Why OGP Commitments Fall Behind

20 December 2017

The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a key means by which stakeholders can track progress in participating countries. The IRM produces annual reports for each OGP country. Using IRM data on the implementation of OGP commitments, this paper looks to 1) better understand why many OGP commitments are not being implemented, and 2) offer practical recommendations for overcoming the most frequent obstacles to implementation.

The results show that the most common cause of delay is a lack of funding and technical capacity, which contributes to the non-implementation of one of every three delayed commitments. Another important finding is that dedicated funding for OGP implementation is strongly associated with higher rates of completed commitments.

Beyond issues of capacity, the other main obstacles to implementation include poor institutional coordination, lack of political support, discontinuity from one administration to another during political transition, and commitment objectives that are too vague to complete or do not align with the national context. While these obstacles transcend regions and persist across time, a few countries in particular seem to struggle with completing commitments.

To overcome these obstacles, government implementers should clearly specify the lead actors, deliverables and timelines for each commitment, as well as establish funding strategies and align OGP with national priorities. During implementation, establishing interagency working groups and implementation dashboards can further streamline communication across government and improve oversight.

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