Monitoring of Open Government Actions
The project of monitoring open government commitments was developed with the objective of guaranteeing the fulfillment of the Brazilian initiatives in the scope of the Open Government Partnership. It is a process carried out jointly, periodically and proactively by government and civil society, with significant results for society as a whole. This approach is materialized through specific monitoring and evaluation actions that provide transparency regarding the implementation of Brazilian OGP commitments.
The initiative of monitoring open government actions was developed to answer the need of the Brazilian government to carry out a more participatory, precise and periodic follow-up of National Actions Plans commitments in the scope of Open Government Partnership (OGP). This new monitoring format has been implemented since the Third National Action Plan (NAP) and its objective is to ensure a more effective and continuous involvement of partners and collaborators, being civil society representatives or government officials, in the execution of the actions.
The monitoring of the Third National Action Plan, coordinated by the CGU in partnership with the Civil Society’s Working Group, aims to provide the parties involved in the implementation of the commitments with updated, simple and objective information, so that corrections and potential adjustments can be timely made. With this perspective in mind, milestones, deadlines, and the parties responsible for the implementation of each action were already determined during the co-creation workshops. It is believed that this measure enabled a proactive performance of the government and of the civil society, which intervene as soon as any difficulty to implement the commitments within a body or an entity is identified.
Among the monitoring actions are the holding of semi-annual meetings, with the joint participation of commitments coordinators, of semi-annual specific meetings with the teams involved in each commitment, of bi-monthly follow-up reports, named Execution Status Reports (RSE), which are forwarded by each commitment coordinator and the publication of information and results in an active transparency website (www.governoaberto.cgu.gov.br)
This monitoring format is beneficial as it establishes a change in the governance system, ensuring more transparency, social participation, and pro-citizen approach. In addition, well-designed procedures favor the monitoring of actions implementation by society.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Brazilian monitoring project provided a new perspective for monitoring and evaluation of open government commitments. Adopting a series of measures to increase social participation and improve the monitoring process of National Action Plans actions is innovative as it was the first time such a methodology has enabled such a close, periodic and collaborative follow-up.
The Brazilian monitoring project is the result of a gradual learning process, based on previous experiences and feedback. The result was a substantial improvement in the quality of commitments implemented, which enabled the creation of a more solid network of collaborators and promoted more effective and transparent follow-up.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The main partners in the monitoring process are:
- the Office of the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) - monitoring the implementation of milestones, engaging with relevant government and civil society actors, holding periodic monitoring meetings;
- commitment coordinators - conducting the implementation process, articulating with civil society actors, and providing periodic information on implementation; and
- Civil Society Working Group - accompanies monitoring meetings, analyzes reports, participates in quarterly meetings with CGU team to evaluate the process.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Monitoring open government commitments benefits a broad group of users: i) those directly involved in implementing the commitments; ii) those interested in replicating the method used in the monitoring process; iii) actors who are impacted by the commitments' results.
In general, the beneficiaries are governmental and non-governmental actors who deal with the different areas addressed in the Third and Fourth National Action Plans.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The monitoring process effectively provides the parties involved in the implementation of commitments with updated, simple and objective information, so that corrections and potential adjustments could be made in a timely manner. The concrete results observed were related notably to the level of the Brazilian Third National Action Plan's execution, to the interaction between the actors involved in its implementation and to the transparency of its results.
Challenges and Failures
The monitoring process faced difficulties such as: i) low civil society engagement in some initiatives, ii) changes within the public administration's role, which caused temporarily disrupted some of the work and changed points of contact, and iii) budget constraints.
As a solution, CGU reinforced its contacts with the actors involved and with the commitment coordinators, held meetings to raise the awareness of relevant public agents, and used digital tools to allow remote participation.
Conditions for Success
The monitoring process counted on some fundamental conditions for its success, such as: legal and institutional support, transparency in the processes and availability of technological tools. In addition, CGU dedicated a team to work specifically on open government issues, in the scope of the Open Government and Transparency General Coordination team.
Considering the good results obtained with the implementation of the new monitoring format in the Third National Action Plan, the method is being used again in the Fourth National Action Plan. The expectation is that the relationship between government and society, during the monitoring of National Action Plans, is increasingly improved and diffused. In this sense, these monitoring procedures can certainly be replicated not only internally, but also by agencies, organizations or subnational governments that have interest in working collaboratively with segments of civil society. In addition, CGU is always open to hear suggestions for improvements, whether from other government partners or civil society entities.
A key feature to keep in mind is that the process of monitoring Brazilian commitments in the scope of OGP was possible thanks to well-designed and transparent procedures.
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