OGP Newsletter
October 2015  

Sign the OGP Declaration on the New Global Goals

On Sunday September 27, members of the Open Government Partnership’s Steering Committee met in New York City on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly to endorse the Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Declaration commits participating governments to take advantage of the OGP infrastructure - including the National Action Plan and the guaranteed participation of Civil Society - to help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

As a partnership of governments and civil society committed to opening up government to citizens around the world, the OGP Steering Committee encourages all OGP governments and civil society groups to endorse the Declaration by the start of the Global Summit on October 28, 2015.

To endorse the declaration on behalf of your government or civil society organization please send an email to Click here to see the full list of countries that have signed till date.

For further information about the relationship between OGP and the 2030 Agenda we invite you to refer to a paper by two OGP co-chairs, Alejandra Lagunes of the Government of Mexico and Manish Bapna of the World Resources Institute: “How Can the Open Government Partnership Accelerate Implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development?"

Winners of the IDRC Grant for Research on OGP Announced

Earlier this summer we launched a call for proposals for research on OGP, with six mini-grants for ideas with the potential to inform the work of the Open Government Partnership. The rules were simple: the proposed research needed to shed light on cross-thematic or cross-country trends within OGP or provide new ways of thinking about how we can evaluate impact. Our main objective was to get the community mobilised to work on topics that haven’t been explored previously, using the wealth of OGP data that is now available, including the National Action Plans, IRM data and the OGP Explorer.  

The response was fantastic. We received over 55 proposals within a two week time frame. Topics ranging from extractives, participatory budgeting, justice, linked open data and open parliaments to explorations of why OGP succeeds in certain countries and doesn’t do as well in others and the link between OGP and other international processes, including the SDGs agenda.  While it was heartening to see so many great proposals, it made the job of the jury incredibly hard and meant that unfortunately some really great ideas had to be turned down. We’re very pleased to announce the six authors and paper titles that were eventually selected.
Continue reading on the OGP blog

Quote of the Month
"OGP can be a key way, I think, of generating some innovative means of implementing Goal 16 – and it is also a way to gauge whether governments are living up to their commitments. Because, again, implementation is going to require accountability, it won’t happen by its own. At the end of next month, I will be leading the U.S. Government’s delegation to Mexico for the OGP biennial summit, at which several sessions will focus on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. And I would urge all of the governments represented in this room to encourage their capitals to send Cabinet-level officials to participate – to vote with their feet – and for the NGOs to take advantage of OGP’s unique, sometimes awkward, platform to advance their best ideas directly to governments, and as partners with them."

Ambassador Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Remarks at a Reception on the Eve of the UN Summit
to Adopt the 2030 Agenda: Delivering on the Promise of Goal 16 

Faces of Open Government

Tamara Puhovski works in the office of the Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister and is the coordinator of the Open Government Partnership in Croatia. 

How does open government make a difference in peoples lives?
OGP is like a superhero, it does very complicated things to bring about very simple solutions to everyday problems. It ensures that the Governments and the societies people live in are not lagging behind in bringing about 21st century quality of life, democracy and decision-making. It empowers people.
How have you benefited from exchanging ideas with civil society?
To paraphrase the OGP slogan, great ideas come from the civil society. Personally I can say that the civil society organisations I have worked with have helped me be at the same time more ambitious and more realistic and have been an endless source of motivation and creative solutions that I rely on. Also they have ensured I receive a couple of crash courses on topics such as IT technology, legislation in the area of access to information and fiscal transparency. But probably what I appreciate the most is the sense of community and support for common good that we have developed, and the mutual support for shared values and ambitions for Croatia's future. It’s not us and them anymore, it’s the OGP and the non-OGP, or rather “not yet OGP” people. In short, if you are working in public sector and you feel alone you probably need OGP and civil society partners. We often disagree on the speed or the methodology of going after OGP goals but the sentiment behind it and the common ambition that we have for the future of this society is something I at the same time immensely treasure and try to never take for granted. To be perfectly honest once you realise how it enriches the process of policy-making you will want the CS as partners on other things you do as well. View More

Country: United Kingdom
Commitment: Publicly Accessible Registry of Company Beneficial Ownership
National Action Plan: 2013-15

Corporate transparency is recognized as one of the most powerful tools in the fight against corruption. In its second action plan, the UK committed to release a publicly accessible central registry of company beneficial ownership information. In June 2013,
under David Cameron’s chairmanship, the G8 took the important step of agreeing principles of beneficial ownership at the Lough Erne summit. Shortly thereafter the European Parliament and Council also reached political agreement on beneficial ownership, specifying that the ultimate owners of companies would have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, and made accessible to people with a "legitimate interest," such as investigative journalists and other concerned citizens. Progress on the commitment has been substantial so far.

According to some stakeholders: "..this register is going to be transformative in the fight against money laundering, fraud, and other criminal activity. But much of this will only be revealed when the beneficial ownership data is combined with other datasets, including government procurement, licenses, environmental citations, and other public data." The register will be available in April 2016. Given the novelty of this extremely important initiative, OGP can feel proud of moving the process along. 

Read more here.

OGP photos from around the world

Top: Serbia's IRM Stakeholder Consultations in Belgrade, September 21st.                                    Bottom: The Asian Development Bank OGP Asia Pacific Meeting, Manila 7-8 September 2015 brought together approximately 50 delegates from government, civil society, multilateral organizations and foundations.

Latest News on OGP

Balkans Regional OGP Dialogue
Early September the Balkan OGP Dialogue took place in Tirana, organised by Albanian and international OGP stakeholders. The meeting brought together over 250 participants from governments and civil society from most of the Balkan countries, and can be considered the first OGP event organised at a subregional level. The Regional Dialogue was designed to encourage peer exchange between participants in what the organizers called a ‘learn and show' initiative. Jack Mahoney from the OGP Support Unit published a debrief on the meeting, which you can read back here. 
Brazil's Office of the Comptroller General Survives Ministerial Reorganisation
Earlier this month OGP Civil Society Steering Committee co-chairs Suneeta Kaimal and Alejandro Gonzalez publicly called on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to protect the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU). The CGU is the Brazilian government agency which co-founded OGP and served as chair in 2011-2012. The CGU risked being removed as part of austerity measures proposed by the Parliament to cut the number of government ministries. Due in no small part to the energetic protests of civil society in Brazil and around the world, we are happy to announce that the CGU has been spared. 
Read their statement 
Launch of the OGP Government Champion Award!
The civil society members of the OGP steering committee are proud to announce the inaugural OGP Government Champion Award! Nominations were submitted for OGP government offices, departments, or teams going “above and beyond” the Partnership’s expectations for working with civil society to co-create National Action Plans and co-monitor their implementation. Stay tuned for an announcement of the winner at the OGP Global Summit.
OGP Self-Assessment Reports Received
The Support Unit has received more than 20 self assessment reports from participating countries. Visit the OGP website to read the reports from Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Norway, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.

The Buzz on Open Government     

UK Open Government Network Launches its Open Government Manifesto 
Generally acknowledged as a leader in pursuing advocacy within OGP, British Civll Society has published an Open Government Manifesto, which includes 28 key proposals sourced from Civil Society for the third British Action Plan, due in January 2016. The National Open Government Network currently counts over 450 members.
GPSA to organise e-forum on Engaging with Citizen Voices and Experiences
From 19 October - 6 November the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) organises an e-forum to inform the 2017 World Development Report on Governance and the Law. The forum will consist of an online discussion where multiple stakeholders are expected to share their views, knowledge and experiences in the field of governance and the law. This e-forum is one means through which the WDR 2017 will engage with external stakeholders working on governance issues. More information on how to participate here.
Webinars and Events
October 14
Acceso a la Información y Datos Abiertos: herramientas complementarias para periodistas. 
Speakers: Silvana Fumega, Hassel Fallas, Gabriela Flores Chávez, David Cabo. Register HERE

October 21
How OGP Can Accelerate Implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development
Speakers: Manish Bapna and Mark Robinson of the World Resources Institute 
Registration link coming soon on the World Bank website

OGP Global Summit, Mexico City
October 27 Civil Society Day 
October 28-29, OGP Global Summit
View the agenda here and keep up on the latest developments at our Summit Website.
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