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Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy (RS0013)



Action Plan: Serbia First Action Plan 2014-2015

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Ministry in charge of public administration

Support Institution(s): Civil Society Organizations

Policy Areas

Public Participation, Social Accountability

IRM Review

IRM Report: Serbia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Serbia Progress Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Monitoring and evaluation of the planned reform activities is essential for an on-going harmonization of the process, enabling timely response, and introducing corrective measures in case of any delays or discrepancies identified. The monitoring system used for this process is based on regular processing of data collected from regular and interim reports. The current system hasn’t been sufficiently systemic, it has been predominantly based on the ad hoc and inconsistent reporting and monitoring. It is therefore necessary to develop a complete and efficient monitoring and evaluation system for the outcome of performed activities. This principally implies the introduction of mandatory quarterly/semi-annual reports by all the actors, which would be submitted to the competent Ministry. After being processed by the competent Ministry, they are discussed by the Inter-ministerial Project group, and then at higher levels of coordination of the implementation of the PAR Strategy. With the aim of more comprehensive and objective data collection, better information on the activities of CSOs that can contribute to reforms, better flow of information to civil society about the activities of the state and monitoring of the implementation of the planned reform activities, there is a need to include CSOs in the Inter-ministerial Project group, as support for the improvement of the monitoring system.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 13. Civil society participation in monitoring the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Strategy

Commitment Text:

1.     Establishing a coordination system for monitoring the PAR Strategy

a.     Establishment of an Inter-ministerial Project group consisting of civil servants form state administration authorities and representatives of civil society organizations

b.     Training of members of Inter-ministerial Project group

c.     Regular meetings of the Inter-ministerial Project group (at least 4 times a year)

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of Public Administration

Supporting Institution(s): CSOs

Start Date: Quarter II 2015                                                            End Date: Ongoing

Commitment aim:

This commitment aimed at increasing the collaboration between civil society and government stakeholders in the context of the Public Administration Reform (PAR). Most importantly, the commitment intended to help CSOs engage in coordinating and monitoring PAR through the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Project Group composed of civil servants and civil society representatives.


Midterm: Substantial

An Inter-Ministerial Project Group was established and its members were trained within the first year of the implementation cycle. The Group was established on 23 February 2015.[Note 51: “Decision on the Creation of the Inter-Ministerial Project Group for Expert Affairs in Coordinating and Monitoring the Implementation Process of the Public Administration Reform Strategy in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2015-2017,” Republic of Serbia, [Serbian] ] Training was completed and two meetings were held. For more information, see the 2014-2015 Serbian midterm IRM report.

End of term: Completed

The IRM researchers interviewed two members of the Inter-Ministerial Project Group, someone from a government institution and a civil society representative. The interviews confirmed that the group met four times within the previous year and that the meeting topics and discussions became more specific over time, indicating that the commitment was completed. However, the interviewees also added that meetings were less regular in 2016. This was due largely to the early parliamentary elections, but the group planned to return to its meeting routine since the new government formed in August 2016. 

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

Civic participation: Marginal

Public accountability: Did not change

Monitoring the complex reform of the public administration system requires the collaboration of both relevant government and civil society stakeholders. However, until the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Project Group, there was no mechanism to ensure this collaboration occurs in a systematic and effective manner. Given that the project group was established relatively recently and that the number of its meetings was limited in 2016 due to the parliamentary elections,[Note 52: Danijela Bozovic, interview with the IRM researchers, Belgrade, August 2016.] this commitment’s effect on government openness in Serbia, to date, is marginal.

More specifically, by creating an inclusive environment through the project group, the government provided civil society with access to relevant and updated information regarding the public administration reform. However, given the relatively small number of meetings, the effect of the project group has been marginal. Civic participation’s impact also is marginal, although it was enhanced through the training and collaboration of government and civil society actors in the project group. As a couple of the civil society members of the group noted in interviews, the topics covered in the group’s meetings do not leave much space for civic participation because they focus on internal administrative issues pertaining to the implementation of certain aspects of PAR.

Although the impact of this commitment is marginal at the moment, the IRM researchers believe that the Group could have a major effect on how civil society and government collaborate, how much information is shared with civil society representatives, and how effectively the PAR is monitored and evaluated in Serbia. The Group’s effect depends on whether it continues with regular meetings or expands the range of it topics. Additionally, the way CSOs monitor and report on this process could have a long-term impact on access to information and participation by making the public policy monitoring process inclusive and by monitoring information more readily available to the wider public.

Carried forward?

The commitment was completed and no similar commitments regarding the Inter-Ministerial Project Group are included in the 2016-2018 action plan.


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