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Israel

Civic Participation Tools (IL0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Israel Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Governance and Social Affairs Department, Prime Minister's Office

Support Institution(s): E-Government unit, Prime Minister's Office; Director of Procurement, Ministry of Finance; Government units that comprise the group of potential operators for public participation processes. Suppliers to be approved by designated tender as part of the pool of governmental operators in the area of public participation

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

To date the Government has provided a range of platforms and tools for public participation, including cooperation with organizations, whether online (the Gov Share platform, based on web 2.0 technology) and in other ways, such as establishing tri-sectoral round tables. More investment is planned in order to expand the 'tool box' for public participation in government offices' activities. Main objective - In order to realize the vision of public participation and improve the offices' ability to administer effective participation processes, the Government plans to develop and improve tools and practical and technological applications to integrate participation processes in offices in various forms:

A. To continue developing and operating tools and technological applications to integrate participation processes in offices by E-Government.
B. To establish a pool of operators across the Government, led by the Governance and Social Affairs Department, through the Procurement Administration, which will assist government offices conduct practical and online processes for public participation by purchasing services and making them accessible to the offices.
OGP challenge - To increase the effectiveness of public resources, public integrity and shared accountability and to improve service

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment 8. Developing a Governmental 'Tool Box' for Public Participation in the Government's Work

Commitment TextTo develop online tools to serve government offices in public participation processes.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: To date the Government has provided a range of platforms and tools for public participation, including cooperation with organizations, whether online (the Gov Share platform, based on web 2.0 technology) and in other ways, such as establishing tri-sectoral round tables. More investment is planned in order to expand the 'tool box' for public participation in government offices' activities.

Main Objective: In order to realize the vision of public participation and improve the offices' ability to administer effective participation processes, the Government plans to develop and improve tools and practical and technological applications to integrate participation processes in offices in various forms:

A. To continue developing and operating tools and technological applications to integrate participation processes in offices by E-Government.

B. To establish a pool of operators across the Government, led by the Governance and Social Affairs Department, through the Procurement Administration, which will assist government offices conduct practical and online processes for public participation by purchasing services and making them accessible to the offices.

Milestones:

8.1 To develop five tools/online applications.  

8.2 To establish and operate a pool of suppliers that will assist in administering and implementing online and physical public participation processes by the offices.

Responsible institution: Governance and Social Affairs Department, Prime Minister's Office

Supporting institution(s): E-Government unit, Prime Minister's Office; Director of Procurement, Ministry of Finance; Government units that comprise the group of potential operators for public participation processes

Start dateApril 1, 2012      End date: June 30, 2016

Context and objectives:

Technology can play a useful role in extracting conclusions from large collections of public opinion. Therefore, technological solutions, as intended by the government, might encourage government agencies to engage the public more readily. This commitment could therefore have an impact on the implementation of public participation.

The government had previously consulted non-governmental organizations regarding public participation. However, this practice has received much higher priority and a more institutional approach since 2006.  The Second Lebanon War (2006) caused public outcry over the uncoordinated aid efforts. Hagai Katz, Einat Raviv et. al, 'Civil Society During the Second Lebanon War', Israel Center for Third Sector Research, (May 2007) 47 available at: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/fom/Ictr/Site%20Assets/Lebanon%20War-Final.pdf; Michal Almog-Bar, Policy Initiatives towards the Nonprofit Sector: Insights from the Israeli Case, 7(2) Non-Profit Policy Forum (2016), 245-246 available at: https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/npf.2016.7.issue-2/npf-2016-0005/npf-2016-0005.pdf.  This commitment is aimed toward increasing public participation in governmental decision-making processes through new technological tools. For the government, these tools complement existing in-person public participation methods. The commitment deals with the development of tools and support for civic participation but it does not consider the actual utilization of these tools. Additionally, there are no measurable activities to assess the completion of the commitment. This is especially applicable to the second milestone, which consists of creating a pool of suppliers to assist in the activities themselves.

In addition, the IRM researchers doubt whether a lack of technological tools is impeding public participation initiatives, and whether the development of such tools is the most efficient way to move forward. Many tools aimed to support shared thinking among the public are already available in the country and generally online, which can be used by government agencies.  Existing tools may be found at 'OGP toolbox” https://ogptoolbox.org/en/tools/?q=democracyos, https://opengovfoundation.org/ and http://www.communitymatters.org/blog/let%E2%80%99s-get-digital-50-tools-online-public-engagement.   In this sense, the commitment has a moderate potential impact, since it does not represent a determinant change on the government practice.

Completion

The commitment and its milestones were completed by the time of this report. According to the government’s self-assessment report, five tools were developed during the first year of implementation:  Interview with  Ms. Tamar Peled-Amir in the Prime Minister's Office, 28 Sept 2016.   

  • An online polling tool;
  • A community knowledge management tool;
  • A roundtable/forum platform;
  • A blogging platform; and
  • A service-providers database.

A tender for support services was published and completed and five suppliers have been selected. The winners have not been made public, but they were presented to the different ministries in September 2016.  Ibid.  Government officials consulted by the IRM researchers indicated that the providers chosen by the tender committee will organize instructional sessions for officials across government agencies on how to conduct public participation activities using the tools from this commitment.  Ibid.   

NGO representatives interviewed by the IRM researchers were aware of this activity but were not part of specific civic participation activities.  As described in the Stakeholders' Meeting, 28 Aug. 2016.  This can be explained by the government’s working with CSOs that focus on public issue such as education, welfare or immigrant absorption and not those dealing with transparency and government issues per se.

Next Steps

As some government officials discussed with the IRM researchers, there is concern for the next steps of the commitment as officials hesitate to use the tools and there is a lack of central control regarding the operations of the various ministries’ websites. In this sense, the IRM researchers recommend that the goal of the commitment during the second year of implementation be the integration of these tools in daily government actions. Such integration might include specific commitments toward the application of the tools in thematic fields (e.g. open public consultation on reducing road accidents or improving air quality), and it should include a specific mechanism to track the implementation of those tools and their outcomes. This would help monitoring the actual implementation of the tools, rather than focusing on the process of their development.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

8. Developing a Governmental 'Tool Box' for Public Participation in the Government's Work

Commitment Text:

To develop online tools to serve government offices in public participation processes.

Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: To date the Government has provided a range of platforms and tools for public participation, including cooperation with organizations, whether online (the Gov Share platform, based on web 2.0 technology) and in other ways, such as establishing tri-sectoral round tables. More investment is planned in order to expand the 'tool box' for public participation in government offices' activities.

Main Objective: In order to realize the vision of public participation and improve the offices' ability to administer effective participation processes, the Government plans to develop and improve tools and practical and technological applications to integrate participation processes in offices in various forms:

A. To continue developing and operating tools and technological applications to integrate participation processes in offices by E-Government.

B. To establish a pool of operators across the Government, led by the Governance and

Social Affairs Department, through the Procurement Administration, which will assist

government offices conduct practical and online processes for public participation by

purchasing services and making them accessible to the offices.

Milestones:

8.1. To develop five tools/online applications.

8.2. To establish and operate a pool of suppliers that will assist in administering and implementing online and physical public participation processes by the offices.

Responsible institutions: Governance and Social Affairs Department, Prime Minister's Office

Supporting institutions: E-Government unit, Prime Minister's Office; Director of Procurement, Ministry of Finance; Government units that comprise the group of potential operators for public participation processes

Start date: 1 April 2012

End date: 30 June 2016

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to offer public agencies technological tools that can support their efforts to run public participation initiatives and extract conclusions from the views and voices of the many expected to partake. It is hoped that the development of such tools might encourage government agencies to engage more readily in public participation initiatives. Specifically, the commitment seeks to:

· Develop five online tools for public participation to be used by government agencies;

· Establish and operate a pool of suppliers to help agencies integrate such tools in their work.

Status

Midterm: Complete

The commitment was assessed as fully implemented by the time of the midterm report. Israel IRM Midterm Report, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Israel_MidTerm-Progress_2015-2017_ENG.pdf, pg. 47. The government had by then presented its five tools: an online polling tool, a community knowledge management tool, a roundtable/forum platform, a blogging platform, and a service provider's database. In addition, several providers (commercial entities such as 'Tovanot', 'Kimron' and others) had already begun working with government ministries on public participation processes engaging with these five new tools. Providers working on public participation, http://www.pmo.gov.il/policyplanning/shituf/Pages/dafrashishituf.aspx.

Did It Open Government?

Civic Participation: Marginal

Government agencies lack the tools to manage regular large-scale public participation activities, and therefore providing them with such tools is necessary to enable such processes. While the availability of such tools might encourage government authorities to more readily engage in public participation activities, the IRM researchers expressed doubts in the midterm report whether this was an important component in achieving increased public participation. Israel IRM Midterm Report, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Israel_MidTerm-Progress_2015-2017_ENG.pdf, pg. 46. According to the IRM midterm report, the lack of technological tools themselves is not a major impediment to public participation and the commitment did not stipulate how the tools should be utilized, only that they should be created. While the commitment did not create new opportunities for the public to participate, it has changed the way such opportunities, if created, can be managed. Therefore, the IRM researcher has assessed the commitment as having a marginal impact on civic participation.

One example of the use of the tools has been the government consultation during the development of the third OGP action plan. The government is managing this process while relying heavily on the 'forums' platform' tool developed as part of this commitment. But the process still suffers from shortcomings (described in more detail in Commitment 9). It is worth noting that the tendency to focus on technology may have to do with the decision to put the Chief Technology Officer's office as the authority in charge of OGP in Israel.

Carried Forward?

Parts of this commitment have been carried forward to a new civic participation commitment in Israel's third action plan.


Commitments

  1. Civic Participation Processes in Government

    IL0023, 2017, Capacity Building

  2. Resolution Implementation Reports

    IL0024, 2017, E-Government

  3. Action Plan Performance Indicators

    IL0025, 2017, E-Government

  4. Government Call Centers

    IL0026, 2017, Marginalized Communities

  5. National Legislation Database

    IL0027, 2017, E-Government

  6. National Plan for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    IL0028, 2017, Audits and Controls

  7. Transparency Criteria

    IL0029, 2017, Public Participation

  8. Publication of Information Legislative Amendments

    IL0030, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  9. Transparency, Participation, Accessibility of Information in Local Authorities and Ministry of the Interior

    IL0031, 2017, E-Government

  10. Publicly Accessible Databases

    IL0032, 2017, E-Government

  11. Remotely Accessing Government Services

    IL0033, 2017, Capacity Building

  12. Paperless Government

    IL0034, 2017, E-Government

  13. Open-Source Code

    IL0035, 2017, E-Government

  14. Evaluation of Open Government Plan

    IL0036, 2017, OGP

  15. Contracting Between the Government and Private Sector

    IL0016, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  16. Unified Website for Government Offices

    IL0017, 2015, Records Management

  17. Data.Gov

    IL0018, 2015, Open Data

  18. Public's Satisfaction with Government Services

    IL0019, 2015, Public Participation

  19. ATI on Legislation

    IL0020, 2015, Records Management

  20. Civic Participation Tools

    IL0021, 2015, E-Government

  21. Civic Participation

    IL0022, 2015, Public Participation

  22. Review of the Governmental Freedom of Information Unit's Authority

    IL0014, 2015, Capacity Building

  23. Web for FOI

    IL0015, 2015, Right to Information

  24. Establishing a Cross-Sector Forum That Promotes Open Government Programs

    IL0001, 2012, Public Participation

  25. State Budget Information Accessibility

    IL0002, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  26. Publication of Work Plans in Government Offices

    IL0003, 2012, E-Government

  27. Establishing a System of Measurement and Review and Publicizing a Government Service Report to the Public

    IL0004, 2012, Capacity Building

  28. Cooperation Between the Government and the Public in Developing Online Applications

    IL0005, 2012, Private Sector

  29. Public Participation in Policymaking Processes

    IL0006, 2012, Public Participation

  30. Establishing a Freedom of Information Unit in the Ministry of Justice

    IL0007, 2012, Judiciary

  31. Developing Technology Infrastructure for Providing Government Services

    IL0008, 2012, E-Government

  32. Inter-Office Committee for Improving Business Processes

    IL0009, 2012, E-Government

  33. Creating a Government Contact Center (NAMAL - Meeting Point for Citizens)

    IL0010, 2012, E-Government

  34. Online Catalog of Government Services

    IL0011, 2012, E-Government

  35. Establishing a Unit for Government Service to the Public

    IL0012, 2012, Public Service Delivery

  36. Establishing a National Information Technology (IT) Unit Headed by a Government CIO

    IL0013, 2012, E-Government