IDM report: Albanian officials, citizens uninformed about open goverment

October 29, 2013

News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Czech Republic

Goverment officials and the public in Albania lack awareness and understanding of Open Government Partnership (OGP) principles, according to an Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) study conducted as part of a PASOS project.

Mapping of Open Government Partnership in Albania found that many in the Balkan country confuse an open and accountable government and the establishment of a digital government (e–government). The report was released in connection with “Advocacy for Open Government: Civil society agenda-setting and monitoring of country action plans,” an EU-funded PASOS project intended to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.

The report looks at the status of open government principles in Albania one year after the country began implementation of a national action plan on open government. It analyzes four vectors: transparency, public participation, government accountability and use of technology.

“Most of the commitments undertaken in the Albanian Action Plan refer to the digitalization of government, through the establishment of online portals and web-pages,” the report states. “Progress has been made on commitments referring to the establishment of web pages and e-government processes. On the other hand, most of the other commitments in the Action Plan are either lacking assessment indicators or falling outside the OGP rationale.”

OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. To become a member of the OGP, participating countries must embrace a high level Open Government Declaration; deliver a country Action Plan developed with public consultation; and commit to independent reporting on their progress. Currently, 60 countries have joined the OGP, including Albania.

Other PASOS members who are working on “Advocacy for Open Government: Civil society agenda-setting and monitoring of country action plans” in their respective countries are the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (Serbia), the Analitika Center for Social Research (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Riinvest Institute for Development Research (Kosovo), the Center for Research and Policy Making (Macedonia), the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (Montenegro), and the Monitoring Center CEMI (Montenegro).

Through a common methodology addressing a common framework for open government, the project also includes expert training of civil society in the methodology for shaping Open Governance Partnership (OGP) commitments country by country, training of civil society organisations based in advocacy, monitoring, and policy analysis. Project partners are monitoring the impact of government polices, and developing commitments for governments to make under the OGP Initiative.

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