OGP Newsletter
September 2016

It might be the doldrums elsewhere, but it's a big month for Open Government Partnership as we approach our five year anniversary. OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan discusses OGP's strategic refresh and plans for the future, Deputy CEO Joe Powell talks about the political import of OGP summits, the Northern Ireland Open Government Network ponders the future of open government in the United Kingdom post-Brexit, and much more.
OGP staff and the French government met in Paris in late July to discuss the OGP 2016 Global Summit. (Photo: Helen Turek)

Co-Creating the Way Forward for OGP 

By Sanjay Pradhan, CEO of Open Government Partnership 

OGP was launched five years ago on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Five years later, OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan is thinking deeply about the future of OGP, and how civil society, government partners, and ordinary citizens can inform both the organization's strategic refresh and mid-term review. Read more here.

Multistakeholder Forums: Collaboration as the cornerstone of the Open Government Partnership

By Emilene Martinez, Regional Civil Society Coordinator for the Americas, Open Government Partnership 

OGP is built around the concepts of collaboration and co-creation - and now we've written the book on it. Emilene Martinez introduces the Multistakeholder Forum Handbook with a discussion about the uniquely OGP experience of co-creation, the tools available, and how best to use those tools in an individual country context. Read about the Multistakeholder Forum Handbook here.

Join us in celebrating 5 years of Open Government Partnership!

By OGP Communications Team

OGP turns five on September 20th! Join OGP as we celebrate all we’ve accomplished and all that’s yet to come. Read all about our celebration and commemoration at the United Nations General Assembly (and online) here.

#OGPDialog: Invitation to Co-Create OGP's Priorities for the Next Phase

By OGP Steering Committee Co-Chairs Alejandro Gonzalez Arreola and Manish Bapna 

What's the OGP strategic refresh really all about? Here's your chance to find out more - and shape the conversation. OGP Steering Committee co-chairs Alejandro Gonzalez Arreola and Manish Bapna introduce a series of conversations the Steering Committee is hosting all over the world to discuss the future of OGP - and you're invited! More details here.

Quote of the Month- Tamara Puhovski
"Democracy in the 21st century can't happen without certain things.  And luckily those things are the same things that are the basic values of OGP, things like transparency, information and open data."
Quote of the Month: Tamara Puhovski
Former OGP Point of Contact, Croatia
Click the video above to hear hear more of Tamara's vision for OGP, as well as quotes from other OGP founders.

The Politics of OGP Summits

By Joe Powell, Deputy CEO, Open Government Partnership

OGP has held several successful international summits. But what makes them a success? Deputy CEO of OGP Joe Powell explores what makes OGP summits so useful for their participants - and how everyone can contribute. Joe's ideas can be found here.

What does Brexit mean for Northern Ireland?

By David McBurney, Network Coordinator, and Colm Burns, Chair, Northern Ireland Open Government Network

June's Brexit vote sent shockwaves through the global economy and stunned billions. But closer to home, how are different parts of the UK grappling with this monumental change? Open government pioneers David McBurney and Colm Burns from the Northern Ireland Open Government Network talk about the reality of Brexit - and how it affects Northern Ireland's work on open government. See more here.

Regional Civil Society Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East Maureen Kariuki met with officials at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja, Nigeria on August 22. (Photo: Juliet Ibekaku)

Reinstating OGP on the Croatian Political Agenda

By Ivona Mendes, IRM Researcher, Croatia

Croatia has had quite a bit of success in the implementation of open government initiatives. A new government, however, has stalled some of the hard-earned progress OGP has made in Croatia. How can OGP get back on the agenda in this protracted political conflict? Our IRM researcher dissects the situation here.

Open Government for the Sustainable Development Goals - August Updates

By Undral Gombodorj, Ashim Pandey, and Amir Goraya

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 Mongolia's Check My Services program, Nepal's CICU program, and Pakistan's Citizen Satisfaction Index, the top finalists and our first three features, on the blog.  

Faces of Open Government

Fabiano Angelico, Transparency International Brazil

Brazil is one of the eight founding members of OGP. How do you think it has delivered on its promise? Where does it still need improvement?

Brazil is a very large and diverse country, and unfortunately some politicians and some parts of our elite (including top media owners, as well as judicial and university elites) do not pay much attention to new and innovative platforms such as OGP. However, we can see some tangible impact: for example, the passing of the Access to Information Law, in the Congress, in October 2011, just one month after the launch of OGP.

Read the full interview here.

Featured OGP Commitment 

Country: Brazil
Commitment: Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples
National Action Plan: 2013-2015

Brazil’s indigenous peoples have long fought with the government over use of their historical territory, for the protection of natural resources from extractive industries and the environmental impacts of dam concessions to their sacred river. In 2004, the Brazilian government ratified Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, the first binding international instrument that specifically addresses the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples to prior and informed consultation on matters that affect them, including land concessions and extraction of natural resources.

As part of its participation in OGP, the government included a commitment in its second action plan to uphold and embed consultation according to Convention 169. At its mid-term assessment, the IRM report noted this commitment with limited completion but with the potential to become a major step in the policy area. An interagency working group held nine regional meetings to develop a proposal for changes to prior consultation mechanisms for indigenous and Afro-descendent communities (Quilombolas) required by Convention 169. However, dialogue with the indigenous communities proved difficult, primarily because some indigenous groups came out against the regulation. Some alleged that the process was a “smokescreen to cover up the real intention of undercutting the legitimate means of consultation,” and others argued that it was not necessary, because the principles to hold consultations already exist.

Dilma Rousseff's impeachment and the political and economic crisis leading up to it present challenges for Brazil moving forward. The uncertainty is also concerning for environmentalists and human rights defenders. Earlier this year, the Brazilian senate debated a law that would undermine the country’s environmental safeguards and directly affect indigenous communities. Activists are uncertain of how the new administration will pursue this debate, and how it will affect  the requirement to hold prior and informed consultations. Looking ahead, the end of term IRM report will show whether further progress has been made on this commitment. If the new legislation is passed, it will be interesting to see whether - and how - the Brazilian government incorporates Convention 169 to guarantee participation and the voice of Brazil’s indigenous peoples in decision making.

OGP in the News - August Edition

By Jacqueline McGraw, Communications Intern, Open Government Partnership 

While OGP's biggest headline for the month of August was Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's signature of the country's landmark Access to Information bill, OGP news rippled around the world throughout the month, making it into news outlets in Abuja, Jakarta, Montevideo, and beyond. Read more OGP news stories here.

Employment Opportunities
Call for IRM National Researchers in Norway, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Cabo Verde, and the United States
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.
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   

Will you be in NYC for UNGA71? Join us for the OGP Five-Year Anniversary Event on Tuesday September 20. Email RSVP@opengovpartnership for more information.

Etalab will be holding an Open Government Toolkit Hackathon on the sidelines of UNGA71 on Wednesday, September 21. Get tickets here.

National Action Plans are still 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
Registration is open for OpenDataCon in Madrid on October 6-7! Details here.
Global Legislative Openness Week is September 12-18. Read more here.
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