Transparency signifies the removal of all forms of distortion or corruption of information within the policy management cycle. Decision analysis is designed to maximise transparency at every level of operation and stage of the decision analysis cycle by making sure that all relevant factors have been taken into account. In terms of agricultural policy management the following aspects of organization help maintain transparency:
Problems facing farmers are best identified by farmers. However the complexity of the agricultural sector will often require a rational division of the farming constituency into sub-groups who face similar issues relates to location, farm type and range of produce. In well-organized agricultural sectors with a transparent overview of conditions the foundation for participatory policy development is farmer associations. These can facilitate the managemnt of policy planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of progress and diagnosis of outcomes.
Besides the direct statements of farmers concerning their needs, the rational managemnt of policy requires information such as the relative performance data of farms so as to ascertain where and how operations can be improved. This is normally collected on the basis of surveys and reviews of accounts. Data needs to cover physical, technical, economic and financial aspescts fo farm operations are this is best secured on the basis of enterprise specific data (ESD1)
The use of well-maintained relevant information management systems, permitting constituency inspection
All data collected needs to be protected from unauthorised alterations and subject to confidentiality safeguards, should be made available in a convenient form to all agricultural constituents.
The deployment of robust analytical methods applied to data to provide relevant analyses and reports
The development of an operational structure within which farmers participate in the policy cycle and have an effective oversight of all data which has been collected so as to provide the highest quality data for the resources available, the analyses used to support planning and policy decision making need to identify the options available to achieve policy objectives. Implmentation activities need to relate directly to the selected policies and objectives and monitoring and evaluation needs to provide a useful assessment of policy performance. The policy outcomes also need to be openly reviewed and diagnosed. The participatory approach helps conclusions to analyses take into account deficiencies in information that will establish priroities for collection of addiitonal information. This being conducted in a participatory and collective manner helps share responsibilities and avoid recriminatory situations. This basis for policy cycle management helps maintain a positive approach by both government officials and constituents.