OGP Newsletter
August 2016 - Special Focus on Asia-Pacific

With almost 100 participants from over a dozen countries, #OGPAsiaPac displayed innovations in open government from the world's most populous region. This month's newsletter features an exploration of how joining OGP is like joining a gym, how open government can help reach the Sustainable Development Goals, interviews with Subnational Pilot Program leaders from the Asia-Pacific region, and much, much more!

The Next Phase of OGP: Delivering Transformative Impact for Citizens 

By Sanjay Pradhan, CEO of Open Government Partnership 

OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan opened the Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue in Manila, Philippines with a call for countries in the Asia-Pacific to more tightly embrace open governance initiatives through OGP. By harnessing ambition and the power of society, governments should directly serve their citizens and be able to tangibly improve governance and quality of life. Read more here.

Calling All Reformers: Be Part of our #5yearsOGP Video! 

By Dietlind Lerner, Director of Communications, OGP 

Are you ready for your star turn? Have an irresistible #opengov story to share? Did your life change because of an open government initiative - or the lack thereof? Tell us about it! We're making a video to celebrate five years of Open Government Partnership, and we need your help. We're looking for citizens, reformers, and everyone in between to send us a 30-90 second video on what open government means to YOU. More info here

President Obama Delivers Remarks on OGP at the White House Summit on Global Development
"Governments should serve the people, and not the other way around."
Quote of the Month: President Barack Obama
President of the United States of America, Co-Founder, Open Government Partnership
Click the video above to hear more about President Obama's take on how good governance is essential to global development - and how OGP helps good governance.

Open Government for Sustainable Development

By Liviana Zorzi, Programme Officer, UNDP, and Shreya Basu, Regional Civil Society Coordinator, OGP

How can open government serve the Sustainable Development Goals? UNDP set out to find #opengov initiatives that are serving citizens and working towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia. Here, Liviana Zorzi of UNDP and Shreya Basu of OGP discuss how open government can enhance sustainable development, and the winners of a UNDP call for initiatives. Read more here.

The Progress of OGP in Papua New Guinea

By Pole Kale, General Manager, Transparency International PNG, and Sam Yabon, Director for Asia/ASEAN, PNG MFA

“To the extent that geography can pervade a country’s sense of self, Papua New Guinea has often been described as inaccessible, with an abundant plurality of cultures borne of isolation.” Papua New Guinea, a diverse island nation of seven million, is drafting its first National Action Plan with input from a wide variety of government agencies, civil society organizations, and citizens. Read about the process so far and the future for OGP in Papua New Guinea here.

Behind the Subnational Government Pilot Program

Join Suyoto, the Regent of Bojonegoro, Indonesia; Nina Katiskatsi, the Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi, Georgia; and Younghoon Choi, the Chief Information Officer of Seoul, South Korea, as they talk about the challenges of and aspirations for using open governance to tackle to most pressing needs of subnational governments. Click through to read the interviews with Suyoto, Katiskatsi, and Choi.

The Heavy Lifting of OGP - No Pain, No Gain

By Richard Moya, Ford Foundation Fellow

How is joining OGP like joining the gym? The two have more in common than you’d think. Join Richard Moya as he talks about what governments want to get out of OGP - and how weights are not just for the heavy lifters. Read more here.

Faces of Open Government

Ibu Raden Siliwati, Director of State Apparatus, Ministry of National Development Planning, Republic of Indonesia

Tell us one commitment in Indonesia’s forthcoming NAP that you are really excited about and why?

I’m excited about almost all of it, honestly. But I think the one that excites me the most is the approach that we have in developing our NAP for this year, which is more inclusive and paves the way for a better collaboration between government and CSOs. This is major progress in our journey to embrace open government, and the result has been exciting. Especially as most of us know, collaboration between the two sectors is still something new for both Indonesian government and CSOs. So this kind of approach is something that is culturally changing the way the government and CSO work.

Read the full interview here.

Beggars and Netizens: Crowdsourcing policy-making in Armenia  

By Aram Asatryan, Government of Armenia, and Marina Mkhitaryan, Kolba Innovations Lab

On the road from direct to representative democracy, citizen participation was lost. Armenia has embraced the use of technology to engage citizens and stakeholders in the policy-making process, including online tools, television programs, and co-design workshops. Read more about their innovative methods here.

Featured OGP Commitment 

Country: The Philippines
Commitment: Citizen Participatory Audits
National Action Plan:

Following public outcry over the misuse of priority development assistance funds, and faced with the daunting task of monitoring the transactions of over 161,000 government units with fewer than 7,000 state auditors, the Philippines Commission on Audit (COA) pioneered the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) project. CPA brings together civil society organizations (CSOs), ordinary citizens, and COA auditors to monitor progress on government-funded development projects and participate in a joint audit process. The Philippines’ first OGP National Action Plan (NAP) included a commitment to develop four pilot CPA projects for flood control, health facilities, solid waste management and building schools. The country’s second NAP included activities to institutionalize the CPA process and release findings from the four pilot CPA projects.

At the time of publication of the last IRM progress report, findings of three of the four pilot projects had been published. Due to sensitive findings uncovered by the CPA project, the fourth audit report on the Department of Education’s School Building Program was upgraded to a fraud report. The CPA commitment is continued in the third OGP NAP, and CSOs report that two new audit reports have been published.

Filipino civil society stakeholders note that while the CPA process does not have the coercive power to hold government officials accountable, the projects have led to a more collaborative process between the COA, CSOs and citizens. The process has improved citizen understanding of the role of government audit and allowed citizens to see the value of citizen participation in the audit process.

OGP in the News - July Edition

By Alex Vedovi, Communications Intern, Open Government Partnership 

#OGPAsiaPac was not the only OGP news story this month! The White House Summit on Global Development made headlines around the world - and President Barack Obama gave OGP a boost in his keynote address. Alex Vedovi examines a round-up of the month’s top OGP stories, including stories from Abuja, Berlin, Washington, and beyond. Read more OGP news stories here.

Employment Opportunities

IRM Seeking Temporary Report Production Specialist 
OGP is seeking an experienced professional with excellent writing skills and copy-editing abilities to spend six months as a Report Production Specialist for the Independent Reporting Mechanism. For more information, and to apply, check out the details here.

Call for IRM National Researchers in Norway, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Cabo Verde, The Philippines, the United States, and Romania
The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is seeking individuals to carry out research at the national level in three countries to assess government progress on implementation of their OGP Action Plans. See here for application details.

OGP Seeking Africa Government Support Officer
OGP is seeking an Africa-based Government Support Officer to support the development and implementation of high-quality National Action Plans in Africa. Advanced degree and experience working in African governments required. More details here.
Buzz on #OpenGov   

On July 29th, the Steering Committee issued a response to the May 3rd letter from the civil society community. They also released a concept note.
OGP was heavily featured at the White House Global Development Summit. For clips, remarks, and more, check out the site.

OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan was interviewed by Devex in Manila. Read an excerpt here.

More photos, videos, and quotes from #OGPAsiaPac are available on Twitter - just search the hashtag!

National Action Plans are coming in - check out our Storify for highlights and featured commitments!

Spanish Newsletter: This newsletter is now available in Spanish! Click here to subscribe. 

OGP Gazette: The monthly OGP Gazette provides essential updates from the OGP Support Unit and IRM on official decisions, deadlines, communications, reporting and job openings. Click here to subscribe.
The World of #OpenGov
Pre-registration is open for OpenDataCon in Madrid on October 6-7! Details here.
Publish What You Fund is hiring a Director of Advocacy in London.
Publish What You Pay is looking for an India consultant.
The Open Government Awards application deadline has been extended to August 10. Details here. (Only previous registrants may apply.)
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