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Slovak Republic

Evaluate Identified Participatory Processes of Creation and Implementation of Pub-Lic Policies and Disseminate Examples of Good Practice Based on This Evaluation. (SK0104)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Plenipotentiary of the Government for the Development of Civil Society

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Participation in Budget Processes, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Slovakia Design Report 2017–2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment No. 47: Evaluate identified participatory processes of creation and implementation of pub-lic policies and disseminate examples of good practice based on this evaluation.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

THEME - Develop and evaluate policies in a participatory manner
Comm 43, 45, 47, 49, 63, 64

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2017 – 2019”, http://bit.ly/2QYIlHV ]:

Commitment 43: “Based on a broad dialogue between central government authorities and the civil society, identify public policies that will be created in a participative manner with civil society representatives.”

Commitment 45: “Create public policies identified in accordance with the recommended material "Guidelines for Engaging the Public in Public Policy Making" in cooperation with civil society representatives.”

Commitment 47: “Evaluate identified participatory processes of creation and implementation of public policies and disseminate examples of good practice based on this evaluation.”

Commitment 49: “Propose a recommendation of internal guidelines on the use of free on-line tools in participatory creation of public policies.”

Commitment 63: “Analyze and evaluate preliminary information and reports on public participation in the process of drafting and commenting on draft legislation.”

Commitment 64: “Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the Electronic Collective Petition.”

Start Date:  Not specified  

End Date: 30 June 2019

 

Context and Objectives

Slovakia ranks high on political participation, associational and organizational rights[Note : Freedom House, “Freedom in the World 2018: Slovakia”, http://bit.ly/2QeEKJM  ]. Citizens are free to organize in political parties and movements. However, although everyone holds full political rights, some disadvantaged groups, for instance, of a Roma minority, do not live in conducive conditions to exercise these rights and benefit from them fully. Freedom of assembly is constitutionally guaranteed, and there are no restrictions for CSOs to operate. Nonetheless, the former Prime Minister Robert Fico expressed a hostile position towards them on occasions[Note : ČTK, “Fico chce prinútiť mimovládky, aby zverejnili financie zo zahraničia” (Fico wants to force NGOs to publish their finances from abroad), Sme.sk, http://bit.ly/2QEueLk (in Slovak).  ]. Therefore, vocal support from the top political level for greater civil society engagement in policy making is not felt in day to day government operation.

Nonetheless, the government has formally committed to advancing participatory policy-making in its several official documents, national action plan included. Participatory policy-making has been a part of all action plans so far[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic”, http://bit.ly/2DKiGPZ and The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2015”, http://bit.ly/2RevqCc. ]. Commitments 43, 45 and 47 were already included in the first[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic”, http://bit.ly/2DKiGPZ ] and second[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2015”, http://bit.ly/2RevqCc] action plan.  

Civic participation is one of the key OGP values and co-creation should be at the heart of OGP processes[Note : Open Government Partnership, “OGP Participation & Co-creation Standards”, http://bit.ly/2FFjwQl  ]. Therefore, all commitments in this cluster, in particular commitments 43, 45 and 47 are relevant to OGP values and also specific enough to be assessed. If the process of developing policies in a participatory manner and a subsequent evaluation of the process is executed inclusively and professionally, it could have positive spillover on the entire public administration. Therefore, the potential impact of these commitments could be moderate.

Interviewees argued that several conditions must be met to achieve this. A CSO representative with extensive knowledge about participatory policy-making emphasized that processes must be transparent, and information has to be provided at all stages[Note : Interview with Karolína Miková (PDCS), 9 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.         ]. She added that “participants should know why the final version of a policy document is written as it is”. She argued that while it is impossible to reflect preferences of all participants in the policies, they should be kept informed on how their feedback was incorporated. Another interviewee argued that participation should not be exclusive to selected policies only but needs to be embedded in institutional culture more broadly[Note : Interview with Ján Gondoľ (open education and science expert), 5 November 2018, See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.         ]. He pointed to OGP commitments in open data that were developed against a participatory spirit. This example as well as others that interviewees mentioned suggest that there are significant differences in the extent and quality of their participatory processes between agencies[Note : Interview with Karolína Miková (PDCS), 9 November 2018. Interview with Marcel Zajac (Centre for Philanthropy), 5 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ]. Therefore, the continuation of these commitments might be particularly beneficial for agencies that haven’t yet embraced participation in their day to day operation.

As for evaluating participatory processes, concerns and reservations about self-evaluation, which were raised in the previous IRM report[Note : Mária Žuffová, Open Government Partnership, “Slovakia Special Accountability Report 2014 - 2015”, http://bit.ly/2EzH4Ws], still prevailed. A CSO representative interviewed for this report argued that criteria for evaluating participatory policy-making are counterproductive as they make evaluation a very formalized process[Note : Interview with Karolína Miková (PDCS), 9 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.         ]. Another CSO representative shared the view claiming that obligatory evaluation criteria add to an already existing bureaucratic burden that public servants have to face in their day to day work. Public servants might respond to this obligation by finding strategies how to circumvent it[Note : Interview with Marcel Zajac (Centre for Philanthropy), 5 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ].

Commitment 49 to draw up internal guidelines with a view to the use of free online tools in participatory policy-making is very technical in nature and has unclear relevance for open government as such, and therefore is also coded for no potential impact. Though, it might widen the range of means for the public to participate, which might be in line with their everyday use of information and communication technologies. Nonetheless, many of these are commercial services, and thus, the government will not be able to guarantee full control and responsibility for the data.   

The analysis of preliminary information and reports on public participation in the process of drafting and commenting on draft legislation (commitment 63) is important, as it is crucial to know to what extent the public can participate and participates in legislative processes. Based on the findings of such analysis, improvements could be proposed and implemented.

Commitment 64 to analyze the effectiveness of collective e-petitions is important given that not a single e-petition was created since its launch on the national e-government portal, http://www.slovensko.sk, on 31 December 2015[Note : Collective e-petitions at Slovensko.sk, https://open.slovensko.sk/hromadneziadosti (in Slovak). ]. It is crucial to understand why the platform hasn’t been successful and what can be done to encourage its take-up. The previous IRM report[Note : Mária Žuffová, Open Government Partnership, “Slovakia Special Accountability Report 2014 - 2015”,  http://bit.ly/2EzH4Ws] concluded that non-use of e-petitions either suggests an absence of demand for such a platform due to the saturation of demand by preexisting platforms, or lack of awareness or poor design of the platform. Stakeholders recommended previously reconsidering thresholds and reducing significantly the number of signatures required for the government to consider an e-petition[Note : At the moment, the threshold is 15 000 signatures. ].

Next steps

  • Embed participation in institutional culture across different sectors

The differences in extent and quality of participatory processes between public agencies are significant. While some agencies have more experience with participatory processes, others do not. The differences also exist within public agencies. A CSO representative provided an example of both good and bad practices within the same agency[Note : Interview with Karolína Miková (PDCS), 9 November 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details. As a good practice example, she stated the National priorities for the Agenda 2030, which resulted from wide participatory processes. As a bad practice example, she mentioned the action plan for transformation of the Horná Nitra region mostly because of the closed nature of processes and a lack of basic information.              ]. During the action plan development, CSO representatives expressed their concerns that engaging CSOs into policy-making processes is often very formal and CSO representatives are often presented with a finished and already decided thing[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, „Správa z regionálnych workshopov k tvorbe Akčného plánu Iniciatívy pre otvorené vládnutie na roky 2016 – 2019“ (Report from regional workshops on the development of the OGP Action plan 2016-2019), http://bit.ly/2zslNsy (report in Slovak).]. They also complained that working groups or commissions are over-represented by public servants. All these points, added up, require that the government has a more holistic approach to participation. It should not be exclusive to the development of policies that were selected as a part of OGP commitments and should include regular face-to-face meetings with stakeholders, including CSOs. A commitment to civic engagement should be embedded in institutional culture and day to day operation of public agencies and include local as well as national government. Translated into action points, this means that public agencies should inform about their planned activities pro-actively in an open and transparent way using various communication channels to ensure that the message reaches all relevant audiences. They should do so at the earliest stages, not when a draft law or decision is already written, but at the preliminary/green paper stage, where a problem or proposal is identified, the context described, and policy scenarios outlined. Stakeholders should be engaged at this stage, and at each subsequent stage, including when a Regulatory Impact Assessment has been published (ideally, RIA would be produced at each stage).

  • Make CSOs’ engagement easier

Already the previous IRM report[Note : Mária Žuffová, Open Government Partnership, “Slovakia Special Accountability Report 2014 - 2015”, http://bit.ly/2EzH4Ws] emphasized that providing different resources for CSOs to participate is a precondition for ensuring inclusive processes. A CSO representative interviewed for this report mentioned that their capacities are strained. However, that said, her organization always joins discussions regarding themes that are crucial for its work, such as FOI legislation. She added that the government should pro-actively explore what would help different CSOs to engage[Note : Interview with Veronika Prachárová (Slovak Governance Institute), 16 November 2018.]. The propositions could vary. The government should introduce a database of interested stakeholders, such as CSOs, who want to be notified of the launch of each process likely to lead to decisions or laws in their area of focus or interest. The information should also be publicly available for those who would prefer not to register. An opportunity to join meetings and discussion via Skype could attract more regional CSOs which do not have financial and time resources to travel through Slovakia for an hour meeting in the capital city etc. In addition, the ministries could produce green papers, explanatory notes or regulatory impact assessments, which will provide condensed key information, as CSO representatives are often time constrained to read full documents. Last but not least, the government could raise awareness of funding opportunities for CSOs.

  • Include an external element in the evaluation of participatory policy making

As stakeholders repeatedly emphasized for this but also previous IRM report, self-evaluation of participatory processes might be insufficient. A CSO representative also argued that criteria for evaluation of participatory processes also create a false impression that “the government has been participating from dawn to dusk while it is not true”. The setup of the evaluation to include the Ministry of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister’s office is positive, so that the evaluation is not carried out by the individual ministry or agency that ran the participatory process. To further strengthen the independence and impartiality of the evaluation, the inclusion of independent external assessor or reviewer is recommended, and the inclusion in the assessment of feedback, for instance in survey format, of the stakeholders who are engaged in the given subject area as to their assessment of the participatory process. An external element is needed for an objective assessment.  


Commitments

  1. Open Data Portal

    SK0058, 2017, Open Data

  2. Submit a Draft Law on Data to the Government.

    SK0059, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  3. Public Administration Employee Training

    SK0060, 2017, Capacity Building

  4. Data Publication Standards

    SK0061, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Update Open Data Portal

    SK0062, 2017, Open Data

  6. Open Data Publication

    SK0063, 2017, Open Data

  7. Open Data Awareness-Raising

    SK0064, 2017, Open Data

  8. Survey About Open Data

    SK0065, 2017, E-Government

  9. Publish Open Data

    SK0066, 2017, Open Data

  10. Analysis of Open Data

    SK0067, 2017, Open Data

  11. Open Data Strategy

    SK0068, 2017, Open Data

  12. Develop Standards for Publicly Available Application Programming Interfaces and Submit Them to the Commission for the Standardization of Information Systems in Public Administration.

    SK0069, 2017, E-Government

  13. Ensure Open Data Publication

    SK0070, 2017, Open Data

  14. Survey of Public Demand for Application Programming Interfaces

    SK0071, 2017, E-Government

  15. Publish Application Programming Interfaces

    SK0072, 2017, Open Data

  16. Enable the Disclosure of Source Code and Development Using Open Methods for Newly Developed Plug-Ins and Extensions of Web Browsers and Client Applications.

    SK0073, 2017, Open Data

  17. Custom-Made Information Systems

    SK0074, 2017, Open Data

  18. Publish Open Source Software Data

    SK0075, 2017, Open Data

  19. Study About Open Source Software

    SK0076, 2017, Open Data

  20. Feasibility Study on NGO Satellite Account

    SK0077, 2017, Civic Space

  21. Define the Minimum Scope and Structure of the Disclosed Data on the Use of European Structural and Investment Funds, the EEA Financial Mechanism, Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Swiss Financial Mechanism and Subsidy Schemes From the State Budget.

    SK0078, 2017, Aid

  22. Publish Financial Data

    SK0079, 2017, Aid

  23. Propose Changes to Central Register of Contracts Regulation

    SK0080, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  24. Create Space for the Publication of Local Self-Government (Municipality) Contracts in a Single Central Repository.

    SK0081, 2017, Open Contracting and Procurement

  25. Establish and Operate a Repository of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic for Storage, Long-Term Archiving and Access to Educational Resources.

    SK0082, 2017, E-Government

  26. Open Education Resources

    SK0083, 2017, E-Government

  27. Reach Out to Partners Who Have Provided Educational Resources After 2008 to the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic Or to Its Directly Managed OrGanizations, with a Suggestion to Make Educational Resources Available Under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Public License.

    SK0084, 2017, E-Government

  28. Enforce Public Licensing

    SK0085, 2017, Education

  29. Make Educational Resources Available in Local Langage

    SK0086, 2017, Education

  30. Ensure Availability of University Textbooks

    SK0087, 2017, E-Government

  31. Introduce Specific Rules for Open Publication and the Obligation to Provide Free Access of Selected Publicly Funded Publica-Tions

    SK0088, 2017, E-Government

  32. Analyze the Possibility of Applying Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Public License As Standard for Selected Works Mandatorily Published in the Central Registry of Theses and Dissertations.

    SK0089, 2017, E-Government

  33. Awareness-Raising About Open Education Resources

    SK0090, 2017, E-Government

  34. Publish the Outcomes of the Approval Process of Educational Resources on the Web-Site of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

    SK0091, 2017, E-Government

  35. To Introduce the Basic Principles of Open Access to Scientific Publications Under a Public License Under the Operational Program Research and Innovation.

    SK0092, 2017, E-Government

  36. Ensure the Implementation of Public License Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

    SK0093, 2017, Open Data

  37. Establish Contact Office for Open Access.

    SK0094, 2017, Open Data

  38. Establish Conditions for Passportization of Open Research Data Under a Public License and Monitor Its Implementation in Practice.

    SK0095, 2017, E-Government

  39. Establish and Operate a Repository to Provide Storage, Long-Term Archiving and Ac-Cess to Slovak Scientific and Academic Publications, Research Data and Gray Literature.

    SK0096, 2017, Open Data

  40. Design Systematic Benchmarking Monitoring Mechanisms for the Measurement and Comparison and Propose Further Analyses Related to Acquiring, Processing and Re-Use of Research Data and Open Access Scientific Publications.

    SK0097, 2017, E-Government

  41. Raise Awareness About Open Access in Academic Community

    SK0098, 2017, Education

  42. Participate in International Coordination on Open Education Reforms

    SK0099, 2017, Education

  43. Participatory Public Policy

    SK0100, 2017, E-Government

  44. Citizen-Traingin on Public Policy Making

    SK0101, 2017, Capacity Building

  45. Create Engaging Public Policies

    SK0102, 2017, Capacity Building

  46. Government Employee Peer-Exchange

    SK0103, 2017, Capacity Building

  47. Evaluate Identified Participatory Processes of Creation and Implementation of Pub-Lic Policies and Disseminate Examples of Good Practice Based on This Evaluation.

    SK0104, 2017, Capacity Building

  48. Promote Partnership and Dialogue Between Public Authorities, Citizens and NGOs at National, Regional and Local Level in the Area of Participatory Public Policy-Making.

    SK0105, 2017, Capacity Building

  49. Propose a Recommendation of Internal Guidelines on the Use of Free On-Line Tools in Participatory Creation of Public Policies.

    SK0106, 2017, Capacity Building

  50. Create Learning Tools in the Field of Participation.

    SK0107, 2017, Capacity Building

  51. Use Educational Tools About Participation in Formal Education Using Informal Learn-Ing Methods.

    SK0108, 2017, E-Government

  52. Develop Recommendations for Embedding Participatory Processes Into Organiza-Tional Processes, Internal Guidelines and Other Documents for the Needs of Central Government Bodies.

    SK0109, 2017, Capacity Building

  53. Reassess the Implementation of the Publication of Assessments of Judges in Terms of the Clarity and Making Further Analysis Easier

    SK0110, 2017, E-Government

  54. Specify Which Court Decisions Do Not Need to Be Published.

    SK0111, 2017, E-Government

  55. Standardize Submission Requirements for Slov-Lex Portal

    SK0112, 2017, Capacity Building

  56. Draft Legislation About the Responsibility of Judges

    SK0113, 2017, E-Government

  57. Draft Legislation to Ensure Public Scrutiny of Judges

    SK0114, 2017, Judiciary

  58. Prepare Legislation That Will Ensure the Publication of the Seat of Office of Individual Prosecutors

    SK0115, 2017, E-Government

  59. Create Draft Legislation to Extend the Right to Recommend Candidates for the Post of Attorney-General.

    SK0116, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  60. Participatory Analysis of Prosecutor's Affairs

    SK0117, 2017, E-Government

  61. In a Participatory Manner, Analyze the Selection Procedures

    SK0118, 2017, Justice

  62. Awareness-Raising About Anti-Social Activities

    SK0119, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  63. Analyze and Evaluate Preliminary Information and Reports on Public Participation in the Process of Drafting and Commenting on Draft Legislation.

    SK0120, 2017, E-Government

  64. Analyze and Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Electronic Collective Petition.

    SK0121, 2017, E-Government

  65. Identify the Person Responsible for Implementing the Tasks of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019 in the Organization.

    SK0122, 2017, E-Government

  66. Coordinate the Working Group on the Implementation of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019.

    SK0123, 2017, OGP

  67. Develop the Final Evaluation of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019.

    SK0124, 2017, E-Government

  68. Prepare and Submit for the Government of the Slovak Republic the OGP National Action Plan for the Following Period.

    SK0125, 2017, E-Government

  69. List of Open Data Datasets

    SK0023, 2015, E-Government

  70. Publish Open Data

    SK0024, 2015, E-Government

  71. Survey of Open Data

    SK0025, 2015, Open Data

  72. Publish Relevant Open Datasets

    SK0026, 2015, E-Government

  73. Starred commitment Open Data Publication Strategy

    SK0027, 2015, Open Data

  74. Grant Scheme Open Data Portal

    SK0028, 2015, E-Government

  75. Web Portal Promotion Campaign

    SK0029, 2015, E-Government

  76. Evaluate Grant Funding Open Data Application

    SK0030, 2015, E-Government

  77. Digital Education Resources

    SK0031, 2015, Education

  78. Map Existing Repositories

    SK0032, 2015, Education

  79. Analyze Procurement Process for Education Resources

    SK0033, 2015, E-Government

  80. Textbook Procurement Process

    SK0034, 2015, E-Government

  81. Pilot Procurement Process

    SK0035, 2015, E-Government

  82. Raise Awareness of Education Resources

    SK0036, 2015, Education

  83. Join Multilateral Activities in Europe and Beyond That Support the Creation, Improvement, Sharing and Re-Use of Open Educational Resources.

    SK0037, 2015, Education

  84. Map Existing Scientific Repositories

    SK0038, 2015, Open Data

  85. Identify Barriers to Open Data Access

    SK0039, 2015, Open Data

  86. Submit Analysis of Open Data Publication

    SK0040, 2015, Open Data

  87. Data Publication Mechanism

    SK0041, 2015, E-Government

  88. Raise Awareness About Open Access in Academic Community

    SK0042, 2015, Capacity Building

  89. Assist Other Countries with Open Access Strategy

    SK0043, 2015, E-Government

  90. Participatory Policy-Making

    SK0044, 2015, Public Participation

  91. Workshops on Public Involvement in Policymaking

    SK0045, 2015, Capacity Building

  92. Starred commitment Develop Public Policy with Civil Society

    SK0047, 2015, Civic Space

  93. Starred commitment Develop Criteria for Evaluating Participation in Policymaking

    SK0048, 2015, Public Participation

  94. Evaluate Policy Creation

    SK0049, 2015, Public Participation

  95. Map Legislative Environments

    SK0050, 2015, Legislature

  96. Carry Out a Public Campaign to Promote the Collective Electronic Petitions.

    SK0051, 2015, Capacity Building

  97. Publish Evaluation of Justices

    SK0052, 2015, Judiciary

  98. Analyze Publication of Judicial Decisions

    SK0053, 2015, Judiciary

  99. Uniform Reporting of Judicial Decisions

    SK0054, 2015, Judiciary

  100. Publish List of Names of Prosecutors

    SK0055, 2015, Judiciary

  101. Final Evaluation of OGP Action Plan

    SK0056, 2015, OGP

  102. Develop Next Action Plan

    SK0057, 2015, OGP

  103. Starred commitment Open Data Portal Launch

    SK0001, 2012, Open Data

  104. Publishing Datasets

    SK0002, 2012, Open Data

  105. Datasets Mapping

    SK0003, 2012, Open Data

  106. Data Standards

    SK0004, 2012, Open Data

  107. Improved Register of Contracts

    SK0005, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  108. Starred commitment Continuous Dataset Publising

    SK0006, 2012, Open Data

  109. Starred commitment ITMS Dataset

    SK0007, 2012, Open Data

  110. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring

    SK0008, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  111. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring – Prepare Tender for Web Application

    SK0009, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  112. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring – Portal Launch

    SK0010, 2012, E-Government

  113. Participatory Policy Making

    SK0011, 2012, Capacity Building

  114. Starred commitment Apply Participatory Policy Making

    SK0012, 2012, Public Participation

  115. Lawmaking Public Participation Rules

    SK0013, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  116. Participatory Policy Making

    SK0014, 2012, Public Participation

  117. Collective e-Petitions

    SK0015, 2012,

  118. Collective e-Petitions – Draft Amendment

    SK0016, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  119. OGP Steering Committee

    SK0017, 2012, OGP

  120. Transparency Council and Openess Barometer

    SK0018, 2012, Capacity Building

  121. Develop Criteria for Transparency Council and Openess Barometer

    SK0019, 2012, Capacity Building

  122. Conduct First Evaluation Using Openess Barometer

    SK0020, 2012, Capacity Building

  123. Whistleblowers Protection Act

    SK0021, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  124. 2014-2015 Action Plan Development

    SK0022, 2012, OGP