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France

Open Etat Forum (FR0041)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Minister of State for the Digital Sector, attached to the Prime Minister

Support Institution(s): Datactivist and Vraiment Vraiment The open government community (civil society organisation, startups, civic tech, researchers, think tanks)

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: France Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Develop new formats for exchanging ideas with civil society: the "Open d’Etat" Forum
Lead institution(s):
Minister of State for the Digital Sector, attached to the Prime Minister
Other stakeholders:
Datactivist and Vraiment Vraiment
The open government community (civil society organisation, startups, civic tech, researchers, think tanks)
New commitment
OGP principles with which the commitment is associated:
Accountability, opening of digital resources, civic participation, open innovation
Challenges
Open government is grounded in the principles of accountability and dialogue between citizens and civil society. The aim of the "Open d’Etat" (open government multi-stakeholder) forums is to offer an informal discussion space where citizens and State officials can discuss a given theme, share knowledge, practices and experiences.
Their format was designed in liaison with citizens and public officials during an open participatory workshop on 12 March 2018.
"Open d'Etat" Forums are a community of stakeholders who meet to help expedite public action reform. This community brings together public officials working on innovative projects as well as civil society stakeholders with an interest in tangible projects aimed at transforming public action.
The intention is for this format to be improved in line with participants' feedback.
Ambitions
Set in motion the first cycle of "Open d'Etat" Forums on five main work packages of the National Action Plan;
Expand and consolidate the "Open d’Etat" community;
Develop an online dialogue space to enable progress on the work packages outside of the Forums;
Improve the format as and when results and feedback come in from participants, civil society and the authorities.
The road map in detail

Trial a discussion forum format by organising 5 "Open d’Etat" forums so as to monitor implementation of France's National Action Plan for the OGP Semester 2 2018
Develop an online dialogue space to enable progress on the work packages outside of the Forums Semester 2 2018
Document the format of the "Open d’Etat" forums to enable the authorities to give feedback 2019
Keepthe"Opend’Etat"Forumsgoing Semester 2 2019

IRM Midterm Status Summary

12. Develop new formats for exchanging ideas with civil society: the "Open d’Etat" Forum

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

Open government is grounded in the principles of accountability and dialogue between citizens and civil society. The aim of the "Open d’Etat" (open government multi-stakeholder) forums is to offer an informal discussion space where citizens and State officials can discuss a given theme, share knowledge, practices and experiences.

Their format was designed in liaison with citizens and public officials during an open participatory workshop on 12 March 2018.

"Open d'Etat" Forums are a community of stakeholders who meet to help expedite public action reform. This community brings together public officials working on innovative projects as well as civil society stakeholders with an interest in tangible projects aimed at transforming public action.

The intention is for this format to be improved in line with participants' feedback.

Set in motion the first cycle of "Open d'Etat" Forums on five main work packages of the National Action Plan;

Expand and consolidate the "Open d’Etat" community;

Develop an online dialogue space to enable progress on the work packages outside of the Forums;

Improve the format as and when results and feedback come in from participants, civil society and the authorities. [51]

Milestones

12.1 Trial a discussion forum format by organising 5 "Open d’Etat" forums so as to monitor implementation of France's National Action Plan for the OGP

12.2 Develop an online dialogue space to enable progress on the work packages outside of the Forums

12.3 Document the format of the "Open d’Etat" forums to enable the authorities to give feedback

12.4 Keep the "Open d’Etat" Forums going

Start Date: 2018

End Date: 2019

Context and Objectives

In the OGP framework, co-production and the participation of civil society constitute core principles. France has not established a traditional multi-stakeholder forum for the development of the action plan and the follow-up of its implementation. Instead, France opted to establish the Forum Open d’Etat, which consists of thematic forums that are open to civil society and public officials. Etalab justifies the choice to make the forums thematic by pointing to the diversity of topics within the action plan – these topics not mobilizing the same publics. [52] Establishing a platform for dialogue with civil society contributes to the core of the OGP process and is a component of the country’s fulfillment of the OGP requirements for co-creation. Thus, it is not necessary to include formation of such a platform as a commitment of the action plan.

This commitment aims to facilitate the inclusion of civil society in the implementation of various commitments. It intends to do so through disseminating information and promoting active participation in solving problems identified by relevant government agencies. The commitment aims to make the model of the Forum Open d’Etat replicable outside of the monitoring of the OGP action plan. It also plans to bring the Forum online to build on the in-person discussions during the physical forums.

The IRM researcher considers this commitment to be relevant to civic participation. The Forum constitutes an opportunity for citizens, companies, and other public officials to take part in shaping the work of government agencies in commitments. Etalab develops accessible documentation for each of the forums, according to the participants’ knowledge level. The format of the Forum was developed together with civil society actors. The Forum could potentially represent an opportunity for the public to hold the government and the administration accountable, even if the commitment text does not clearly require any public accountability mechanism. The Forum Open d’Etat aims not to monitor the advancement of the commitments but rather to create a space where different groups can meet, learn from each other, and work together around different themes.

Overall, this commitment is verifiable. The first two milestones contain concrete actions (e.g., organize five forums, develop an online platform). The third and fourth milestones provide fewer details about the activities envisaged. (E.g., what is meant by “document the format”? should the Forum Open d’Etat exist outside the implementation of the OGP action plan?)

The IRM researcher deems this initiative to have a potential minor effect. If fully implemented, the commitment could change government practice. It could lead to the involvement of relevant groups from civil society and the business sector. These parties could help solve problems and overcome obstacles that the administration identifies and seeks assistance with (e.g., how to best present data, how to make it user-friendly, among others). Moreover, the hands-on activities of the forums enable relevant government agencies to integrate participants’ feedback in their projects, sometimes on the spot. [53] As previously mentioned, such a platform should be considered as part of the core requirements and not as a stand-alone commitment.

Next steps                                                                                                                 

Given that this commitment is already significantly underway, the IRM researcher suggests that this commitment not be carried forward to the next action plan. The government could, however:

  • Generalize this original format to areas outside open government themes, to avoid limiting its scope; and
  • Formalize the Forum Open d’Etat as France’s multi-stakeholder forum to develop future action plans and monitor their implementation.
[51] For a Transparent and Collaborative Government: France National Action Plan 2018–2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/France-Action-Plan-2018-2020-English.pdf (accessed on 10 January 2019).
[52] Officials from the Etalab mission, interview with IRM researcher, 20 November 2018.
[53] During one of the forums, participants’ feedback helped improve the usability of opened datasets, according to Cécile Le Guen, Datactivist, interview with IRM researcher, 11 January 2019.

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, Justice

  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

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