Open Government and Ukraine: is the country able to properly fulfill its commitments?

The term of the implementation of the second Action Plan (2014-2015) of the international Open Government Partnership Initiative expired on 1 July 2016. In September, Ukraine must be prepared to send an official Government and an independent civil society report to the Head of the Initiative's Committee.

open gov en 15 07 2016-page-001So far, out of 32 commitments of the Action Plan (2014-2015), 14 (44%) have been fulfilled, 14 (44%) are in progress, 2 (6%) have yet to be launched, and 2 (6%) was canceled. The overall success rate of the Initiative is 88%. More than twenty civil society organizations are engaged in the implementation of the Action Plan.

The undertaken commitments must be fulfilled, even if it not completed during the official term. The results matter far more than the time frame. At the same time the civil society has been monitoring the first Action Plan for 2012-2013. 35 out of 47 commitments have been fulfilled – 75%, in process – 10 (21%), have yet to be fulfilled – 2 (4%). The overall success rate of the Initiative is 96% .

According to independent experts in the "Annual Report of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On the Conditions of Informatization and the Development of an Informational Society Model in Ukraine"" for 2013, the OGP Initiatives' mechanism has been recognized as one of the most clear, open, and democratic mechanisms for interaction between governmental structures and civil society in Ukraine.

Fulfilled commitments are the following:

• A web portal for income, asset, and expenditure declarations of public officials has been developed;
• Amendments to the Law of Ukraine On Citizens' Appeals, the mechanism of electronic petitions, have been implemented;
• Pilot version of a Unified State Portal for administrative services was launched;
• National information and education campaign "Public Libraries Are Bridges to Electronic Government";
• Access to information in an open data format;
• Change of procedures for interactions between the government and civil society;
• Compliance with EITI.

The OGP Initiative is not just a timely implementation of the Action Plan, but an opportunity to develop new open standards for partnership. Among the other successful practices, the following should be mentioned:

• For the first time in government documents – the National Action Plan included a section titled «Partners»;
• Six ongoing thematic working groups have been established with co-heads from civil society and the government;
• There is an opportunity to establish a small coordinating council as a mechanism to improve operational management;
• The best practice of Ukraine – the establishment of the ProZorro system;
• Online regional discussions have been held;
• 80% of the commitments included were proposed by civil society;
• The first adoption of The Action Plan was broadcasted online by the National Round Table for the first time;
• The first Action Plan entered the list of top-10 Action Plans according to the Annual Brazil Summit.

25681275650 09519d794d o3464657Natalia Oksha, OGP Coordination Council Secretary and Deputy Director of the Department for Information and Public Relations at Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine stated: "The main purpose of the Initiative is to establish a new approach for the state administration which lies in the partnership of government and civil society institutions for the development and implementation of state policy. A great virtue of the Initiative is the opportunity to exchange experiences between the countries regarding the solutions to similar challenging issues. The success of the Initiative's implementation in Ukraine mostly depends on partnership between the Government, civil society, and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine."

Olesia Arkhypska, expert in governance at Transparency International Ukraine pointed out: «Ukraine has high marks for implementation of the Initiative compared against other countries. The current mechanism of the Initiative is the unique opportunity for the transformation and development of proper governance systems. Our nearest task is not only the further transformation of the interaction system between civil society institutions and governmental structures in Ukraine, but the establishment of the transnational platform of "stakeholders.""

This analytics was prepared and originally published by Transparency International Ukraine. OGP is a multilateral international initiative, formally launched on September 20, 2011 during a session of the United Nations General Assembly; it includes 69 countries. Ukraine joined the global initiative in September 2011. UNDP has actively assisted in in the implementation of the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative from the very beginning of its launch. In 2016, International Review Mechanism report on OGP implementation in Ukraine in 2014-2015 was launched and OGP Action Plan for 2016-2018 was developed with DHRP participation (membership in the Coordinating Council and its participation in multiple meetings of thematic working groups).