

Responsible institution: Ministry of State, Ministry of the Interior and Security

Supporting institutions: Cabinet to the Ministry of State for the Interior and Security,General Directorate for Decentralization and Local Development.

Start date: May 2016

 None Low Medium High Access to Information Civic Participation  Public Accountability Tech. and Innov. for Transparency and Accountability None Minor End date: June 2018

 Moderate Transformative Not Started Limited Substantial Complete Context and Objectives

This commitment aims to encourage local authorities to engage in participatory budgeting. According to the representative from the Ministry of the Interior and Security, the promotion of participatory budgeting among elected representatives can improve governance at the local level and drive the population to participate in decision making.1 The process allows the government to authorize the population’s appropriation of their own development, so they are involved and benefit from it.

Participatory budgeting also promotes transparency in local budgets and expands local resources.2 The representative also declared that the process could provide an improved contribution to the community budget. This last point relates to the government’s obligation to be transparent and acceptable in its management of public affairs and to encourage citizen participation and control over public action.

According to the representative from the Ministry of the Interior and Security, civil society is an essential actor in this activity. The ministry incites the localities to adopt participatory budgeting, but civil society takes on the work of training populations to use a participatory budget. He added that civil society has the support of the European Union in this activity.

If implemented as is, the commitment has a moderate potential impact. The commitment can contribute (according to the government) to more efficient management of public resources by the setting up organisms and putting them into operation.3 Thus, the operationalization should allow better population participation in the management of public affairs and more awareness of their concerns. According to a civil society representative who is a specialist in corruption and participatory budgeting,4 a participatory budget allows the true needs of the population to be identified and then included in the management of projects. However, he says that the process is complex because it is not compulsory. Only town halls that volunteer to establish a participatory budget do so. This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation. The commitment is verifiable but contains milestones that are not quantifiable (e.g., the promotion of an active and participatory citizenship).

Completion

14.1. To promote an active and participatory citizenship: This milestone was substantially completed, although it is difficult to measure its effectiveness. According to the representative from the Ministry of the Interior and Security, the government carried out the commitment by involving civil society in the choice and execution of development projects. The government provided the IRM researcher with a report regarding participatory budgeting in Yamoussoukro from January to December 2017. According to this report, the project is relevant to 'access to information, reinforcement of capacity of thought leaders and running community forums for the promotion of participatory budgeting in the towns of Abengourou, Bondoukou, Daloa, Divo, Duekoué, Ferkessédougou, Gagnoa, Korhogo, Man, and Yamoussoukro.'5

14.2 and 14.3. To strengthen the operational capabilities of civil society organizations in their participatory approach and commitment in actions of public interest

To strengthen the capabilities of women’s groups within the targeted localities concerning local planning and budgeting: These milestones have been completed. According to the first intermediary narrative report on the participatory budget, between January and December 2017, the capability of 300 opinion leaders and 50 facilitators were strengthened in social accountability methods and in techniques for the facilitation and prioritizing of community projects. The report also noted that several forums for promoting the participatory budget were held in Abengourou, Bondoukou, Daloa, Divo, Duekoué, Ferkessédougou, Gagnoa, Korhogo, Man, and Yamoussoukro. The ministry representative showed this report to the IRM researcher.

14.4. To initiate and propose exchange and consultation mechanisms concerning gender planning and budgeting performance: This milestone is considered incomplete due to lack of proof. According to the representative from the Ministry of the Interior and Security, several exchange and consultation mechanisms for gender planning and budget performance were initiated and proposed. The first intermediary narrative report on the participatory budget indicated that a module on budgeting for gender planning had been included in a workshop, but the contents of the module are not noted. The ministry made the report available to the researcher.

14.5. Five communes experiment with participatory budgeting: This milestone has been completed. The representative of the civil society platform said that some communes of Abidjan are

currently experimenting with participatory budgeting with the support of the United Nations Development Program.6 He added that many civil society representatives had been involved with making local authorities and populations aware of participatory budgeting. They traveled to many areas to explain how participatory budgeting works and the role of each party. They also helped to establish local committees to monitor projects and budgets at the community level. Evidence of these workshops being held or reports from the nongovernmental organization Social Justice were not given to the IRM researcher.

Next Steps

The IRM researcher recommends that these activities be continued in the next national action plan. An important process, participatory budgeting is pertinent to budget transparency and the involvement of populations in the management of public affairs. The civil society platform feels that the milestones should be more specific. They could include, for example, indicators on the number of organizations targeted in populations that have been trained. The IRM researcher recommends that the government reformulate the milestones and ensure an implementation that is complete, quantifiable, verifiable, effective, and efficient. According to a civil society representative who is a specialist in corruption and participatory budgeting,7 the town halls should be made more aware of the process, so they can accept the mechanism. They should be shown its advantages. Civil society representatives felt the government could go as far as putting pressure on citizens financially so that they implement this mechanism to create an incentive at commune level.

1 Jean Jacques Yapo, Deputy Director of the Partnership for Decentralization and Assistant to the Director General at the Partnership for Decentralization and Local Development, Ministry of the Interior and Security, interview by the IRM researcher, 16 February 2018.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Civil society representative specializing in corruption and participatory budgeting, phone interview with IRM researcher, 23 April 2018.

5 Please see https://bit.ly/2HmhXGG for a copy of these documents.

6 Civil society platform representative, interview by IRM researcher, 2018, followed by phone and email exchanges.

7 Civil society representative specializing in corruption and participatory budgeting, phone interview with IRM researcher, 23 April 2018.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 14: Promote participatory budget in 5 communities

Brief Description of the commitment:

Create conditions to ensure the participation of all local players in decentralized authorities budget development and implementation.

Measurable and verifiable steps to achieve the commitment

14.1. Promote an active and participative citizenship

14.2. Strengthen the operational capacities of civil society organizations in terms of participative approach and commitment in public interest actions

14.3. Strengthen the capacities of women’s groups in the target collectivities in planning and budgeting processes at local level

14.4. Initiate and propose exchange and consultation mechanisms about gender planning and budgeting performance

14.5. Five (05) communes are experimenting with participatory budgeting [78]

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of State, Ministry of Interior and Security

Supporting Institution(s): Ministry of State, Ministry of Interior and Security’s office, General Directorate on Decentralization and Local Development

Start Date: May 2016 End Date: June 2018

Action Plan is available here:

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aims to encourage local authorities to pilot participatory budgets. Specifically, the objective is to enable citizens to take the initiative in their own development by being both the agents and the recipients. It is about improving governance at the local level and boosting people's participation in decision-making. This commitment also promotes budget transparency at the local level while increasing available resources in regions in such a way that it favors, according to government, research and improved local resource contributions for community budgets.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

The government substantially implemented this commitment by midterm. From January to December 2017, the government offered capacity-building opportunities to 300 opinion leaders and 50 facilitators on topics such as social accountability tools, facilitation techniques, and prioritization of community projects. Moreover, several community forums were held to promote participatory budgets in ten communities. Several municipalities experimented with participatory budgets, which was promoted in a few cities, though its effectiveness remained difficult to measure. The government held a gender budgeting module during a workshop but there were no details regarding the content of this module. Milestones 14.2, 14.3, and 14.5 were completed by the midterm. Milestone 14.1 was substantially completed and Milestone 14.4 was not started yet. For more information, please see the 2016-2018 IRM midterm report. [79]

End of term: Substantial

The IRM researcher was unable to obtain further evidence of implementation on this commitment from the government at the end of term. [80] Instead, an article [81] dated July 2018 indicated “[p]articipatory budget[ing] is being implemented in six communes in Côte d’Ivoire” (Milestone 14.5). Another article [82] dated October 2017 announced the official launch of the first participatory budget in Daloa. The IRM researcher found no additional information concerning promotion of an active and participatory citizenship (Milestone 14.1) or exchanges and consultations on gender responsive planning and budgeting (Milestone 14.4).

Did It Open Government?

Civic Participation: Major

Participatory budgets contribute to improving governance and accountability through an inclusive process of communal budgeting. Not only does it allow people to express their real needs, but it also provides an opportunity for citizens to be part of project governance. The website of the “Participative budget Project” details ten municipalities to date that participated in the participatory budget process. [83] According to this website, the Participative Budget Project’s beneficiaries are 350 opinion leaders from CSOs, traditional chiefdoms, religious groups, and the media as well as at least 2,000,000 people from the local communities. [84]

According to a civil society representative, [85] municipal counselors lead the process of drawing up the budget in communities. Currently, nine decentralized communities plan to test their participatory budgets. However, at the time of this report, a civil society representative confirmed that civil society does not have yet answers on this progress or any early results of the priorities addressed. [86]

The IRM researcher considers this commitment a step forward for government openness in the relevant policy area, even if it remains limited in scope or scale.

The process has limitations because it is not mandatory. Instead, municipalities volunteer to implement a participatory budget. As a result of this commitment, citizens in ten municipalities can now control part of their local authority budget, which usually goes to investment projects. [87] They debate and decide on priorities in public policies. [88] As such, this commitment is considered as having marginally opened government with respect to civic participation. According to civil society, [89] the real limits to implementing this commitment as written are the fact that it is based on the will of elected officials and is not backed by any legal measure.

The IRM researcher was unable to interview a member of the civil society who is an expert in relation to this commitment. The IRM researcher made several unanswered requests. [90]

Carried Forward?

The commitment was not carried into the new national action plan for 2018−2020.

[78] This milestone exists in the French version of the action plan, but is not mentioned in the English version.
[79] Aïcha Blegbo, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Côte d’Ivoire Progress Report 2016–2018, OGP, 2018, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cote-dIvoire_Mid-Term_IRM-Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf.
[80] IRM researcher, unanswered emails and phone calls to the OGP focal point, 11 Sept.−5 Oct. 2018.
[81] Pressecotedivoire.ci, “Six (6) communes of Cote d’Ivoire implement participatory budget,” International Observatory of Participatory Democracy (IOPD) Africa, Jul. 2018, https://oidp-afrique.org/2018/07/six-6-communes-de-cote-divoire-appliquent-budget-participatif/?v=3ba0f40775d6.
[82] Casimir Boh, “Côte d'Ivoire: The first edition of the implementation of participatory budget in Daloa officially launched; populations are invited to reflect on realistic and inclusive projects,” Koaci, 25 Oct. 2017, http://koaci.com/cote-divoire-daloa-premiere-edition-budget-participatif-lancee-populations-appelees-apporter-projets-viables-inclusifs-114288.html.
[83] Projet Budget Participatif Côte d’Ivoire website, https://www.budgetparticipatif.ci/index.php?pg=pbp.
[84] Id.
[85] Civil society representative (member of PSCI-OGP), email to IRM researcher, 30 Mar. 30, 2019.
[86] Id.
[87] Projet Budget Participatif Côte d’Ivoire website.
[88] Id.
[89] Civil society representative (member of PSCI-OGP), email to IRM researcher, 30 Mar. 2019.
[90] IRM researcher, email and phone requests to PSCI-OGP, 11 Sept.−5 Oct. 2018.

Commitments

  1. Citizen Budget

    CI0016, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Participative Decentralized Development for Preschools

    CI0017, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Whistleblower Protection

    CI0018, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  4. National Integrity Strategy

    CI0019, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  5. Asset Declaration

    CI0020, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  6. Local Participation

    CI0021, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Local Anti-Corruption Measures

    CI0022, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  8. Contraception Distribution

    CI0023, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Open Data

    CI0024, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Liberalize Television Space

    CI0025, 2018, Civic Space

  11. Publish the Number of Carats of Diamond Exported and Accompanying Kimberly Process Certificates

    CI0001, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  12. Create and Operationalize 5 Local Mining Development Committees (CDLM)

    CI0002, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  13. Release All Tax and Customs Regulations

    CI0003, 2016, E-Government

  14. Release the Communications to the Councils of Ministers on the Quarterly Implementation of the Budget

    CI0004, 2016, E-Government

  15. Publish Communications to the Council of Ministers on Contracting Process on a Quarterly Basis

    CI0005, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  16. Interconnect Public Five (05) Universities and Two (02) Business Schools.

    CI0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Set up Virtual University of Côte D'Ivoire

    CI0007, 2016, Education

  18. Install a Virtual Single Window for Public Service Request and Receipt in Order to Facilitate Access to Public Information

    CI0008, 2016, Access to Information

  19. Create and Operationalize an Open Data Portal for Côte D'Ivoire

    CI0009, 2016, Access to Information

  20. Set up and Operationalize a National Competitiveness Monitoring Body

    CI0010, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  21. Promote Access to Public Information Act

    CI0011, 2016, Access to Information

  22. Ensure the Freedom the Press and Plurality of Expression

    CI0012, 2016, Civic Space

  23. Set up Five (05) Municipal Committees to Fight Against Racketeering

    CI0013, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  24. Promote Participatory Budget in 05 Communes

    CI0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Establish and Operationalize a National Monitoring Body for the Quality of Financial Services

    CI0015, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

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