OGP Newsletter
Americas Special Edition 
With #OGPMontevideo on June 1-2, we turn our attention to the Americas, with pieces by Uruguayan government and civil society representatives, OGP's new CEO, as well as pieces on corruption, the Open Government Awards, regional commitments to watch, the ambition-implementation gap, a featured commitment from Uruguay, and an interview with Paraguay POC Santiago Garcia. 

Open Government: Reflections from Uruguay  

By Virginia Pardo, Digital Citizenship Area Director, AGESIC & Fabrizio Scrollini, President, DATA Uruguay

By the time you read this, hundreds of people from all over the continent will have arrived in Montevideo to take part in the OGP Americas Regional Meeting. It is an honor and pleasure for Uruguay to welcome the people in the region striving to make a difference. Five years into the process, we would like to share with you some of the lessons we have learned and that we hope to discuss over the course of the event. Read the full blog here.

The Path to Openness  

By José Clastornik, Director of Agencia de Gobierno Electrónico y Sociedad de la Información (AGESIC)

Since the creation of AGESIC, we have understood that democracy involves structures that change and should adapt – though no longer according to the schemes of projects or isolated policies, but to the evolution which is determined by the demands of citizens.

In our agency, our mission is to lead an implementation strategy for Digital Government with a public administration centered on citizens. We aim to change the relationship between citizens and the State based on the possibilities that information technologies open to us. In this regard, new technologies are for us not ends in themselves, but rather tools that allow us to achieve truly meaningful changes in people’s lives. Read the full blog here

Quote of the Month

Tough Challenges and Big Opportunities: Commitments to Watch in the Americas 

By Denisse Miranda, Research Manager & Gustavo Perez, Report Production Specialist, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)

To date, the Americas region faces a number of challenges in advancing  open government reforms. For many countries, insecurity, corruption and human rights violations are just some of the critical issues that governments need to tackle. Access to information and public accountability are key to to tackling these challenges. In this context, we would hope that  National Action Plans (NAP) be used as an opportunity to overcome the region’s issues and to push for ambitious open government reforms. Read the full blog here

The Winner Is... Everyone Who Can Learn From You 

By Daniel Carranza, Co-founder of DATA Uruguay 

Awards are a funny thing. Almost everyone loves getting one, but no one should really aim for them. Especially when you’re doing “social” work, right? So, it’s fair to ask why you should care about the recently launched 2016 Open Government Awards. I’ll try to give a few answers to that question as one of this year’s judges but mostly as part of DATA Uruguay, the organization that together with the Public Health Ministry had the honor of being awarded last year’s first prize with Read the full blog here.

The Fight Against Corruption in Latin America Requires Greater Ambition 

By Silvana Fumega, Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Social Change 

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) Regional Meeting comes at a tense political moment in the region. A variety of “scandals” – mostly linked to a lack of public ethics, accountability and/or to corruption – have occupied the news in recent months (these are well known and I will not mention them here). In this context, many voices have been raised to deride the quality of democracy in some Latin American countries. In this connection, one can see positive and not-so-positive points… Read the full blog here.

Faces of Open Government

Santiago Garcia, Paraguay Government OGP Point of Contact, Technical Secretariat for Planning

How does open government make a difference in people's lives in your country?

Paraguay, like most Latin American countries, has a representative democracy and is currently developing a participatory one. The effects of recent civil wars and dictatorial regimes are still manifest. While my generation did not experience these periods firsthand, we were raised by a generation who preferred, out of fear or lack of education, to remain uninvolved with political activity. However, the political environment is changing. Little by little, we are seeing the rise of a society who is not willing to let governments make decisions without them having a say. Protests are growing and resulting in the creation of a society where organized citizenship sets forth an agenda and generates historic milestones. Open government plans create the tools and forums this new society requires. 
Click here to read the full interview. 
Keep Moving: Brazil's Political Crisis and OGP   

By Joara Marchezini, Access to Information Project Officer, Article 19 

The Civil Society Working Group (WG), in cooperation with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Brazil, is collaborating on the development of the third National Action Plan (NAP) for 2016-2018. However, recent political developments in Brazil may affect the NAP development process. On May 12th, the Federal Senate removed Dilma Rousseff, by process of impeachment, from the post of President for a period of 180 days. Rousseff’s vice president, Michel Terner, is acting as president during the 180-day period. Read the full blog here

Featured OGP Commitment 

Country: Uruguay 
Commitment: Integrated System to Manage Complaints at the  Sub-National Level 
National Action Plan: 

The Municipality of Maldonado in Uruguay, with a population of approximately 164,000 citizens, has become a trendsetter in e-government with the development of an integrated management system for municipal complaints. In 2011, the municipal authority launched an online tool to decentralize and make it easier for citizens to make complaints and claims. It also improves the government’s ability to respond to citizens. Additionally, in 2013 the municipality had already made significant advances publishing open data (updated every 72 hours) for citizen use. With the inclusion of this commitment, the Municipality has expanded citizen access to new technologies and introduced a new informational function in all steps of the claims process, allowing complaints to be tracked. In March 2015, the government launched the service via smartphones and the Maldonado’s online portal is continuously being updated day to day. This commitment could have a significant impact nation-wide, setting a precedent and developing a software that could be replicated in other cities, especially those where citizen participation and accountability are starting to rise.

The Ambition Threshold in the Americas

By Denisse Miranda, Research Manager, IRM & Renzo Falla, Research Assistant, IRM 

Since OGP’s inception, countries in the Americas region have had high energy and enthusiasm for the OGP process. Despite this incredible energy, the region is lagging in overall commitment ambition. The latest IRM numbers show that only 12% of commitments in the region have been assessed as transformative, and overall, only 20% of all commitments in the 17 OGP partner countries are rated as complete. Read more here.

Latest OGP News and Employment Opportunities

Open Government Awards- Civil Society Step Up! 
In 2016, OGP is taking one of its foundational values - Transparency – and asking civil society applicants to show its real promise for both governments and citizens. Governments and government-controlled entities collect, commission and produce vast quantities of data and information as part of their day-to-day activities. When these are made transparent - readily available and accessible - citizens can creatively use, analyze, visualize and share them for public benefit. Deadline to register is June 27th. All Open Gov Awards information can be found here. 

OGP Global Summit 2016- Call for Proposals 
The OGP Global Summit 2016 will take place in Paris, France on December 7, 8 and 9. The agenda for the Global Summit will be based on an open call for proposals from the entire open government community. Proposals must be submitted before July 20th. The final agenda will be announced in September. All event and proposal submission information can be found here.  

Calling All Web Designers- Build the New OGP Website
OGP recently concluded an extensive discovery phase, which produced a set of minimum necessary elements the new website should include.  We are now requesting proposals to implement those recommendations and rebuild the site. Firms should express their interest by June 12. More information here

Call for IRM National Researchers in Norway, Papua New Guinea, Cabo Verde, The Philippines, 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.

Communications Intern, San Francisco (paid) 
The OGP Support Unit is looking for someone with a strong interest in issues of accountability and transparency in governance and a passion about the power of media and the written word to build and strengthen networks. The Communications Intern will be comfortable generating all sorts of materials, from Facebook posts and tweets, to blogs and briefings, to opinion pieces and audio-visual content. Although this is a “communications” position, press interaction will be limited and e
mphasis will be placed on content production. The Intern will report to the Communications Director, as part of a new team in the Support Unit designed to raise the profile of OGP’s work and improve our communications with open government reformers around the world. More information here

The event hashtag is #OGPMontevideo. Please incorporate this hashtag any tweets or Facebook posts about the event.

Twitter: Stay on top of the Regional Meeting’s updates by following: @opengovpart, @RedGobiernoA, @DataUY & @agesic

Whenever possible, include the @opengovpart, @DataUY & @agesic handles and the twitter handle for your country’s OGP chapter, if it has one.

Facebook: Follow the event by liking the following Facebook pages:

Flickr: Event photos will be uploaded to the OGP Flickr account and are free for anyone to use and share.

Livestream: Livestreaming of the mainstage sessions at the meeting will be displayed on the event webpage.

Blog: If you have an open government idea or project that you want to showcase in a blog, email Madaleine Weber ( with your draft and/or idea.

Buzz on #OpenGov   

Press ReleaseUruguay to host the Open Government Partnership Americas Regional Meeting. 

Looking for transformative, ambitious ideas for your next National Action Plan? Check out this, this or this blog post from our Great Ideas for OGP Action Plans blog series! 

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.
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