Online progress monitoring of the Open Governmment commitments
In order to set a common understanding of the progress made on the Government action plan related to Open Government, an online platform publicly shares the details of every government commitment and its corresponding progress. This approach offers:
- A framework for coordination between the different administration entities around Open Government
- A tool for transparency and accountability to be used by civil society and the general public
Coevaluation is a fundamental principle of Open Government. The general public, civil society, and all stakeholders should have access to the necessary information to evaluate the degree of the respect of different commitments of the government action plan. Yet, a posteriori evaluation is often obsolete as it leaves little window for improvement. And any feedback cannot be applied to current action plans.
The project is an online system that enables continuous public monitoring and evaluation of different Open Government commitments. This approach achieves these objectives:
1- For the public administration:
- It facilitates coordination between different administrations.
- It identifies delays or blockages that require high management decisions. As the platform measures and monitors the respect of the present planning.
2- For the general public and civil society:
- It enables transparency on the actions taken by the government.
- It enables facts and data based accountability on government actions.
This system is currently officially used and administered by the OGP coordination team under the Ministry of Administration Reform and Public Functions. It is under continuous improvements based on the demands of civil society and public servants involved in the Open Government process. Some near time improvements include an automated notification system, a standard reporting system, and a more elaborate index system.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
1- Monitoring methodology:
Previously, monitoring was tracked through lengthy meetings with low visibility on status, delays, and projections. With this system, monitoring is tracked on a micro level by checking every activity on every commitment.
2- Evaluation methodology:
The evaluation used to be communicated through descriptive reports. The system summarizes the evaluation on a single quantitative number (percentage of the implementation progress). This enables easy identification of the shortcomings.
3- Delay management
Delays on implementation were often not concerning, except in major cases. The system identifies and notifies every minor delay to help take corrective actions at the early stages.
The general public has access to progress status and indicators of every action in every commitment.
By publishing a status update, the system would lead to shifting accountability techniques to data-driven and evidence-driven advocacy.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The platform is already deployed on www.gouvernement-ouvert.ma in Arabic and French languages. It is currently used by the Open Government Implementation committee as a unique tool for tracking progress and identifying blockages. It is used by the Open Government Steering committee to evaluate progress on the implementation of the action plan.
Collaborations & Partnerships
- Government officials: the cocreation process with different public officials helped build common language and common expectations about the OG action plan. It also helped driving adoption moving forward.
- Civil Society: The consultation process with civil society helped improve the online system and provide input for future improvements areas.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
- Government decision makers
- Government commitment managers
- Civil society organizations
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
A standard way to measure and communicate about progress on Open Government Action Plan. It is expected that the measurement methodology would be reviewed and improved, particularly based on the feedback of civil society.
Most important impact is to change the Monitoring and Evaluation culture to a culture of measurement, a culture of numbers.
Challenges and Failures
1- Resistance to adoption
Many government official managers had difficulty adopting the system and were not updating their status appropriately. The OG team made an extra effort to make periodic phone calls to learn about different updates and report it directly.
Agreement about methodology:
The methodology of measuring progress is not yet consensual. In particular, civil society organizations are proposing to measure progress based on impact rather than based on output.
This is a question that will be further discussed and analyzed in the future.
Conditions for Success
- Leadership: The success of the project relies on driving different institutional partners to adopt this new monitoring mechanism. This requires the support unit to show strong leadership to push for collective adoption through inspiration, trainings and periodic followup and assistance.
- Ease of use: A major challenge of adoption was the data entry to the online platform by the public servant who are used to either paper reporting or a simple online fiche reporting. The barrier of adoption has to be very low. The platform user experience and user interface were continuously improved to meet and exceed the expectations of the target data entry users (public servants).
- Governance model: The platform is a mean/tool to better governance through better monitoring and evaluation. The success of the platform is based on its usage by two committees:
- The OG steering committee uses the platform as the official source of information to analyze the progress, and delays and the blockages. Strategic and follow up decisions are based on the platform data analysis.
- The OG execution committee uses the platform to report the progress on different actions and to communicate any requests to the steering committee.
The platform has inspired other departments to learn how to have simple to use and transparence ME platform:
- The Organisation of digital transformation
- The organization of the fight against corruption
The lessons learnt for the initiative can be summarized as per below:
- Contextualization: The original plan was to build a standrard M&E platform and ask the public servants to use it. It was more successful to learn about the modus operandi to the users and adapt to the platform to their contexts, their habits and their expectations. This required agile development and continuous improvements.
- Shared Ownership: In a culture where a rigid M&E culture is not widespread, there is a risk that the platform would not be adopted in a sustainable manner. A key ingredient was to envolve all the parties on the creation and development of the platform, as well as to share the ownership of its adoption. The shared ownership provides better chances of sustainable usage and improvement.
- Continuous improvements: While the platform is used and adopted for the management of the OG action plan, it is in continuous improvements as new ideas and proposals are getting submitted. For instance, an interesting proposal is to start tracking impact indicators (in addition to the current progress indicators)
- How to bring better indicators
- How to make the evaluation participatory