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Norway

Declaration of Principles for Interaction and Dialogue with NGOs (NO0043)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Norway Action Plan 2013-2015

Action Plan Cycle: 2013

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Culture

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Civic Space

IRM Review

IRM Report: Norway End-of-Term Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

NGOs are independent players in civil society. At the same time, Norway has a long
tradition for close interaction between the voluntary sector and the public authorities in
a number of different areas. In order to promote greater predictability and a common
understanding in the interaction and dialogue between the authorities and the NGOs, a
declaration of principles is to be prepared. The declaration of principles is to include the
role of the NGOs in Norwegian society and the special characteristics of voluntary
work. The declaration of principles will be based on the fundamental principles laid
down in the Council of Europe’s “Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the
Decision-Making Process” prepared by international NGOs
The Ministry of Culture has responsibility for the work on a declaration of principles for interaction and dialogue with NGOs. The declaration of principles will be submitted to the Government.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

8. Declaration of principles for interaction and dialogue with NGOs

Commitment Text:

NGOs are independent players in civil society. At the same time, Norway has a long tradition for close interaction between the voluntary sector and the public authorities in a number of different areas. In order to promote greater predictability and a common understanding in the interaction and dialogue between the authorities and the NGOs, a declaration of principles is to be prepared. The declaration of principles is to include the role of the NGOs in Norwegian society and the special characteristics of voluntary work. The declaration of principles will be based on the fundamental principles laid down in the Council of Europe’s “Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process” prepared by international NGOs.

COMMITMENT DESCRIPTION
The Ministry of Culture has responsibility for the work on a declaration of principles for interaction and dialogue with NGOs. The declaration of principles will be submitted to the Government.

KEY IMPACT BENCHMARK
Work is to be started on a declaration of principles for dialogue and interaction with voluntary organizations.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Culture

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: 1 January, 2013              End date: 31 December, 2014

Editorial note: The text of the commitments was abridged for formatting reasons. For the full text of the commitment, please see http://bit.ly/1QlVIja.

Policy Aim

There is a strong practice of civil society engagement by the Norwegian government, though it tends to happen in an ad hoc manner across various agencies and institutions, depending on specific political processes and individual relationships. In December 2013, the Association of NGOs in Norway (Frivillighet Norge) issued 11 demands for simplification in the relations between Norwegian government and civil society.[Note 44: ”Frivillighet Norges elleve krav til forenkling og avbyråkratisering,” Frivillighet Norge, December 6, 2013, accessed September 9, 2016, http://bit.ly/L6ph8Y. ] This commitment aims to prepare a Declaration of Principles for Interaction and Dialogue with NGOs in direct response to these demands.

Status

Mid-term: Substantial
A draft of the Declaration of Principles for Interaction and Dialogue with NGOs was published in December 2014. [Note 45: “Regjeringens frivillighetserklæring,” Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, December 5, 2014, accessed September 8, 2016, https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/Regjeringens-frivillighetserklaring/id2343197/. ] The draft was prepared, but not finalized, resulting in substantial completion of the commitment. Civil society representatives were invited to provide feedback on the declaration by early 2015.

End-of-term: Complete
127 civil society organizations participated in the consultation on the draft declaration by offering comments on the draft, which are available as individual files on the government’s website.
[Note 46: ”Høring – Frivillighetserklæringen,” Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, December 5, 2014, accessed September 8, 2016, https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/Horing---Frivillighetserklaringen/id2342823/. ] The consultation period ended in March 2015, after the action plan implementation period.

Did it open government?

Civic participation: Marginal

It is not clear that this commitment had a significant impact on opening government. Though this declaration is a positive first step towards simplifying relations between government and Norwegian civil society, interviews conducted in preparation of this report confirm that this will not enable interaction for additional actors, dramatically reform the premises on which civil society and government interact, or otherwise be a “game changer” for civic participation in Norway.[Note 47: Stian Slotterøy Johnsen (General Secretary, Norwegian Association of Voluntary Organizations), interview by Christopher Wilson, phone interview, September 13, 2016.] On the other hand, government focal points report significant attention and coordination initiated across government agencies, including working groups and the contributions of input from other government agencies, to the draft declaration.[Note 48: ”Høring – Frivillighetserklæringen.” ] The IRM researcher understands this to constitute a positive, but marginal, improvement in civic participation.[Note 49: Håvard Bjerke (Legal Adviser, Ministry of Justice), interview by Christopher Wilson, phone interview, September 8, 2016.]

Civil society appears generally satisfied that the government is working towards simplification, but notes that work is proceeding slower than it should.[Note 50: See for example, the 2015 annual assessment released by the Norwegian Association of NGOs, “Statusrapport for frivilligheten: Frivillighet Norges årsrapport 2015,” Frivillighet Norge (2015), p 10, accessed September 9, 2016, http://www.frivillighetnorge.no/filestore/Dokumenter/200982-FrivillighetNorgeArsrapport2015_V6.pdf. ] A representative for the Norwegian Association of NGOs noted that, while a declaration is positive, much of the language remains quite abstract and lacks details, and that a binding contract between the civil society sector and national and municipal governments would be a more powerful mechanism for enhancing accountability and cooperation than a declaration. Notably, this representative also suggested that this declaration might not have been produced without the international attention associated with the OGP.

Carried forward?

This commitment has not been carried forward in the Norwegian government’s third national action plan, which is available on the OGP website.[Note 51: ”Norway’s third action plan Open Government Partnership (OGP),” Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, accessed September 4, 2016, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Norway_2016-17_NAP.pdf.%5D


Norway's Commitments

  1. Archiving Documents

    NO0054, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Making Energy Statistics Available

    NO0055, 2019, E-Government

  3. e-Access and Expansion

    NO0056, 2019, Civic Space

  4. Open Cultural Data

    NO0057, 2019, E-Government

  5. Digital Spatial Planning

    NO0058, 2019, E-Government

  6. Streamline Public Procurement

    NO0059, 2019, E-Government

  7. Preventing Corruption

    NO0060, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  8. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    NO0061, 2019, Beneficial Ownership

  9. User Orientation

    NO0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Electronic Public Records (OEP)

    NO0046, 2016, E-Government

  11. Transparency Regarding Environmental Information

    NO0047, 2016, E-Government

  12. Starred commitment Disclosure of Financial Data

    NO0048, 2016, E-Government

  13. Transparency Regarding Rainforest Funds

    NO0049, 2016, E-Government

  14. State Employees’ Ownership of Shares

    NO0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  15. Promote Freedom of Expression and Independent Media

    NO0051, 2016, Civic Space

  16. Country-By-Country Reporting

    NO0052, 2016, Extractive Industries

  17. Register for Ultimate Beneficial Ownership

    NO0053, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  18. Public Review and Public Consultation

    NO0020, 2013, Capacity Building

  19. Registering and Preserving Digital Documentation Produced by Public Bodies

    NO0021, 2013, E-Government

  20. The Norwegian Citizen Survey (Innbyggerundersøkelsen)

    NO0022, 2013, Public Participation

  21. Whistleblowing

    NO0023, 2013, Whistleblower Protections

  22. Strengthened Information Exchange for More Efficient Crime Prevention and Combating

    NO0024, 2013, Justice

  23. Strengthening the Transparency of Public Authorities and Administration

    NO0025, 2013, Capacity Building

  24. Egovernment with an End-User Focus

    NO0026, 2013, E-Government

  25. Plain Legal Language

    NO0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  26. Norwegian Grants Portal (MFA)

    NO0028, 2013, Aid

  27. An International Convention or Agreement on Financial Transparency

    NO0029, 2013, Private Sector

  28. Reducing Conflicts of Interests – Post-Employment Regulations

    NO0030, 2013, Conflicts of Interest

  29. Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector

    NO0031, 2013, Security

  30. A Better Overview of Committees, Boards and Councils – More Public Access to Information and Better Opportunities for Further Use

    NO0032, 2013, E-Government

  31. Modernizing Public Governance

    NO0033, 2013, Capacity Building

  32. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues

    NO0034, 2013, Extractive Industries

  33. Transparency in the Management of the Government Pension Fund (GPF)

    NO0035, 2013, E-Government

  34. Transparency and Anti-Corruption Efforts

    NO0036, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. The Municipal Sector

    NO0037, 2013, Education

  36. “Simplify” (“Enkelt Og Greit”)

    NO0038, 2013, E-Government

  37. Electronic Public Records (OEP) – (Offentlig Elektronisk Postjournal)

    NO0039, 2013, E-Government

  38. Re-Use of Public Sector Information (PSI)

    NO0040, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Access to Health Data

    NO0041, 2013, E-Government

  40. Renewal of the Government’S Website (Regjeringen.No – Government.No)

    NO0042, 2013, E-Government

  41. Declaration of Principles for Interaction and Dialogue with NGOs

    NO0043, 2013, Capacity Building

  42. Simplification and Digital Administration of Arrangements for NGOs

    NO0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  43. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0001, 2011, Capacity Building

  44. Measures to Promote Gender Equality and Women’S Full Participation in Civic Life, the Private Sector, the Public Administration and Political Processes.

    NO0002, 2011, Gender

  45. Gender Equality – Participation in the Private Sector

    NO0003, 2011, Gender

  46. Increase Women's Representation in Local Government

    NO0004, 2011, Gender

  47. Gender Equality Program

    NO0005, 2011, Gender

  48. Gender Equality – Inclusion of Immigrant Women

    NO0006, 2011, Gender

  49. Gender Equality – Combat Gender Stereotypes

    NO0007, 2011, Gender

  50. Gender Equality – Youth Initiatives

    NO0008, 2011, Gender

  51. Gender Equality – Combat Domestic Violence

    NO0009, 2011, Gender

  52. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency

    NO0010, 2011, Aid

  53. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Government Global Pension Fund

    NO0011, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  54. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Combat Tax Evasion

    NO0012, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  55. Transparency in the Management of Oil and Gas Revenues / Financial Transparency – Multi-National Companies

    NO0013, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  56. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – Create Central Communication Policy

    NO0014, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  57. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0015, 2011, E-Government

  58. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – Public Data Use

    NO0016, 2011, Public Participation

  59. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – National Statistic Publication

    NO0017, 2011, Open Data

  60. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government – National Public Opinion Survey

    NO0018, 2011, Records Management

  61. An Open Public Sector and Inclusive Government

    NO0019, 2011, Public Participation