News, events

Co-creation of the 4th National Action Plan

20.09.2018

A joint workshop with Government and CSO representatives to co-create new OGP commitments for the 4th Action Plan was held on 18-19 September in Aghveran. The event was organized by the Freedom of Information Center in cooperation with the RA Government within the “Promoting Open Government Partnership in Armenia” Project supported by the OGP support Unit and Tides Center.

The main goal of the workshop was to co-design new commitments for the OGP 4th National Action Plan, as well as to summarize regional outreach meetings’ outcomes. Incorporation of their suggestions into the Action plan will immensely accomplish it and guarantee civil society input and vision.
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In the first phase of the development process of the 4th Action Plan March-August, 2018, over 90 suggestions from state bodies, CSOs and citizens via oline platform had been received. After that, during several meetings with targeted groups the suggestions package had been filtered and during this workshop the participants discussed over 40 suggestions.

Over 40 representatives from State bodies and CSO's were gathered together to discuss new suggestions for the 4th National Action Plan, which aim to enhance transparency, accountability and public participation in Armenia. Shreya Basu, Lead Asia Pacific, OGP, Mohammad Ali Haider, Program Officer, Knowledge Learning Innovation and Capacity Building, Najma Siddiqi, World Bank and Aichida Ul Aflaha, World Bank were also participated in the workshop.

FOICA President and meeting speaker Shushan Doydoyan mentioned: “Cooperation between civil society and Government within the framework of Open Governance Partnership Initiative is already a tradition and a well-established reality. This is a very important fact since the entire philosophy and logic of the OGP initiative is built on this cooperation and dialogue. Let us think what it will look like but we definitely want to see our 4th Action Plan several steps more advanced. In this context I attach big importance to the trilateral cooperation between the Government, civil society and donors”.

Shreya Basu- Lead Asia Pacific, OGP, presented the main values for OGP commitments, which are
1. Transparency: Did commitment activities

  • Disclose new information?
  • Improve usefulness usability or use of information?
  • Improve people’s ability to get that information?

2. Participation: Did the commitment

  • Open or improve public role in decision-making?
  • Improve people’s ability to assemble, organize, or express themselves freely?
  • Not commitments that assume participation without specifying mechanism to participate

3. Accountability:

  • Are officials accountable to members of the public for actions that were not before?
  • Rules, regulations ad mechanisms that call upon Government actors to justify their actions.
  • Not internal-facing mechanisms.

Lilia Afrikyan, OGP WG secretary summarized the implementation of the previous 3rd Action Plan. Then the participants started to discuss the new suggestions. Liana Doydoyan, FOICA Project coordinator and OGP WG member emphasized the importance of the change that should bring each commitment for public. “Therefore, first we should ask us a question: What big change will bring this action to a citizen? Is this change will serve for a good, transparent, accountable Government and how people can really participate in decision-making processes?” – added Liana Doydoyan.

2 days discussions were really very productive. As a result about 18 suggestions from 40, selected for further re-design, after they will be presented to the OGP Working group. Lilia Afrikyan informed that the Government of Armenia should approve its 4th NAP at the end of October. “We still have time to improve our commitments after the draft of the NAP will published on the OGP Armenia website for public comments, .then we assume to approve the 4th NAP at the end of October”- added Lilia Afrikyan.

The workshop provided a unique forum for such a constructive dialogue between the NGOs and the Government, where they not only position themselves but also engage in a collaborative debate.

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