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Enhanced Accountability: Reshaping the IRM Together

Hacia una mayor rendición de cuentas: Redefiniendo al IRM, juntos

Denisse Miranda|

Almost four years ago, I joined the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM), just as the 2015-2016 report cycle was beginning. Back then, we were a staff of five ready to take on what would be the largest reporting cycle in the short history of the IRM – 57 reports. Or so we thought. Every year since then has been “the most reports the IRM has ever produced”. Looking back now, I find myself missing the simpler times of 2015.

It is exciting to see how much OGP has grown. More participating countries, a program for local governments, a stronger focus on policy areas, the first ever OGP Global Report, a growing knowledge and learning unit, enhanced country support, and surely more IRM reports. Yet, resources are not infinite. For the IRM, going from 57 reports in 2015 to 110 in 2019 has been a huge undertaking. A task that is no longer sustainable, as the IRM Review Report alerted in 2018.

The IRM Review Report suggested that the IRM required a strategic overhaul of its mechanism to have more impact in OGP. The key areas where the IRM Review identified opportunities for change were:

  • Communications and outreach
  • Timeliness
  • IRM recommendations

Change is easier said than done. Through the review process and during the most recent OGP Global Summit, I have heard OGP stakeholders call out for bold changes in the IRM. But What does bold look like though? How bold is bold enough? What would a new reporting model look like? Is the IRM more than a report? These are some of the questions the IRM Refresh is trying to answer. More importantly, for the IRM Refresh to meet expectations of the open government community we need to hear your ideas.

During the first half of 2019, the IRM has been doing internal consultations with IRM staff, the IRM’s International Experts Panel (IEP) and IRM researchers. The initial consultations also included conversations with OGP leadership and OGP government points of contact, regarding expectations and priorities of the IRM Refresh.

Earlier this month, we launched an IRM Refresh Survey, to collect feedback from the broader open government community. In early October, we will convene a group of OGP stakeholders for a design workshop that will build on feedback received so far. We look forward to ongoing conversations around design ideas through the end of 2019 and early 2020. We hope to deliver a stronger and renewed IRM by April of 2020. 

We believe the process of change will only be successful if we are all engaged. For anyone interested in IRM findings but don’t know where in a 120-page report to start reading, for the government points of contact that did not receive a report when they needed it most, for the IRM team, IEP, and researchers and the endless hours reviewing reports, for our Support Unit colleagues that are asked constantly how to get more “starred commitments”, for all the OGP community that is counting on the IRM to learn, to hold OGP countries accountable, this IRM Refresh is for all of us.

Comments (5)

Basadi Edith Tamplin Reply

I like to commend you for the good work. I am a die hard OGP advocate and follower. I happened to initiate and participate on one of the OGWeek events. Congratulations on the release of the Global Report. I have not yet studied the report which is no doubt extremely informative. I hope you will continue to invite us to participate in whichever possible way we can. I had an opportunity to participate in some webinar public consultations toward drafting the drafts.
I created a facebook page; Open Government Partnership Fan Group that I administer. The page help to create awareness and to spread the OGP message. Hopefully my country will one day be an OGP partner country.

Marissa O'Neill Reply

Thanks, Basadi! We’re glad to hear you’re interested in the Global Report and the work that the OGP community is doing around the world. We hope you’ll continue to engage with us at future events.

Andrés Kouvach Reply

Hi! In my case I truly believe in open government for the people. As a thesis for my magister I studied how could the OGP pillars would be evaluated no only from the point of view of accomplishment but also from de processes capabilities that the country owns. With that in mind, I took de CMMI for services Model and I successfully could map each requirement to one or more Open Government Pillars.
I believe that this kind of approach would bring light to understand why some implementations are failing.
yours sincerely

Marissa O'Neill Reply

Thanks for your suggestion, Andrés! We’ll take it into consideration as we undergo the IRM Refresh process.

Huma Saeed Reply

Hi Denisse and the IRM team, thank you very much for this very interesting reflection and congratulations for such great achievements! I would like to thank you also for involving us in the consultation process and for providing us with the results and updates. As an IRM researcher for Afghanistan, I am so touched to see the impact of OGP values on the ground, which seems to get only better during the second Action Plan. I am really honoured to serve as an IRM researcher and hope to continue my support in ways I can.

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