New Report on Open Government in Canada

Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Daniel J. Paré, Associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa, the Institute for Science, Society, and Policy (ISSP), and the School of Information Studies (ÉSIS) has authored an evaluation report of the federal government’s fourth open government action plan.

That action plan was launched in December 2018 in accordance with Canada’s obligations as a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable.

“This fourth action plan is notable for being the first plan to be developed in partnership with a multi-stakeholder forum and for the attention it gives to corporate transparency, access to information, and feminist and inclusive dialogue,” said Paré.

“It is, though, largely a ‘hold steady’ plan that is broad in scope and which continues work started in the earlier action plans,” he continued. “Designing issue-centered, targeted commitments that bring open government and open data to bear more directly on challenges, issues, and problems that resonate with Canadians’ daily lives and well-being should be a priority moving forward.”

Paré’s report, which was conducted under the auspices of the OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM), contains an analysis of the co-creation process leading to the design of Canada’s 2018-2020 National Action Plan on Open Government, as well as individual analyses of the ten commitments comprising the plan.

The report also sets out five central recommendations for the design of future action plans:

  • Ensure future commitments are built around specific economic, environmental, political, and/or social problems
  • Delineate between short- and longer-term commitment co-creation and implementation timelines
  • Consolidate the role of the Multi-stakeholder forum, and expand its reach directly into lead departments agencies
  • Earmark specific resources for the implementation of OGP commitments
  • Implement a result or performance-based approach to action plan design and implementation

The full Canada 2018-2020 IRM Design Report is available here. The public is invited to review and comment on this report from February 25 until March 10, 2020.



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