OGP Newsletter
October 2016

Happy birthday to us! OGP turned five on September 20, celebrating with a high-level event at the United Nations General Assembly. #5yearsOGP launched two videos, hosted a dozen world leaders,and trended on Twitter. Our birthday wasn't all this month, though - check out the newsletter for features on women in open government, reflections from Steering Committee members, discussions of multi-stakeholder forums, and more.
Two founding fathers and one founding mother: Warren Krafchik, Suneeta Kaimal, and Martin Tisne, at the #5yearsOGP event.

The Magic in the Room 

By Martin Tisne, OGP Steering Committee (2011-2016) 

When Martin Tisne looks back on the founding of Open Government Partnership, he says “those were exhilarating times.” Looking at all we’ve accomplished, and the challenges ahead, he makes a compelling argument for expanding and solidifying the work that OGP does around the world. Read more here.

#MujeresOGP: Bringing more women to the open government movement

By Yamila Garcia, CEO and Executive Director of Fundacion Conocimento Abierto

Women are frequently absent from executive positions and particular fields of work. Yamila Garcia discusses the lack of women in leadership and in the open government community - and how a new initiative, the #MujeresOGP, can help bring more women into the community. Read more about this exciting initiative here.

Registration open: 2016 OGP Global Summit

By OGP Support Unit

The 2016 OGP Global Summit is becoming more and more real: registration has just opened. Whether you’re an open data nerd, a beneficial ownership wonk, or a climate change activist, there is something for you on the Global Summit menu. Find out more - and how to register - here.

OGP: the five-year milestone and what lies ahead

By Mukelani Dimba, OGP Steering Committee Civil Society Co-Chair

Incoming civil society co-chair Mukelani Dimba took a breath after our UNGA celebration to reflect on the progress OGP has made in the past five years and look at some of the “birthday resolutions” for OGP in the next five years. He shares some of his thoughts and ideas with us here.

Five Years of OGP
"We're trying to bridge the gap between what it is that we do as a government, and what it is that we hear from our citizens."
Quote of the Month: Ayanda Dlodlo
Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, South Africa
Click on our Five Years of OGP video above to hear Deputy Minister Dlodlo and other visionaries on their aspirations for OGP.

OGP in Motion: From Concept to Video

By OGP Communications Team

Most people wouldn’t think of OGP as a film studio, but in the past month, we’ve released three videos on the work that we do - highlighting the organization’s founding, successes, and future projects. These videos show the real work of OGP and the achievements we’ve had around the globe. Read about the videos here.

From Engagement to Co-Creation: The Open Government Forum in Georgia

By Kety Tsanava, National Coordinator, Open Government Georgia

The first IRM report dealt a heavy blow to the confidence of those working on open governance in the Republic of Georgia. Kety Tsanava, national coordinator for Open Government Georgia, reflects on the circumstances that led to the creation of a successful multi-stakeholder forum, the Open Government Georgia Forum, and how that has led to the successful co-creation and implementation of action plans and commitments. Read more here.

Civic tech for open government: a hackathon to contribute to the open government toolbox

By Paula Forteza, Etalab

What’s civic technology? What’s a hackathon? Why are these things important to open government? Paula Forteza, a French government official working on open governance and modernization, writes about the 2016 Civic Technology hackathon held during UNGA week in New York City, and how the tools developed there inform open government enthusiasts around the world. Read it here.

Open Government for the Sustainable Development Goals - September Updates

By Jay Monteverde and Athena Gabriella Abanto

OGP and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s Bangkok hub have organized a blog series around open government initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region that are tackling the Sustainable Development Goals. Read about China's environmental governance initiative and the Philippines' Check My School program on the blog.  

Faces of Open Government

Veronica Cretu, OGP Steering Committee

As someone who’s worked in development for over a decade, what do you think is the main benefit of open governance in developing countries?

Open governance is about empowering people to be part of governance processes, be it in smaller communities or bigger ones. Co-creating local strategies, being part of the decision-making processes, knowing that one’s voice is being heard, makes people become more confident, better informed and prepared to scrutinize their elected officials. Only through having a strong ‘demand’ for better governance, for a more open and transparent government, there is a chance for change and improvement of the quality of life in these countries. So, the biggest change that open government brings relates to changing the mindset of the people, and takes them to a completely different dimension in terms of their relationship with governance, the governance processes, and their elected officials.  

Read more here.

Featured OGP Commitment 

Country: Moldova
Commitment: Raising awareness of "open data by default" among civil servants
National Action Plan: 2014-2015

How is a humble OGP commitment affecting the 2016 presidential race in Moldova?

Since it joined in 2012, Moldova has used its OGP action plans to address the Soviet legacy of government corruption. As part of its plan to rebuild trust and make officials more accountable, the Moldovan government is making government data more open. The Moldovan government, in partnership with civil society organizations is undertaking a suite of activities to improve governance using open data. The first action plan (2013) trained civil society professionals to use the data. In an interesting twist, for the second action plan (2014), Moldova now had civil society organizations train public servants. Specifically, they committed to train 50 public servants on the principle of “open data by default” and develop a plan to make publication a day-to-day practice. “Open data by default’ means that, when agencies develop new data (or release old data), it should be in a format which is public and reusable.

So how did Moldova do on the commitment? The organizations exceeded the target of training 50 public servants. They hosted workshops, seminars, and trainings for over 140 public servants on issues of open data and governance. The IRM report gave a mixed assessment, however. It noted that the commitment led to increased cooperation between civil society and government overall. On the other hand, the IRM found the commitment incomplete as the promised plan for mainstreaming open data was missing at the time of assessment.

What are the results? Between 2014 and 2015, following its first two action plans, Moldova moved up in the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Global Open Data Index, from 43rd to 22nd. Practically speaking, this has meant that elections data and the national company registry are now available for public use. This type of high-value data can contribute to the original goal of reducing corruption in elections and reducing money laundering and bribe-paying.

In fact, Moldova’s activities on open data have even worked their way into the 2016 national election. Data journalists used the open data company register to identify shell companies used by politicians and political parties as well as hidden accounts linked to organized crime and an ongoing banking scandal. With the election scheduled for 30 October, we will soon see how seemingly mundane administrative reforms might change the course of an election.

OGP in the News - September 2016

By Jacqueline McGraw, Communications Intern, Open Government Partnership 

OGP’s high-level event at UNGA in September drew attention from all corners of the globe - in some of the world’s most-read newspapers and websites. High-profile mentions by heads of state in their UNGA remarks kept OGP in the news throughout UNGA week. Elsewhere, the OGP Global Summit made headlines, and OGP showed up for the first time in a G-20 document. Read about this and more here.

Employment Opportunities
Call for IRM National Researchers in Norway, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, and Cabo Verde
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 National Action Plans. See here for application details.
Buzz on #OpenGov   

The Steering Committee approved a further three members to the International Experts Panel (IEP) of the IRM: Showers Mawoma, Fredline M'Cormack-Hale and César Nicandro Cruz-Rubio. These three IEP join Mary Francoli, Brendan Halloran, and Jeff Lovitt that were nominated to the panel in late August. Effective 20 September 2016, Mary Francoli will join in the steering role while Brendan Halloran,Jeff Lovitt, Showers Mawoma, Fredline M'Cormack-Hale, and César Nicandro Cruz-Rubio will join in a quality control role. IEP members serve for two years with the possibility of a one-year extension. Further information about the IEP, including bios can be found here.
OGP has a brand new Instagram account! Follow us at @opengovpart.
2016 Open Government Awards judging is under way. Read more here.

The OGP Openness in Natural Resources Working Group (ONRWG) in association and the OGP Open Data Working Group is pleased to announce that they will host their first ever joint Peer Exchange Event October 4-5 for Governments and Civil society before the Open Data Conference in Madrid, Spain.

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
The International Open Data Conference takes place October 6-7 in Madrid.
The French government has announced the provisional program for the OGP Global Summit in December. 
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto penned an op-ed in El Pais on OGP and the role of open government.
The Collective Action Anti-Corruption Conference will take place in Basel, Switzerland on October 20-21. Registration is now open.
The Open Data Institute's annual summit and awards will take place on November 1. Tickets are available here.
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