As a national member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the UK is required to publish a National Action Plan for Open Government (NAP) regularly.
The process of developing the NAP was coordinated by the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), part of the Cabinet Office. It was co-created by government and civil society, the latter coordinated by the UK Open Government Civil Society Network (UK OGN).
Below is further details about the process of developing the sixth NAP, which was published on Monday 18th December 2023 on GOV.UK here.
The UK Multi-stakeholder Forum (MSF)
The UK MSF oversees co-creation and implementation of the UK’s NAP.
It met quarterly to oversee the development of the 6th NAP.
Attendees included civil servants from multiple government departments, members of the steering committee of the UK Open Government Network, and any subject matter specialists or network leaders of relevance to the development of the plan.
MSFs were co-chaired by the relevant government minister or senior civil servant, and the chair of the UK Open Government Network. From the government, Alex Burghart MP co-chaired one meeting with Sue Bateman, Chief Data Officer at the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) in the Cabinet Office co-chairing the rest. Kevin Keith, Chair of the UK Open Government Network, co-chaired on behalf of civil society.
Meetings are under Chatham House Rule. The Central Digital and Data Office in the Cabinet Office (as with the previous National Action Plan) were the secretariat.
The process of civil society-government co-creation occurs over the following stages:
STAGE ONE: Planning for the process
Early planning is designed to ensure objectives are clear, stakeholders and their roles are defined, available resources are identified, and the timeline to completion is accurate. Research shows that a strong and inclusive co-creation process leads to well-designed and more ambitious commitments, but this requires sufficient resources.
Design a co-creation process that enables meaningful dialogue, while also being realistic and accounting for resource constraints; Develop a mechanism to gather input from a range of stakeholders, such as an open call for proposals from the public; Ensure that stakeholders have a clear understanding of the aims of each step of the co-creation process; Engage ministers throughout the co-creation process and ensure ministerial awareness of commitment proposals prior to the approval of the final action plan; Prior to adopting the final action plan, report back to stakeholders on how their contributions from the co-creation process were considered.
STAGE TWO: Outreach
Meaningful civil society-government participation relies on awareness of open government, the co-creation process and how to get involved. It is particularly important to consider the barriers to the inclusion of marginalised and habitually excluded groups when conducting outreach activities to ensure as diverse a set of stakeholders as possible.
STAGE THREE: Action plan development – Analysing Inputs
Action plan development focuses on identifying commitments that will be included in the action plan, from analysing inputs, defining the problem, and identifying solutions, to reasoned response and finalisation.
STAGE FOUR: FEEDBACK AND REASONED RESPONSE
A reasoned response is the government’s (or MSF’s) reply to stakeholders who contributed to the action plan and to the public in general, which contains the reasoning behind decisions made on their contributions.
Once the plan is finalised, it will be published and submitted to OGP.
Following the publication of the UK NAP6, the next MSF will take place on Wednesday 24th January.
The meeting will cover the final oversight of the delivery of the fifth National Action Plan (NAP5) and review NAP6 co-creation process.