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France

Culture Change (FR0024)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France, First Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry for Decentralization and the Civil Service; Ministry of State for State Reform and Simplification, attached to the Prime Minister; Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building

IRM Review

IRM Report: France End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, France Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

STAKES Public agents must be the actors of the changes enabled by the digital revolution, the open data policy and the open government policy.

CONTEXT & AIM Actions to raise awareness and develop among public officials a data and digital literacy, such as those already implemented by Etalab (Vademecum on the opening and sharing of public data32, "Bonjour Data" events, open data camps…), by the Secretariat-General for Government Modernization (SGMAP), by ministries and by local and regional authorities, must be intensified. The civil service schools are also committed to promoting the spread of culture of openness, data and innovation, by incorporating more training programs on digital matters and data.

ROADMAP
• Produce, jointly with civil society, training modules on open data, the use of data and open government, targeting public officials
• Include more modules on the use of data and open government in initial and continuing training programs provided by national and regional civil service training schools
- Include these modules in the curricula of the Ecole Nationale de l’Administration (ENA), of the Ecole de la Modernisation de l’Etat (EME) and in any other schools that wish to support these programs,
• Increase awareness on digital issues for central administration managers and support the implementation of digital transformation projects
- Identify requirements, practices, difficulties and desires of central administration managers concerning digital transformation issues for society and public policies within their scope of action
- Set up a first seminar in Autumn 2016, for awareness-raising, training and action on digital issues they have identified and wish to address

IRM End of Term Status Summary

21. Grow a culture of openness, data literacy and digital technologies

Commitment Text:

ROADMAP

1. Produce, jointly with civil society, training modules on open data, the use of data and open government, targeting public officials

2. Include more modules on the use of data and open government in initial and continuing training programs provided by national and regional civil service training schools

· Include these modules in the curricula of the Ecole Nationale de l'Administration (ENA), of the Ecole de la Modernisation de l'Etat (EME) and in any other schools that wish to support these programs

3. Increase awareness on digital issues for central administration managers and support the implementation of digital transformation projects:

· Identify requirements, practices, difficulties and desires of central administration managers concerning digital transformation issues for society and public policies within their scope of action

· Set up a first seminar in Autumn 2016, for awareness-raising, training and action on digital issues they have identified and wish to address

Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text please see France's national action plan: https://bit.ly/2MTYhsR.

Responsible Institutions: Ministry for Decentralization and the Civil Service; Ministry of State for State Reform and Simplification, attached to the Prime Minister; Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA)

Supporting Institution(s): N/A

Start Date: Not Specified 

End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to increase the digital literacy of public officials, as well as civil service students who are prospective public officials. Digital literacy, defined as a set of competencies required for full participation in the digital society, has become a core skill for the workforce and citizens in general. It has been argued that the public sector and elected officials in France have significant knowledge gaps in digital literacy. An article by Laure Belot, a journalist at Le Monde, claimed that even the political and social elite in France are overwhelmed by digital technology.[Note153: Laure Belot, “Les elites debordees par le numerique” (Le Monde, 6 Apr. 2016). http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2013/12/26/les-elites-debordees-par-le-numerique_4340397_651865.html (accessed 6 Oct. 2017).]This commitment aimed to address this insufficiency by producing training modules on open data and open government for current public officials and civil servants, as well as including modules on these issues in the initial training of future public officials and civil servants.

Overall, the commitment activities focus on changing internal government practices and reinforcing affirmative attitudes toward openness in data and digital information, and do not disclose a significant amount of new information or improve the quality of disclosed information. One of the commitment activities does include engaging civil society to train public officials, which is participation. However, there is no specific description of what this would entail. These activities are a critical first step toward improving the culture of access to information, but by itself they are not relevant to access to information because the activities do not include publishing resources or data.

Status

Midterm: Limited

Completion of this commitment was limited at the midterm. During the first year of implementation, several training modules were developed:

· the National Conservatory for Arts and Crafts in Paris and Bretagne launched a one-year vocational certificate, “National innovation and digital data,” for civil servants;

· Open Data France launched a training with Datactiv.ist[Note154: Disclaimer: Datactivi.st, the organization involved in training local civil servants on statistical analysis tools, hired the IRM researcher, Cecile LeGuen, responsible for assessing implementation of the first year of the OGP Action Plan. However, while the researcher attended the training module, the researcher was not involved in the design of this training program.] called “Introduction to R and Data Science” for local civil servants; and

· the Next-Generation Internet Foundation (FING) designed the Infolab program for the public and private sectors.

Most of these trainings were developed by civil society in partnership with public institutions and attracted few civil servants. The French government was not the driving force behind the trainings and did not sufficiently advertise the programs. In addition, the midterm assessment noted that the trainings were too technical and targeted civil servants who already had a good sense of data literacy rather than a broader, less technical audience. Trainings for civil service schools were more successful, with the National School of Administration (ENA) launching a continuing training program entitled “Ouvrir et partager des données publiques” (opening and sharing public goods). At Sciences Po Paris, two classes provide training to civil service students on the use of data and open government.

Lastly, at the Regional Institute of Administration (IRA), students organised a two-day seminar on how digital technologies can transform government administration. According to the self-assessment, the government held a 2016 seminar for directors of central administrations; the seminar discussed digital innovation and e-government but no public information on decisions made during this seminar was available.

End of Term Limited

Completion of this commitment is still considered limited at the end of term. The government began training and awareness-raising initiatives but these were hindered by a lack of high-level support and resources.

Etalab works with a network of open data (not open government) correspondents in each ministry and organises monthly meetings to facilitate communication and collaboration within this group. There is also a network of ministerial data administrators for higher level civil servants. Stakeholders note that the awareness and interest for open data and open government is not equal across ministries.[Note155: Member of Open Source Politics, personal communication with the IRM researcher, 31 Oct. 2017; Former member of the Prime Minister's cabinet, personal communication with the IRM researcher, 6 Nov. 2017.] Etalab still lacks sufficient leverage to centralise and spread information in an efficient manner[Note156: Etalab team, personal communication with the IRM researcher, 23 Oct. 2017.] and stakeholders recognised that despite the efforts of the Etalab team, awareness and uptake remain anecdotal. One of the problems identified by stakeholders is the general lack of high-level support for the topic overall as well as for the activities of the open data correspondents in each ministry.[Note157: Former member of the Prime Minister's cabinet, personal communication with the IRM researcher, 6 Nov. 2017.] The Etalab team is currently working on an open data guide to train administrators and raise awareness about the benefits of open data.

On the issue of data literacy, Etalab works with intermediaries, such as OpenData France, for local governments. OpenDataFrance organised a training of trainers on open data and data literacy in Aix-en-Provence in September 2017 and in Valence in July 2017. Ten people became trainers after these sessions. Additional sessions will be organised in Paris in October 2017.[Note158: OpenData France, OpenDataLocal: 1e promotion de formateurs (OpenData France, 27 Sept. 2017), http://www.opendatafrance.net/2017/09/27/opendatalocale-1ere-promotion-de-formateurs/ (accessed 6 Oct. 2017).]

Did It Open Government?

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

As written, this commitment was found not largely relevant to OGP values, since the activities were restricted to reforming internal government procedures. Given the lack of a digital culture and awareness within the administration, the activities of this commitment are not completely irrelevant.[Note159: Former member of the Prime Minister's cabinet, personal communication with the IRM researcher, 6 Nov. 2017.] However, they do not fit OGP standards for impacting government beyond internally-focused activities. The lack of public information regarding high-level activities concerning digital knowledge and training makes it difficult for the IRM researcher to gauge completion of this activity.

One potential avenue for increased civic participation was the involvement of civil society in producing open data training modules. However, as indicated in the midterm IRM report, these trainings developed by civil society attracted few civil servants (the target audience) and based on public information, there is no clear evidence of the trainings leading to any significant change in government practices. As such, this commitment did not contribute to opening government with respect to civic participation. It should be noted that the need for training and awareness-raising was seen as central by a large number of stakeholders. Sarah Labelle, a scholar on the Etalab team in 2016, identified insufficient knowledge about open data as an important obstacle to opening government in France.[Note160: Sarah Labelle, personal communication with the IRM researcher, 2 Nov. 2017.] OpenData France came to the same conclusion regarding local governments.[Note161: OpenData France, Rapport sur les dispositifs d'accompagnement des collectivites locales a l'ouverture des donnees publiques (OpenData France, Oct. 2016), https://cdn2.nextinpact.com/medias/rapport-odf-ct.pdf.]

As noted in the midterm report, at the start of this commitment implementation period, the culture of openness, data literacy, or open government was not common knowledge for the majority of students of public affairs. Such training modules simply did not exist in the curriculum of high-ranking administration schools and the creation and implementation of such a culture was seen as highly beneficial and would impact all levels of government. This commitment constitutes a step towards data literacy in the civil service, which in turn is a pre-requisite for contributing to better access to information and a more open government in general.

Carried Forward?

This commitment was carried over to the next action plan, with a focus on the designation of data administrators in all ministries and on the creation of digital service incubators in all ministries.


France's Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, E-Government

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Aid

  4. Expand open data

    FR0033, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improved data policies and administration

    FR0034, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open data at sub-national level

    FR0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. State AI lab

    FR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Administrative capacity-building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline data flows

    FR0040, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Etat forum

    FR0041, 2018, E-Government

  13. Online procedures dashboard

    FR0042, 2018, E-Government

  14. GovTech summit

    FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. Imrove public consultation mechanisms

    FR0044, 2018, E-Government

  16. International transparency and citizen participation

    FR0045, 2018, Aid

  17. Public pariticipation in sustainable development

    FR0046, 2018, Capacity Building

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, E-Government

  19. Citizen involvement in Cour des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Private sector transparency

    FR0049, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  21. Access to information on public officials

    FR0050, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  23. Publish municipal council decisions and reports online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish building permits in open data format

    FR0003, 2015, Open Data

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Aid

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, E-Government

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Labor

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-it

    FR0013, 2015, Open Data

  35. Co-produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Open Data

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Public Participation

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Judiciary

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Land & Spatial Planning

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Open Data

  41. Open Platform for Government Resources

    FR0020, 2015, E-Government

  42. Improve Public Services through E-Government and User Interaction

    FR0021, 2015, E-Government

  43. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

    FR0022, 2015, E-Government

  44. Diversify Recruitment within Public Institutions

    FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  45. Culture Change

    FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  46. Spread Public Innovation

    FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Protect Against Conflicts of Interest

    FR0026, 2015, Conflicts of Interest

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Open Data

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate