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Côte d'Ivoire

Local Participation (CI0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Côte d’Ivoire Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Executive Management of Decentralization and Local Development

Support Institution(s): Côte d'Ivoire Towns and Communes Union (UVICOCI) ; - Côte d'Ivoire and Districts and Regions Assembly (ARDCI), les Local Authorities.. CSOs

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Fiscal Openness, Local Commitments, Public Participation, Public Participation in Budget/Fiscal Policy, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Côte d’Ivoire Hybrid Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Promote participative democracy in the Ivorian collectivities.
June 2018-June 2020
Main implementing
agency/ actor
Executive Management of Decentralization and Local
Development
Commitment description
What is the public interest
issue to be addressed by
this commitment?
Most of the time, public budgets are prepared by elected
representatives and their advisors who arbitrate their choice
according to many criteria and constraints, hardly known or
explained to citizens. This may result within the population in a
perception that some lose, and others gain.
The population and local authorities receive scarce information
on the preparation, implementation, monitoring and
assessment of the local budget.
The population low involvement and participation in the
management of local affairs.
What is the commitment ?
The purpose of this commitment is to :
- Encourage local authorities to practice participatory budget
- improve governance at local level;
- stimulate populations’ participation in decision-making.
How will the commitment
contribute to solve the
public problem?
The commitment will enable the authorities to understand the
logic of populations participation in budget preparation as well
as enable the populations to understand their role in their local
budget preparation, implementation and monitoring through
awareness raising workshops and sharing good practices;
In this regard, local elected representatives will show their
political commitment by taking a decision on a municipal
council.
Why is this commitment
relevant to OGP values?
This commitment is relevant for access to information and
citizen participation.
Additional information
- This commitment enjoys a budget of CFA F 864,499,200;
- This commitment is in line with 2016-2020 NDP in its axis 4,
effect 2 and with 20191 PIP. Important activityhaving
a verifiable deliverable Start date End date
DGDDL will carry out
awareness raising and
capacity building actions
with umbrella collectivities,
local elected
representatives and civil
society.
December 2018 September 2019
Capitalization of pioneer
collectivities acquired
know-how
January 2019 July 2019
Accompanying
collectivities that have
adopted PB
June 2019 June 2020
Preparation of a guide for
good practices January 2020 June 2020
Rewarding best practices August 2019 June 2020
Contact information
Name of
responsibleperson from
the implementing agency
DAGO Djahi Lazare
Title, Ministry
- Executive Management of Decentralization and Local
Development (DGDDL) ;
- Ministry of Interior and Security.
Email and Phone
- ddjahilazare@yahoo.com ;
- lagraceakye@gmail.com;
- +225 20 22 35 76
Other
stakeholders
involved
State actors
involved
- Côte d'Ivoire Towns and Communes Union (UVICOCI) ;
- Côte d'Ivoire and Districts and Regions Assembly (ARDCI),
les Local Authorities..
CSOs,
private
sector,
multilaterals,
working
groups
Civil Society Organizations

IRM End of Term Status Summary

6. Promote participative democracy in the Ivorian collectivities

Commitment description as it appears in the action plan:

The purpose of this commitment is to:

- Encourage local authorities to practice participatory budget

- Improve governance at local level

- Stimulate populations’ participation in decision-making"

Milestones:

  1. DGDDL will carry out awareness raising and capacity building actions with umbrella collectivities, local elected representatives and civil society.
  2. Capitalization of pioneer collectivities acquired know-how through field survey
  3. Accompanying collectivities that have adopted PB
  4. Preparation of a PB guide for good practices
  5. Rewarding best practices"

Editorial note: For the full text of this commitment, see Côte d'Ivoire’s 2018-2020 action plan: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Cote-Divoire_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf.

Lead implementing agency/actor: Executive Management of Decentralization and Local Development / National and local civil society organizations; Délégation Fondation Akwaba

Start Date: June 2018

End Date: June 2020

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

Overall

Context and design

Local budgets in Côte d’Ivoire are generally prepared by elected representatives and advisors without any public input. The criteria and limitations that influence political decisions are rarely disclosed to the public. The local populations as well as local authorities receive limited information about the budget cycle from preparation, to implementation, to monitoring and assessment. According to the 2017 Open Budget Survey, at the time this commitment was planned, Côte d’Ivoire scored 0 out of 100 in providing its citizens with opportunities to engage in budget processes. There were few experiences in participatory budgeting, but communities in general were not included in local budget monitoring and evaluation. Along with a dearth of accessible government data, civil society experts [84] blamed the high rate of budget illiteracy for the low public participation in public affairs. [85]

One of the first experiences with participatory budgets in 2014 was the CITI program supported by USAID in the cities of Korhogo, Duekoue, Divo, Bouake, Abobo and Yopougon. [86] There was also a commitment included in the first OGP action plan to direct participatory budgeting in five communes (commitment 14). Within this commitment, government offered capacity-building sessions to 300 opinion leaders and 50 facilitators on social accountability tools, facilitation techniques, and prioritization of community projects. [87] Beyond the objective, citizens in ten municipalities began to debate and decide on public policy priorities and to manage part of their local authority budget. [88] However, the absence of mandatory legal requirements created significant obstacles to the expansion of this pilot project.

The commitment in this action plan encourages local authorities to practice participatory budgeting, improving governance and citizen participation in public decision-making. This is combined with Côte d’Ivoire’s National Development Plan 2016-2020. The principal activities cover awareness-raising and capacity building with local elected representatives, umbrella groups/communities and civil society, capitalizing on the experience of pioneer communities through field surveys, supporting participatory budgeting processes, preparing a guide on the topic and rewarding best practices. Overall, this commitment is verifiable, but it could benefit from more specific objectives and milestones. There are important elements that remain unclear: how many communities will introduce participatory budgeting and how will it be enforced, what type and how many awareness-raising and capacity-building actions will be carried out, who are the pioneer communities and how do we benefit from their experience, and how will best practices be rewarded?

Despite a lack of specificity, this commitment is relevant to the values of access to information and civic participation, as it would present updated budgetary information and opportunities for citizens to be involved in public policy and local decision-making. By encouraging local governments to practice participatory budgeting, the potential impact is considered as moderate. It cannot be qualified as transformative, since it requires more detailed milestones and, civil society representatives that were consulted by the IRM researcher conceded that participatory budget mechanisms at the local level would require a national law to support widespread implementation. [89]

Early results

All but two of the planned activities were completed by the end of implementation. [90] For training sessions (milestone 1), two workshops were organized in 2019 and in 2020 (although the activity was supposed to finish in September 2019) about the theory and practical steps of participatory budgeting. The first session was held in Abidjan from April 1-9, 2019, with 15 participants including local representatives, umbrella territorial communities and civil society organizations, primarily from La Mé. There was another session in Jacqueville from May 9 to 17 2020, attended by 16 government employees and civil society representatives, mainly from the Grands-Ponts and Agnéby-Tiassa Regions. [91] Following these sessions, up to seven communities expressed political will to introduce participatory budgeting and the respective municipal councils debated the issue. [92]

Additionally, several communes implementing participatory budgeting were supported by the General Directorate for Decentralization and Local Development (DGDDL) (milestone 3). The number of communities and style of support were not described in detail, but a DGDDL member explained that training was provided to local officials and civil society representatives. DGDDL has followed and evaluated NGO pilot programmes since 2017, respectively in 6 communes in Iffou and Moronou and in 10 regional capital cities. [93] A field survey (milestone 2) organized between April and June 2020 to evaluate and capitalize the experience of pioneer communes practicing participatory budgeting, although the details and results of this survey were not submitted to the IRM researcher.

There is no evidence of the participatory budgeting guide (milestone 4), although the government self-assessment stated that it was underway. The DGDDL representative acknowledged that it had been postponed no sufficient feedback had been collected. [94] For rewarding best practices in participatory budgeting (milestone 5), this activity was not initiated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [95]

In conclusion, the commitment’s early results can be qualified as marginal. A shortage of national legal requirements and regulatory framework inhibited participatory budgeting from evolving as common practice among local authorities However, according to a civil society representative interviewed, communities in the pilot areas were able “to take part in the preparation, decision-making process, implementation and follow-up of their local budget” in several communes and cities. [96]

Participatory budgeting, which was introduced as the first action plan, is a promising area in Côte d’Ivoire's open government reforms. The IRM researcher supports its continuation in the 3rd action plan, with a more concrete commitment that is precise and measurable, with clear, verifiable objectives and milestones to secure implementation. Civil society representatives determined that a legal framework would be required for mandatary participatory budgeting concerning local governments as well as producing a practical guide to facilitate citizen participation around budget concerns. Both of these demands are in commitment 1 of the 2020-2022 action plan, which prioritizes adoption of legal texts and guides to standardize and develop participatory budgeting at the community level. For the most recent recommendations on how to advance open government through participatory budgeting, see Côte d’Ivoire's 2020-2022 Action Plan Review. [97]

[84] Civil society representative, e-mail exchanges in March 2019.
[85] Civil society representative, e-mail exchanges in March 2019.
[89] Civil society representative, email communication on May 11, 2021.
[90] Mrs. Mariama Koné, Government representative and Chair of the Technical Committee, and Mrs. Chantal Angoua and Mr. Oumarou Coulibaly, contacts at the CT-OGP, interviewed by the IRM researcher by phone, April 16, 2021.
[91] Reports from capacity-building sessions, April 1-9, 2019 and May 9-17, 2020, sent by the OGP focal point to IRM research. Each session had 15 participants, 9 from government and 6 from civil society organizations.
[92] 7 communes followed participatory budgeting, according to the Representative(s) of Direction Générale de la Décentralisation et du Développement Local, ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité, e-mail communication sent by the Technical Committee on April 27, 2021. The IRM researcher was provided with 4 letters of adhesion and deliberation programmes from the Mayors of Oumé, Dabou, Tiassalé and Agou, dated April and June 2019.
[93] Representative(s) of Direction Générale de la Décentralisation et du Développement Local, ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité, e-mail communication sent by the Technical Committee on April 27, 2021. The evidence provided to the IRM researcher included a field visit assignment in February 2020 to Davo and Gagnoa and the intermediary evaluation report of the project “promoting participatory budgeting” in Abengourou, Bondoukou, Daloa, Divo, Duekoué, Ferkessédougou, Gagnoa, Korhogo, Man, et Yamoussoukro. Another document provided was the front page of the evaluation of the participatory budgeting experience from 2017 to 2019, in 6 communes in the regions of Iffou and Moronou.
[94] The IRM concludes that there was no progress with regard to the participatory budgeting guide, especially since it was included in the next action plan.
[95] Côte d’Ivoire Self-assessment report of action plan 2018-20 and Mrs. Mariama Koné, Government representative and Chair of the Technical Committee, and Mrs. Chantal Angoua and Mr. Oumarou Coulibaly, contacts at the CT-OGP, interviewed by the IRM researcher by phone, April 16, 2021.
[96] Civil society representative, email communication on May 11, 2021.
[97] Independent Reporting Mechanism. Côte d’Ivoire's 2020-2022 Action Plan Review. June 2021. https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/cote-divoire-action-plan-review-2020-2022-for-public-comment/

Commitments

Open Government Partnership