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OGP Works: 10 Findings from 10 Years of Data

OGP funciona: 10 hallazgos de 10 años de datos

Renzo Falla|

Note: The visualizations in this blog post are interactive. Hover over each figure to engage with it.

In 2021, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) turned 10. In those 10 years, we at the OGP Support Unit have gathered data on hundreds of open government action plans and thousands of commitments. In our recently released OGP Vital Signs report, we review this data to assess whether the OGP platform is working as intended—from action plan co-creation to results.

This new research validates the OGP model of co-creation and domestically owned action plans. In other words, where the OGP process is strongest, OGP outcomes tend to be strongest. And when action plans address tough issues, they make a difference. At the same time, we found several important challenges remaining.

Here are the top 10 findings from the report:

OGP process: The model works but government feedback to CSOs is a challenge

  1. Civil society involvement is associated with better OGP outcomes. We find statistical evidence—for the first time—that engaging CSOs throughout the OGP process is a strong predictor of ambitious commitments, better implementation, and early results, even when controlling for other factors.
  2. OGP processes are becoming more participatory. More countries are establishing multi-stakeholder forums for dialogue. And in most countries, government officials no longer just inform or consult CSOs about the OGP process—they engage in back-and-forth dialogue (see Figure 1).

  1. Government offices leading OGP are becoming more stable. Only about one in five countries experience a change in this office during the action plan cycle, compared to nearly half in the early days of OGP (see Figure 1). This growing stability is associated with more early results.
  2. Government feedback to CSOs remains a challenge. When governments give feedback, they tend to have better action plans. Yet feedback is still not common. Fewer than half of OGP governments provide a reasoned response, i.e., an explanation of how public inputs were considered in the OGP process (see Figure 2).

Action plans: Plans are more diverse but ambition and implementation could be stronger

  1. Action plans are becoming shorter but more diverse. The number of open government issues covered by the average action plan has doubled compared to the early days of OGP. This suggests that action plans may be engaging a greater diversity of stakeholders.
  2. Action plan ambition is generally not improving (see Figure 3). This is concerning as we find that ambition is the strongest predictor of real-world, early results. However, ambition varies widely depending on the policy area addressed by each commitment (see Finding 9 and Figure 5).

  1. Income is the strongest predictor of action plan implementation (see Figure 4). The difference in the rate of implementation between the highest and lowest-income OGP countries is nearly 35%, even when controlling for other factors.

Policy areas: OGP members are showing “real-world” improvements in specific policy areas

  1. Advancing policy areas through OGP is associated with “real-world” improvements. OGP countries that have made ambitious commitments across multiple action plans to disclose budgetary and beneficial ownership information have become more open than other OGP countries in these areas, based on third-party data.
  2. Anti-corruption reforms show a strong return on investment. Commitments related to anti-corruption topics consistently translate into early results (see Figure 5). And these commitments are becoming more common, particularly ones related to beneficial ownership and open contracting (see Figure 6).

  1. Civil liberties pose an urgent challenge. OGP countries continue to decline on third-party metrics related to civic space—particularly around the safety of activists and journalists—and few OGP commitments address these issues (see Figure 6).

See the full OGP Vital Signs report for more details. For those interested in the numbers, all of the data in the report is publicly available online here. Any questions or comments about the report or the data can be directed to renzo.falla@opengovpartnership.org.

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