Increasing the capacity for co-creative policy-making within local governments (EE0055)
Action Plan: Estonia Action Plan 2020-2022
Action Plan Cycle: 2020
Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior
Support Institution(s): State actors involved Ministry of the Interior Other Actors Involved E-Governance Academy, The Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities
Policy AreasCapacity Building, Local Commitments, Public Participation
2.1 Introducing the principles of open government within local governments
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? The adoption of principles of open governance in local governments is work in progress. Although various activities are being carried out, the principles of open government are often not established throughout the activities of local governments. Elva Rural Municipality and the City of Tartu are good examples of preparation of OGP action plan and open government activities. With the support of the European Social Fund project, Lääneranna and Valga municipalities have also developed an OGP action plan, and the City of Rakvere is currently developing an OGP action plan. In a survey of local governments concluded in the autumn of 2019, six local governments pointed out that, as at the end of 2018, they had an OGP action plan (some as part of a development plan). The results show that there is a need to increase awareness of broader planning for open government.
What is the commitment? In order to develop the principles of open government and raise awareness of their implementation at the local level, the goal is to organize open government workshops for local governments. The exact content and structure of the workshops are currently under development. In the past, projects for the development of open government action plans based on individual local governments have been supported. The practical workshops being planned would allow for a more thematic approach and a certain degree of regularity. With seminars intended for a much broader target group, it is possible to reach more local governments than with project-based support for few local governments. One of the possible solutions is to focus on a specific topic in different workshops (e.g. electronic sessions, transparency in decisions), depending on the expectations of the participants, analysing previously established practices. Experience has shown that seminars are effective where, 15 in addition to theoretical solutions, the participating local governments themselves are analysed and the experiences and best practices of others are introduced.
How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? Workshops increase the policy-making skills of local governments and, at the same time, help develop activities that are suitable for them.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Transparency Civic participation
Additional information The activity supports the achievement of the strategic goal of ‘Estonia 2035’, in which ‘Estonia is an innovative, reliable and people-centred country’.
Milestone Activity Result Start date End date Development of the terms of reference for open government workshops and the preparation of workshops The methodology for workshops has been developed 08.2020 12.2020 Organisation of open government workshops The workshops have been conducted (the number of participations is 120) 01.2021 06.2022
2.2 Increasing co-creative policy-making skills and the contribution of communities in local governments
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? One of the key issues in open government is the involvement of members of the public and civic associations in the decision-making processes. A 2018 survey of non-profit associations revealed that co-operation between local governments and non-governmental organizations has stalled (40% of associations have permanent co-operation relations with local governments).12 Involvement projects and a central training program are working, and satisfaction with them is high; however, the number of activities intended for local governments in particular must be increased. Within many local governments, there is a lack of perception concerning the importance of community involvement, and there is no overview of the communities in their area. Thus, over the last three election cycles, the rate of participation in local government council elections has decreased from 60.6% to 53.3%. Many citizens’ initiatives take place in communities and neighbourhoods, among peer groups and acquaintances. Communities have a major role to play in people-to-people contacts, debate and joint action, and in shaping an environment that supports health, at both the local and the national level. The development of policy can only be co-creative if, in addition to the representative organizations of civil society, communities also participate in these processes. As opposed to the activities described above (2.1), this activity focuses more narrowly on community involvement.
What is the commitment? To implement a co-creative policy development program with the participation of at least five local governments. As part of the programme, local governments – in co-operation with residents and, if necessary, also with Kodukant, the Estonian Village Movement – determine and identify their communities, and existing co-operation methods are collected, analysed and methodically described. A co-creation development program will then be implemented for at least five local governments and, in cooperation with representatives from the 12 Tallinn University, Estonian Business School, Turu-uuringute AS. Interim evaluation of the Civil Society Development Plan (2019). 17 communities a model for involving local residents will be developed which, keeping in mind the best practices, could be used in the future to involve communities more actively in the decision-making process of local governments. In order to evaluate the activity, a satisfaction survey will be conducted among the participants (of the participating local government units and the communities).
How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? A systemic approach allows for the exchange of experiences and increases the openness of governance. Contributing to communities helps to create a good living environment, where people want to live and start a family.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Transparency Civic participation
Additional information The activities support the achievement of the strategic goals of ‘Estonia 2035’ ‘Smart, active and healthy people living in Estonia’ and ‘Estonian society is caring, cooperative and open’. Also the objectives of the ‘Development Plan for Population and Cohesive Society until 2030’ (under preparation) are supported.
Milestone Activity Result Start date End date Collection and analysis of co-creation methods (including surveys and interviews with the representatives of local governments and communities) At least five local governments and five communities have given input. 08.2020 12.2020 Description of the collected co-creation methods in cooperation with local governments and community representatives At least five methods are described. 01.2021 06.2021 Implementation of a co-creative policy development program for at least five local governments Five local governments have participated in the development programme. 01.2021 12.2021 Development of a concept model supporting an increase in the contribution by the community, in cooperation with local governments and community representatives The concept is ready on time. 01.2021 06.2021 Testing the concept of a model supporting an increase in contributions by communities The model has been tested in five local governments. 07.2021 12.2021 Improving the model supporting an increase in input by communities and agreeing on further development and administration Follow-up activities have been agreed upon. 01.2022 06.2022 18 Commitment 3: Increasing the transparency of policy-maki"
IRM Midterm Status Summary
Commitment 2: Increase co-creative policy-making capacity within local governments
• Verifiable: Yes
• Does it have an open government lens? Yes
• Potential for results: Modest