OGP Newsletter
November 2017
The Americas Regional Meeting is around the corner - but that’s not all we’re talking about. Land rights in Liberia, openness is natural resources globally, open government in high income countries - read all about it in this month’s Newsletter.

In This Issue:

Civil society fighting for land rights in Liberia
OGP’s Sanjay Pradhan and Munyema Hasan on open government in high-income countries
Amina Mohammed of the United Nations on how Agenda2030 can rebuild trust
How natural resources commitments can bring more and better change
How Paraguay opened 27 information offices in just 10 days
Open data in closed spaces: Iran and beyond
Participatory budgeting: a global wave
Fredline M’Cormack-Hale on open government in West Africa
Plus news from around the world of opengov, jobs, and more


A community meeting in the Jogbahn community in Grand Bassa County, Liberia.
Photo: Morgana Wingard, NAMUH Media

Food From This Soil: Land Rights in Liberia

By Rachel Ostrow, Communications Officer, OGP

What does open government look like in practice? It’s not a case study, a meeting in a foreign capital, or a website. It’s civil society working tirelessly to advocate for citizens; it’s government officials spearheading outreach efforts. Read about OGP’s trip to Liberia to discover the story of land rights here.

Agenda 2030: A normative framework for recovering trust in government

By Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

“Trust in government and institutions is at the heart of a functioning social contract between a government and society, with mutual rights and responsibilities.  Women and men need to know that their governments will do what they promise and work in their interests.” Read more about how the U.N. and the Sustainable Development Goals can build trust here.

The OGP Americas Regional Meeting is happening November 21-22 in Buenos Aires, as part of Open Government Week! Stay up to date here and follow along on Twitter with #OGPArgentina.

A Gathering of High-Income Countries to Address Declining Trust in Government

By Sanjay Pradhan and Munyema Hasan, OGP

OGP reformers from high-income countries met in the Netherlands last month to discuss trust, described in this essay as “not only an outcome or an indicator of government performance, but an input to effective policymaking.” Read more about the Support Unit’s efforts to #RenewTrust here.

How Paraguay Opened 27 Information Offices in Just Ten Days

By Federico Soso Otero

Paraguay has taken the “no excuses” mantra to a whole new level - with the efforts of both civil society and government, the country opened 27 access to information offices in just ten days. Find out more about this unprecedented effort by reading the full story here.

“It's been 14 years since the war ended. We are never going to reach a point where we stop developing. But in order for us to get to where we need to be, a larger percentage of Liberians are going to have to participate in the developmental process.”
Constance Teage
Program Manager, Sustainable Development Institute
Click the link to watch “Food From This Soil” and hear more about the groundbreaking collaboration between civil society and government in Liberia.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Winning Conditions for Effective Implementation of OGP Natural Resource Commitments

By Elizabeth Moses and Marie Lintzer, World Resources Institute

OGP countries make more commitments in natural resources than in fields like health or education - but the implementation still isn’t at a high level. The World Resources Institute, in conjunction with the Openness in Natural Resources Working Group, looks at how countries can create and implement effective natural resource commitments in this blog post.

Open Data in Closed Societies

By SmallMedia

When you think open data, you generally don’t think of Iran. But if you look hard enough, you can find open data in even the most repressive of regimes. In this series, Small Media looked at open data in closed societies - the opportunities, the ethics, and the hard questions we need to ask ourselves.

Participatory Budgeting: Waves Around the World

By Brian Wampler, Stephanie McNulty, and Michael Touchton

Participatory budgeting began in Porto Alegre, Brazil - now it’s reached all around the world. How did it develop? What’s important about participatory budgeting? In which kinds of societies does it flourish? In this series, the authors explore the roots and future of participatory budgeting. Check it out here, here, and here.

Faces of Open Government
Dr. Fredline M'Cormack-Hale
International Experts Panel

In your time on the IEP, what are some of the trends you've noticed in the reports you've reviewed - thematically, politically, and overall?

Many “young” democracies are showing diminishing or stagnant public arenas, with increasing controls of the media and reducing political and civil rights, while proclaiming internationally their commitment to openness.  New technologies are equally useful to link and organize civil society, but also to monitor, control and violate their rights.

Read Fredline's full interview here.

Don’t forget to fill out the OGP Civil Society Engagement survey! Also available in French and Spanish.

OGP in the News - October 2017

By Jacqueline McGraw, Communications Associate, OGP

OGP news in October went from Liberia to Pakistan, through Chile and into the World Bank, and introduced our new Ambassadors and Envoys to the world. Read more here.

Employment Opportunities
Publications Specialist
The IRM is seeking a highly organized individual with strong proofreading skills to collaborate with the IRM team to review and publish IRM reports from OGP-participating countries.

Call for IRM National Researchers
The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is seeking individuals to carry out research at the national level in a variety of countries to assess government progress on implementation of their OGP Action Plans.

Buzz on #OpenGov   

The OGP Americas Regional Meeting is November 21-22 in Buenos Aires. Check out all the activities here.

OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan appeared in a Facebook Live about Canadian-led open government. Watch it here.

OGP Director for Civil Society Engagement Paul Maassen did an interview with the International Civil Society Center. Watch here.

The World of #OpenGov

Registration for the 4th Impacts of Civic Technology conference is open.

OGP Ambassador Helen Clark spoke at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

AdvocateEurope is offering funding for projects that can reinvigorate democracy in Europe. Details here.

WRI is hosting its next Greening Governance seminar on November 15.

The Global Legal Empowerment Network is accepting nominations for the Grassroots Justice prize.

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