OGP Newsletter
July 2015  volume II, edition XVI

OGP Summit Agenda : Call for Proposals

Help set the OGP Annual Summit Agenda!

Around 1,500 participants from government, civil society organizations, multilateral organizations, media, and the private sector are expected to attend the 2015 Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Mexico City on October 27 - 29.

In keeping with the OGP’s spirit of cooperation and co-creation - and our conviction that “good ideas come from everywhere!” - the summit agenda will be generated through an open call for proposals. We are inviting all interested parties to submit proposals for sessions they would like to lead. Special emphasis will be placed on discussion of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Post-2015 Agenda and how they can be supported and better implemented by open governments. We particularly encourage creative proposals that incorporate innovative and dynamic methods of participation and exchange.

Visit here to pre-register and submit proposals!

¡Nos vemos en México en octubre!

OGP European Regional Meeting Tbilisi, Georgia

26 POCs on one stage!

Early last month, 26 OGP Points of Contact or POCs, (the people who serve as liaison between their government and the OGP support unit) met for a 2-day regional meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia opened by the Prime Minister. The main objective was to receive training in OGP procedures, but by many accounts the opportunity to spend time with fellow POCs was just as educational.

The program included plenaries, tutorials and a couple of work-shops. POCs traded best practices as well as experiences of lessons learnt. In the evenings they bonded over Khachapuri, Georgian wine and OGP-branded cake.

French POC Claire-Marie Foulquier-Gazagnes found the event particularly helpful because POCs,got to know each other and learned in the process. As France is currently finishing its National Action Plan, this Summit brought into perspective our work. I was able to collect good practices for our next steps (implementation, evaluation of the National Action Plan…) from peers who had been down this road before us.”

Slovakian POC Jan Gondol felt, “the best part of the conference was networking and the ability to learn what's going on in other countries and what their plans are. I also enjoyed the sessions where we could hear directly from OGP staff about how we can get involved in our respective countries. Georgia perhaps started an interesting tradition and set the bar very high -- thank you for organizing this meeting with OGP staff as well as colleagues from the was energizing!”

We look forward to continuing the conversations at the OGP Global Summit in Mexico (pre-register here!). In the meantime, click here for photos from Tbilisi.

Quote of the Month

" The efforts taken up under the auspices of the Open Government Partnership are increasingly bringing to people and communities a growing awareness of what their government is doing, and what they can expect of it. Transparency is essential for building that relationship."

     -Ms Karin Landgren, outgoing Special Representative of the Secretary-General
for Liberia, UNMIL (United Nations Mission in Liberia)


Advancing OGP in Asia Pacific                  

By Shreya Basu, Regional Civil Society Coordinator for Asia

Even as the membership base of the Open Government Partnership continues to grow year on year, with 65 countries having joined since its inception in 2011, Asia Pacific as a region continues to remain underrepresented. For a region with more than 60% of the world’s population, increasing membership and ensuring that the OGP platform delivers on its reform potential in member countries is in many ways fundamental to success of the initiative overall.  Meeting these objectives will need concerted efforts in four key areas.

Broadening the base
There are several countries in the region that meet the eligibility criteria but are yet to join. This includes Bhutan, India, Japan, Nepal, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Thailand. Although there is bottom-up demand from domestic civil society coalitions and some outreach efforts by existing members, these efforts will need to be further strengthened and accelerated to bring these countries into the OGP fold. Continue reading on the OGP blog.

Faces of Open Government

Jessica Klein is Special Advisor, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, and Project Lead, U.S. Department of State

How does open government make a difference in peoples lives?
Open government allows citizens to better understand the work their government is doing and hold it accountable for how resources are being spent.  Within the American public, there are big misconceptions as to how much the U.S. government spends on foreign assistance and the value of those programs.  While many people think over 25% of the U.S. federal budget is spent on assistance, the reality is that foreign assistance hovers around 1%.  Open government can show how that relatively small percentage of the federal budget can transform lives around the world by providing treatment for HIV/AIDS, food for the malnourished, support for clean energy, or assistance during natural disasters.

View more.

OGP Research

A new report has been published on OGP's Access to Information (ATI) commitments, funded by the World Bank. Given the importance placed on ATI legislation across the globe, this report analyses all 133 ATI commitments submitted by OGP participating countries since 2011 in their national action plans. Some highlights are:

  • Latin America and the Caribbean (LCR) have the largest number of commitments on ATI.
  • Colombia, the Philippines, Spain, Costa Rica and Ghana included the approval of ATI legislation as one of their commitments.
  • ATI commitments are generally ambitious and contrary to expectation, are largely prioritized and completed on time.
  • The most common factor hindering or delaying the implementation of ATI commitments is the lack of a centralized budget or planning exercises to support reforms, and infrequent interaction between those responsible for the implementation of ATI commitments and Finance Ministries.
  • OGP is widely perceived as a valuable platform for connecting key players worldwide to share knowledge and provide support for ATI reforms. 
Latest News on OGP

OGP Steering Committee Rotation process for governments
Five governments have sent a letter to the OGP Support Unit announcing their intention to stand in the 2015 OGP Steering Committee election. Check out their motivation and letters here.  

New National Action Plans submitted in July
Eighteen countries were due to submit their new National Action Plans by the end of June 2015. Is your country one of them? Check the calendar. To date the following countries have published their new Plans: Finland, Liberia, Colombia, Panama, and Israel.
Work for OGP 
OGP is looking for a new Program Officer for the Direct Country Support team focused on Europe and for new IRM researchers in Panama, Malta and the Netherlands.

How are OGP's Independent Progress Reports used?
OGP's Independent Reporting Mechanism commissioned research to find out how OGP core stakeholders within participating government used the IRM's independent reports. Read about the results here.
The Buzz on Open Government     

Blog posts on OGP's Africa Summit
Various contributions have been posted to the OGP blog flowing from the African OGP Regional Meeting, held in May this year in Tanzania. Read contributions on the OGP process in Sierra Leone, a discussion on Ghana's absence (1) (2), and a piece on four take-aways from a Liberian perspective.

Call for proposals - Making All Voices Count
Making All Voices Count's (MAVC)Research, Evidence and Learning component launched a call for proposals aimed at researchers and practitioners.
 Preferably the research will be grounded in MAVCs priority countries: Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa and Tanzania.
Webinars and Events
International Anti Corruption Conference (IACC)
September 2-4, Putrajaya, Malaysia
More information here.

Transparency Camp 2015
September 11-12, Washington, D.C.
More information here

OGP Annual Summit
October 27-29, Mexico City
Pre-registration and more information here.


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