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Germany

Local Alliances for Family Initiative (DE0011)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Germany National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)

Support Institution(s): Municipalities, rural districts, schools, associations, businesses, charities, support and advisory services, independent child and youth welfare agencies, employers’ associations, employment agencies/centres and chambers; “Success Factor Family” network

Policy Areas

Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Germany Implementation Report 2017-2019, Germany Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Description: Local alliances bring together policy-makers, businesses and civil society to discuss how work and family commitments can be combined and develop measures to support families. Aim: Expanding family-friendly measures at local level, also by using more digital information formats. Status quo: About 620 local alliances for family offer specific measures for businesses and families to reconcile family and work commitments at local level. Since the federal Local Alliances for Family initiative launched in 2004, these local alliances between municipalities, businesses, employment agencies, care facilities, free initiatives and engaged citizens have been created and have noticeably improved the compatibility of family and work, e.g. through online family guidebooks, holiday care for children and advisory services for businesses. Ambition: Further strengthening public awareness of the issue of combining family and work commitments, providing more professional communication channels for stakeholders and addressees (online community) and expanding cooperation. New or ongoing: ongoing Implemented by: Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) Organizations involved in implementation: Municipalities, rural districts, schools, associations, businesses, charities, support and advisory services, independent child and youth welfare agencies, employers’ associations, employment agencies/centres and chambers; “Success Factor Family” network Organizational unit and contact: Division 205, 205@bmfsfj.bund.de Open government values addressed: Participation Relevance: Locally bringing together all relevant stakeholders across sectors to pool resources and to help families reconcile family and work through public information processes.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

11. Local Alliances for Family Initiative

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

“Local alliances bring together policy-makers, businesses and civil society to discuss how work and family commitments can be combined and develop measures to support families.

“Aim: Expanding family-friendly measures at local level, also by using more digital information formats.”

Milestone:

11.1 Further connecting local alliances with local businesses in cooperation with the Success Factor Family network through a series of forums on reconciling family and work. Six events planned across Germany. One event took place in May 2017, three events are planned for autumn 2017, two are still pending.

Start Date: N/A

End Date: March 2018

Context and Objectives

The following constitutes the commitment background, according to the action plan:

“About 620 local alliances for family offer specific measures for businesses and families to reconcile family and work commitments at [the] local level. Since the federal Local Alliances for Family initiative launched in 2004, these local alliances between municipalities, businesses, employment agencies, care facilities, free initiatives and engaged citizens have been created and have noticeably improved the compatibility of family and work, e.g. through online family guidebooks, holiday care for children and advisory services for businesses.” [44]

The commitment focuses on “[f]urther strengthening public awareness of the issue of combining family and work commitments, providing more professional communication channels for stakeholders and addressees (online community) and expanding cooperation.” [45]

The proposed milestone seeks to further expand the Success Factor family network. A collective action initiative, the network convenes businesses and civil society in local alliances to help companies adopt more family friendly policies. The milestone is verifiable, particularly in the number of planned events to take place. However, it lacks specific quality or performance criteria for more effective assessment and monitoring.

The commitment provides more awareness and more visibility for existing services—important and laudable outcomes. However, it is difficult to see how this commitment engages processes of government. The commitment does not outline how it helps open up government in the context of transparency, accountability, and civic participation, as espoused by OGP. A deeper, post-implementation assessment of the related outcomes could possibly find some linkages—for example, instances of collective advocacy that informed specific policy designs in this area. But given the ambition and activities outlined, such impacts would be a by-product and not an intended objective. As a result, the commitment is assessed as having no impact on opening government.

Next steps

The IRM researcher suggests considering the following two options:

discontinue the commitment in the next action plan, as it is not sufficiently linked to ambitions for opening up government; or

fully rework the commitment to make linkages to opening government in this area explicit in ambition, objectives, and actions—for example, by establishing an information and advisory service on legal entitlements in this area and including key performance indicators on its impact.

In either case, it might be worthwhile to assess whether this pool of more than 600 local-level multi-stakeholder alliances has created interfaces and linkages to formal policy-making processes. This exercise may offer interesting insights and inspiration for the ambitions expressed elsewhere (e.g., in Commitment 8) to strengthen the integration of formal and informal participation processes. And in a broader context, the assessment might yield interesting findings regarding the formulation of a pragmatic approach and practical, enabling environment for co-creation.

[44] Federal Government of Germany, First National Action Plan 2017–2019, 24, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/germany-action-plan-2019-2021/.

[45] Ibid.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

11. Local Alliances for Family Initiative

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

“Local alliances bring together policy-makers, businesses and civil society to discuss how work and family commitments can be combined and develop measures to support families.

“Aim: Expanding family-friendly measures at local level, also by using more digital information formats.”

Milestone:

11.1 Further connecting local alliances with local businesses in cooperation with the Success Factor Family network through a series of forums on reconciling family and work. Six events planned across Germany. One event took place in May 2017, three events are planned for autumn 2017, two are still pending.

Start Date: N/A

End Date: March 2018

The commitment aimed to further strengthen and expand local alliances between business and civil society to raise awareness and explore collective arrangements for better reconciling work and family commitments. The commitment was completed as written and the feedback from participants – a broad array of local associations, charities, schools, businesses etc. – was positive. [77] While the commitment’s only milestone called for holding six events, a more extensive set of events took place, though many were also part of a wider program beyond the framework of the commitment. [78] However, the implementation did not lead to any further changes in government practice [79] in line with the assessment in the IRM Design Report that the overall relevance to OGP values was unclear.

[77] Reply by responsible government department to email questionnaire, received via point of contact to OGP on 17 December 2019.

[78] Government Implementation report A detailed list of relative events is maintained at https://lokale-buendnisse-fuer-familie.de/aktuelles.html.

[79] Email questionnaire.


Commitments

  1. Participatory Development of Research and Innovation Policy

    DE0022, 2019, Public Participation

  2. Participatory Creation of Regulatory Policy

    DE0023, 2019, Open Regulations

  3. Digital Strategy Pilot for Rural Regions

    DE0024, 2019, Public Service Delivery

  4. Open Government in North Rhine-Westphalia

    DE0025, 2019, Access to Information

  5. Policy Co-Creation in North Rhine-Westphalia

    DE0026, 2019, Land Rights and Spatial Planning

  6. Data Sovereignty in North Rhine-Westphalia

    DE0027, 2019, Access to Information

  7. Open Government Portal in Saxony

    DE0028, 2019, E-Government

  8. Open-Source Software in Public Administrations in Schleswig-Holstein

    DE0029, 2019, Subnational

  9. Regional Open Government Labs

    DE0016, 2019, Public Participation

  10. Civil Society Consulation on Foreign Policy

    DE0017, 2019,

  11. Create Youth Strategy

    DE0018, 2019, Marginalized Communities

  12. Craete Federal Agency for Digital Innovation

    DE0019, 2019,

  13. Transparency and Participation in International Aid

    DE0020, 2019, Access to Information

  14. Strengthen and Socialize Open Data Policy

    DE0021, 2019, Access to Information

  15. Conditions for OGP Participation

    DE0001, 2017,

  16. Open Data in Administrative Practice

    DE0002, 2017, Access to Information

  17. Open Data Environment

    DE0003, 2017, Access to Information

  18. Access to Spatial Data

    DE0004, 2017, Access to Information

  19. Financial Transparency - EITI Standard

    DE0005, 2017, Access to Information

  20. Transparency in Development Policy

    DE0006, 2017, Access to Information

  21. Open Data for Intelligent Mobility

    DE0007, 2017, Access to Information

  22. Citizen Participation in Environmental Policy and Urban Development

    DE0008, 2017, Capacity Building

  23. Electronic Procedures for Family Benefits

    DE0009, 2017, E-Government

  24. Knowledge Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People

    DE0010, 2017, E-Government

  25. Local Alliances for Family Initiative

    DE0011, 2017, Public Participation

  26. Share of Women and Men in Leadership Positions, Private and Private Sectors

    DE0012, 2017, E-Government

  27. Open Access to Academic Literature

    DE0013, 2017, E-Government

  28. Science Year 2018

    DE0014, 2017, Public Participation

  29. Federal Competition “Living Together Hand in Hand”

    DE0015, 2017, Citizenship & Immigration

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