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France

International Transparency and Citizen Participation (FR0045)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Agence française de développement (AFD)

Support Institution(s): Expertise France, French Agency for Media Cooperation (CFI

Policy Areas

Aid, Capacity Building, Public Service Delivery, Science & Technology

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: Pending IRM Review

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Supporting the implementation of the principles of transparency and citizen participation at the international level
Lead institution(s):
Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Agence française de développement (AFD)
Other stakeholders:
Expertise France, French Agency for Media Cooperation (CFI
New commitment
OGP principles with which the commitment is associated:
Access to information, participation, accountability, innovation and technology at the service of openness
Challenges
One of France’s objectives as co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) was to extend the partnership to new countries, French-speaking countries in particular. OGP membership is both an acknowledgment of countries’ efforts to foster greater transparency and a commitment to continuing to promote openness, with and for the population.
Becoming a member of the OGP also means joining a global network of public-action reformers that have already tested out a range of innovative reforms and tools affecting all areas of public life and sustainable development, including public officials’ integrity, countering corruption, ecological transition and citizen participation. Each member benefits from and contributes to an ongoing dynamic of exchange between peers.
The OGP takes on special importance in such States as Tunisia and Burkina Faso, which have recently undergone major democratic transitions and whose citizens are demanding the right to participate in public life.
Ambitions
Support the French-speaking countries in implementation of the principles of transparency in public action and citizen participation
The Agence française de développement (AFD) has launched the Projet d’Appui aux Gouvernements Ouverts dans les Pays en Développement Francophones (PAGOF – Project on Open Governments in French-speaking Developing Countries). The project aims to improve governance in several French-speaking countries that are OGP members or nearing eligibility for membership, by assisting them in implementing institutional procedures and frameworks for consultations that comply with Open Government principles.
The project has been granted a €4.5-million subsidy and will assist French-speaking countries in two ways:
Extending administrations’ and civil society’s capacities (NGOs, associations, media, digital community, etc.) in target countries, through sharing knowhow, funding external expertise, networking players and building on successful experiments.
Expertise France and Canal France International (CFI) will be the expert operators responsible for implementing this part of the project, for a total of 3.5 million euros.
The AFD’s participation in the Multi-Donor Trust Fund set up in the context of the OGP and managed by the World Bank. The fund will be used to finance projects and technological assistance enabling implementation of Open Government reforms in OGP member countries, accompany countries that do not yet meet the criteria for OGP membership, and support research on Open Government. This part of the project has been allocated 1 million euros.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is supplementing this financial support to innovative projects on transparency with an “innovative digital solution” prize. Awarded in partnership with Transparency International, the prize is meant to reward three projects bearing on opening of data or digital solutions that facilitate interaction between the Government and citizens or help combat corruption. It will encourage emergence of digital tools in support of democratic governance as well as make best use of and motivate the network of French- speaking “civic tech” players to collect and disseminate best practices. The prize is set to be awarded every other year.
1The road map in detail

Provide technical and financial support, via the PAGOF, to achievement of OGP member countries’ National Action Plans (Tunisia, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast) and network countries intending to join the OGP December 2017 to December 2020
Participate in the OGP’s Multi-Donor Fund through the PAGOF, funding projects enabling better implementation of Open Government principles, in particular in countries that have just become eligible for OGP membership, and research projects on open government December 2017 to December 2020
Perpetuate the “innovative digital solution” prize rewarding 3 projects on countering corruption to the tune of 10,000 euros per project, and monitor their implementation (first edition in 2017) September 2017 to December 2020

IRM Midterm Status Summary

16. Supporting the implementation of the principles of transparency and citizen participation at the international level

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

Support the French-speaking countries in implementation of the principles of transparency in public action and citizen participation

The Agence française de développement (AFD) has launched the Projet d’Appui aux Gouvernements Ouverts dans les Pays en Développement Francophones (PAGOF – Project on Open Governments in French-speaking Developing Countries). The project aims to improve governance in several French-speaking countries that are OGP members or nearing eligibility for membership, by assisting them in implementing institutional procedures and frameworks for consultations that comply with Open Government principles.

The project has been granted a €4.5-million subsidy and will assist French-speaking countries in two ways:

  • Extending administrations’ and civil society’s capacities (NGOs, associations, media, digital community, etc.) in target countries, through sharing knowhow, funding external expertise, networking players and building on successful experiments. Expertise France and Canal France International (CFI) will be the expert operators responsible for implementing this part of the project, for a total of 3.5 million euros.
  • The AFD’s participation in the Multi-Donor Trust Fund set up in the context of the OGP and managed by the World Bank. The fund will be used to finance projects and technological assistance enabling implementation of Open Government reforms in OGP member countries, accompany countries that do not yet meet the criteria for OGP membership, and support research on Open Government. This part of the project has been allocated 1 million euros.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is supplementing this financial support to innovative projects on transparency with an “innovative digital solution” prize. Awarded in partnership with Transparency International, the prize is meant to reward three projects bearing on opening of data or digital solutions that facilitate interaction between the Government and citizens or help combat corruption. It will encourage emergence of digital tools in support of democratic governance as well as make best use of and motivate the network of French- speaking “civic tech” players to collect and disseminate best practices. The prize is set to be awarded every other year. [62]

Milestones

16.1 Provide technical and financial support, via the PAGOF, to achievement of OGP member countries’ National Action Plans (Tunisia, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast) and network countries intending to join the OGP

16.2 Participate in the OGP’s Multi-Donor Fund through the PAGOF, funding projects enabling better implementation of Open Government principles, in particular in countries that have just become eligible for OGP membership, and research projects on open government

16.3 Perpetuate the “innovative digital solution” prize rewarding 3 projects on countering corruption to the tune of 10,000 euros per project, and monitor their implementation (first edition in 2017)

Start Date: 2018

End Date: 2020

Context and Objectives

Since its co-chairmanship of OGP 2016-2018, France has worked to broaden the scope of the partnership to include new countries, focusing particularly on French-speaking countries. Having English and Spanish as the official languages of OGP has acted as an obstacle to French-speaking countries joining OGP. This commitment aims to open the partnership to new members by breaking language barriers and providing financial and technical support to governments and civil society.

France will work through the Agence Française de Développement’s Project on Open Governments in French-speaking Developing Countries. This commitment seeks to improve governance in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Tunisia, which are already members of the OGP. It also seeks to improvement governance in new OGP countries, such as Morocco and Senegal, and assist them in complying with OGP principles, methodologies, and procedures.

The relevant government agencies plan to achieve these goals firstly by raising awareness about open government and OGP within the target countries and secondly by supporting the technical implementation of four to five commitments per national action plan. [63] The commitment also requires France’s participation in the OGP Multi-Donor Fund and in the continuation of the “innovative digital solution” prize. That prize rewards anti-corruption and transparency projects of citizens from French-speaking partner countries.

The commitment aims to make a relevant contribution to solving the problem of OGP accessibility in French-speaking countries. However, as written, the commitment does not improve access to information or citizen participation, nor does it create new opportunities to hold public officials accountable in the French context. Despite the commitment being important for the OGP platform and the different country members, it does not include enough domestic components to judge its relevance to OGP values.

The commitment, as written, is specific enough to be verifiable. However, the text has a low level of specificity. As written, the milestones read as objectives rather than activities. It would be useful, for future action plans, to add details about the type of technical support envisaged or the geographic scope of the commitment.

The IRM researcher deems this initiative to have a minor potential impact. The commitment text does not provide sufficient information about the governance problems within the different countries to be able to evaluate the effect that the support activities would have. More importantly, the IRM researcher highlights that, as written, the commitment could have effects on other countries’ efforts to open government, but it is not clear how the commitment could have an impact on domestic practices.

Next steps

Given the exclusively international focus of this commitment, the IRM researcher recommends that this commitment not be carried forward into the next action plan. International collaboration is a main feature of OGP and France’s efforts to facilitate French-speaking countries’ access to the partnership. However, OGP action plans are typically meant to focus domestically rather than building other countries’ open government initiatives. The government could, however, merge the commitments that concern development aid, to make them overall relevant to France’s domestic OGP objectives.

 

[62] 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).
[63] Sarah Hayes, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, email exchange with IRM researcher, 15 February 2019.

Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Access to Information

  4. Expand Open Data

    FR0033, 2018, Access to Information

  5. Improved Data Policies and Administration

    FR0034, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open Data at Sub-National Level

    FR0036, 2018, Access to Information

  8. State AI Lab

    FR0037, 2018, Automated Decision-Making

  9. Administrative Capacity-Building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline Data Flows

    FR0040, 2018, Access to Information

  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, Access to Information

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, Access to Information

  19. Citizen Involvement in Cour Des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Access to Information

  20. Private Sector Transparency

    FR0049, 2018, Access to Information

  21. Access to Information on Public Officials

    FR0050, 2018, Access to Information

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Access to Information

  23. Publish Municipal Council Decisions and Reports Online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish Building Permits in Open Data Format

    FR0003, 2015, Access to Information

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Access to Information

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Access to Information

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour Des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Access to Information

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, Access to Information

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Access to Information

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-It

    FR0013, 2015, Access to Information

  35. Co-Produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Access to Information

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Access to Information

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Open Regulations

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Access to Justice

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Access to Information

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open Data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Access to Information

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate

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