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Independent Reporting Mechanism releases South Africa progress report for comment

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The Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reporting Mechanism releases the first in a series of reports looking at the initial cohort of eight countries that submitted OGP action plans. First up is the IRM report on South Africa, which can be found below.

The IRM’s goal is to deliver a credible, non-partisan description of the process behind the implementation of a country’s commitments. This also includes the results of those commitments and importantly, technical recommendations for that country as it looks to implement its second action plan. The IRM research is carried out by an independent researcher under the guidance of the IRM Washington DC team as well as an International Experts Panel, comprised of five technical advisors. In the case of South Africa, the report was drafted by Ralph Mathekga of Clear Content Research and Consulting, an independent public policy and research firm.

The South Africa action plan focused on service delivery and public integrity. As an early OGP participant benefiting from first mover advantage, South Africa has also faced challenges that will inform the development of its next action plan. Some of the initiatives South Africa included in its action plan were particularly promising. Two in particular, Service Delivery Improvement Forums and the Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Campaign, have the potential to improve delivery of basic services by creating opportunities for citizens to learn more about services and provide real-time feedback. On the other hand, a major finding of the report was that, “A number of South Africa’s commitments involved activities that did not stretch government practice beyond the baseline that existed prior to joining the OGP. While South Africa largely hasn’t finished implementing all of the commitments it made in its first action plan, it has made progress. The South African government, working with civil society, still has time to incorporate its work-in-progress commitments as part of its second OGP action plan. “

The next action plan should focus on how government relates with civil society organisations, community-based organisations, and communities at large,” the IRM researcher concludes. All interested parties are encouraged to comment on this blog or to send comments to IRM@opengovpartnership.org until November 14. Where relevant, comments will be integrated into a final version of the report, except where the requester asks to be anonymous.

Photo credit: By Martin Power, via Wikimedia Commons

IRM South Africa Progress Report