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OGP Newsletter

August 11, 2014

We are excited to launch OGP's new bi-weekly newsletter! It will include news and updates about OGP, including from the civil society engagement team, and important dates for your diaries. Please get in touch with the OGP Support Unit If you have suggestions for articles to feature. You have the option of unsubscribing below.
Over the past few weeks 22 countries have completed new OGP National Action Plans and posted them to the OGP website. These contain hundreds of new commitments designed to advance transparency, accountability and participation. Three countries – Sierra Leone, Ireland and Mongolia – have completed their first National Action Plan, while 19 countries have recommitted to OGP by finishing their second plan.
We encourage you to read the plans, analyse them, pick out the most helpful lessons and raise the awareness in your countries that they exist. Of course much of the hard work comes now in implementing the commitments, and showing how ambitious open government reforms can change people’s lives for the better. The Independent Reporting Mechanism reports tell us that the shift from commitment to action is hard and is a challenge that everyone involved in OGP needs to tackle together.

We encourage you to read the second National Action Plans from Albania, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, and Uruguay . In addition there are first National Action Plans from Ireland, Mongolia and Sierra Leone. And as a reminder the eight founding countries submitted their second National Action Plans in late 2013: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States.


The selection process for new Steering Committee members has come to an end. Coming October 1st Sugeng Bahagijo (Indonesia), Cecilia Blondet (Peru), Alvin Mosioma (Kenya), Mukelani Dimba (South Africa) and Manish Bapna (USA) will join the OGP Steering Committee. The selection committee also asked Nathaniel Heller (USA) as a stand-by, in case any of the current Steering Committee members step down before the next rotation.

As a re-cap, we had an original list of 37 with exceptionally strong candidates. In the first round the members of the selection committee (Warren Krafchik, Helen Darbishire, Malou Mangahas, Suneeta Kaimal and Paul Maassen) all individually ranked the candidates using three criteria (leadership, working across stakeholders and ability to articulate civil society interests) that gave insight in the candidates’ ability to engage strategically at the senior political global level that the Steering Committee works on. [Continue reading here]
Igor Vidacak from the Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, an incoming OGP Steering Committee member. 
In this section we feature open government champions from both governments and civil society, and ask them about their experiences working on OGP issues.

How do you see open government making a difference in peoples lives?

Unresponsive government can often make people feel like being hamsters on a wheel...constantly in search for high quality information or service, but never seeing any progress. Opening government is really about empowering citizens, investing in public trust and allowing the wisdom of society to drive the government agenda.

Describe one OGP commitment from your country that you are proud of.

I am really proud about our efforts to make civil society engagement in public policy making more meaningful. We have substantially improved responsiveness of our Government to citizens inputs, which resulted in a 4875% increase in number of citizens' comments on new legislative initiatives in just 3 years. By opening more public consultations (from 30 in 2010 to 374 in 2013) and significantly improving the quality of reports on results of consultations (with detailed elaboration on why certain comments were not accepted)... [Continue reading here


Latest OGP news

OGP Steering Committee Changes

The OGP Steering Committee will rotate on October 1st 2014, with three new governments and five new civil society leaders joining an expanded group of 22 members. The Government of South Africa and Alejandro Gonzalez were also selected as incoming Co-Chairs of OGP. Click here to read more.

South Africa outlines Co-Chair priorities

The Government of South Africa has started to outline its priorities as an incoming Co-Chair of OGP, both at the US-Africa Summit in Washington D.C., and in a statement issued by the Department of Public Service and Administration.

IRM publishes Procedures Manual

The Manual includes an introduction to the Independent Reporting Mechanism's values and foundations; detailed information on the assessment process; and a complete version of the research guidance for all IRM progress reports. A must read for all actors involved in IRM reporting! Check out the blog post and the manual itself here

Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW)

From September 15-25 the OGP Legislative Openness Working Group is organising a number of events worldwide on parliamentary openness. Check out the blogpost here and follow #OpenParl2014 on Twitter for the latest news.

The buzz on Open Government

The Global Platform on Social Accountability (GPSA) published a six part dissemination notes series on Strategic Social Accountability. Read it here

African civil society leaders from the Publish What You Pay network wrote to President Obama on the eve of the US-Africa Leaders Summit. Read their open letter calling for a more open and accountable oil, gas and mining sector here.

For Your Calendar

September 24, 2014: Open Government Partnership High-Level Event: Citizen Action, Responsive Government. UN Headquarters, New York City. At this event the Open Government Awards ceremony will also be held.
September 25, 2014: Steering Committee Meeting, New York City, USA.
November 17-19, 2014: OGP Americas Regional Meeting, San José, Costa Rica
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