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Lithuania

Publicize Information About Government Activities and Civic Participation in Governance. (LT0016)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Lithuania National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of the Government

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government

IRM Review

IRM Report: Lithuania End-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment Currently, there is a lack of uniform communication and measures for shaping a positive image of the activities of public institutions, enabling appropriate and efficient communication of the message about the value of public consultations for the population. What is missing as regards the uniform communication, is common visual identity, messages communicating the proposal of the value and other means of communication to ensure uniform and highquality delivery of information to the people on public consultations, and to motivate involvement in public governance. First, government-accountable institutions and agencies lack common standards for publicizing information about government activities; second, communication is effected by different institutions with different communication skills and resources, which prevents uniform message of Government activities. A more effective and faster public communication calls for the use of the public information channels that are in line with the latest communication trends. Social networks currently claim strong positions in this regard. 65 per cent of the average age of Lithuania’s population use the Internet every day, most of them have Facebook accounts. 37 per cent of the population aged 15-74 access Facebook on daily basis (TNS data 2016). Effective communication in social networks requires an active generation of interesting content and high-quality visual presentation. Main objective To increase accessibility to information about governmental activities and civic engagement in governance. Brief description of commitment Public information about the activities of the Government should be easily accessible and presented in a clear and understandable form in most appropriate for them communication channels. At the same time, the public has to have access information on public governance processes and participation possibilities. It is necessary not only to systematically publicize this information, but also to ensure methodological assistance to institutions and strengthen their capacities needed for greater openness of public governance processes.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. To develop and implement measures for publicizing information about government activities and civic participation in governance

Commitment Text:

Public information about the activities of the Government should be easily accessible and presented in a clear and understandable form in most appropriate for them communication channels. At the same time, the public has to have access information on public governance processes and participation possibilities. It is necessary not only to systematically publicize this information, but also to ensure methodological assistance to institutions and strengthen their capacities needed for greater openness of public governance processes.

Milestones:

2.1. Development of the guidelines (recommendations) for the publicity of governmental activities with a view to ensure appropriate for the people publicizing of governmental activities, focusing on a common standard, interactivity, feedback and efficiency, through the application of the latest uniform communication standards, methods and tools.

2.2. Creation of an interactive electronic newsletter on governmental activities.

2.3. Development of a PowerPoint template for the presentation of governmental activities.

2.4. Creation of templates for publicizing government activities 'Open Government' publicity campaign in 'Facebook' social network.

Responsible institution: Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start date: 31 December 2016

End date: 31 December 2017

Context and Objectives

This commitment seeks to increase the accessibility of information on government activities and civic engagement opportunities in governance. Specifically, it calls for standardizing the publication of information on government activities and providing capacity-building trainings for public officials who will later work to increase civic engagement in decision-making processes. According to Edita Baniene, the advisor at the Communications Department in the Office of the Government, government ministries lack communication skills to promote public consultations, and there is currently no common template used by ministries for consultations.[Note: Edita Baniene, interview by IRM researcher, 22 September 2017] Citizens of Lithuania are either not aware of the possibilities to engage in decision-making, or the available information is too complicated for most citizens to understand.[Note: 'Citizens’ Survey on the Openness of municipalities', Transparency International Lithuania, 2014, http://www.transparency.lt/tils-tyrimai-ir-analizes/.%5D Public consultation is rare in Lithuania. According to a 2014 Transparency International Lithuania survey, only 5 percent of respondents said that they have participated in a consultation.[Note: 'Citizens’ Survey on the Openness of municipalities', Transparency International Lithuania, 2014, http://www.transparency.lt/tils-tyrimai-ir-analizes/.%5D

Although Edita Baniene suggested a clearer view on the content of the commitment in an interview with the IRM researcher, the specificity is low because the commitment does not specify which government activities will be publicized. The commitment also does not have a coherent problem identified. In some parts, it is written that there is a lack of 'positive information' about the government's activities, while elsewhere it states that there is a lack of 'interesting information' or insufficient information on the activities in general. This commitment focuses on improving public awareness for opportunities to participate in consultations, but does little to improve the effectiveness of the consultations themselves. The current low level of public consultations in Lithuania suggests that increasing public participation requires more extensive measures than merely improved communication on consultation opportunities. Thus, the potential impact is marked as minor. It is worth noting that this commitment targets the same problem as Commitment 6 'To Create Public Consultation Mechanism.' According to the Office of the Government, this commitment is designed to better communicate opportunities for consultation to the public, while Commitment 6 is designed to create and the methodology for public consultations and organize them. Had these commitments been combined, the potential impact and specificity would have been greater, but taken individually, this commitment is unlikely to increase public participation.

Completion

The deadline for the commitment is the end of 2017, and the Office of the Government has begun implementation. At the time of writing this report, the Office of the Government has a final draft of its visual identity toolkit and has scheduled trainings for public officials, namely for communication specialists from the government and from the House of President.

Next Steps

Because the Office of the Government is working to both create a public consultation mechanism and develop its communication guidelines, the IRM researcher recommends joining this commitment with Commitment 6 on creating the public consultation mechanism. This would allow different teams at the Office of the Government to have their own roles and responsibilities to achieve the same goal.


Lithuania's Commitments

  1. Open Data

    LT0024, 2018, E-Government

  2. NGO Database, NGO Fund

    LT0025, 2018, Civic Space

  3. Publish Fiscal Information

    LT0026, 2018, E-Government

  4. Public Services by NGOs

    LT0027, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Monitoring and Evlauation for Public Participation

    LT0028, 2018, Public Participation

  6. Legislative Process Evaluation

    LT0029, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Build Open Data Portal, and Integrate Into the European Single Digital Market.

    LT0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  8. Publicize Information About Government Activities and Civic Participation in Governance.

    LT0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Publish Online Information About Revenues and Spending of National and Municipal Institutions

    LT0017, 2016, E-Government

  10. Create and Broadcast Social Advertisements That Target Corruption in the Healthcare System

    LT0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Create Legal, Organizational and Technical Tools to Easily Access Detailed Information About Election and Voting Procedures

    LT0019, 2016, E-Government

  12. Create Public Consultation Mechanism

    LT0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  13. Foster Open Public Governance Culture in Public Sector

    LT0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Creation of NGO Database.

    LT0022, 2016, Civic Space

  15. Creation of NGO Fund.

    LT0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Public Service Quality Improvements

    LT0007, 2014, Capacity Building

  17. Developing and Promoting E-Services

    LT0008, 2014, E-Government

  18. Encouraging Public Participation

    LT0009, 2014, E-Government

  19. Raising Civic Awareness

    LT0010, 2014, Education

  20. National Civil Society Fund Model Development

    LT0011, 2014, Civic Space

  21. Accessibility of Public Information

    LT0012, 2014, E-Government

  22. Public Decision-Making Transparency

    LT0013, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. Promoting Anti-Corruption Education

    LT0014, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  24. Increase of the Accessibility of the Information Held by Public Administration Authorities.

    LT0001, 2012, Records Management

  25. Centralised Publishing of Information on Government Activities

    LT0002, 2012, Records Management

  26. More Extensive Public Consultations

    LT0003, 2012, Public Participation

  27. Promotion of Public Participation in Public Administration Processes

    LT0004, 2012, Legislature

  28. Increasing the Accessibility of Services Provided to the Public.

    LT0005, 2012, E-Government

  29. Promotion of Public Participation in the Process for the Improvement of Service Provision

    LT0006, 2012, Public Participation