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What Is The Open Government Partnership?

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-lateral initiative that was formally launched on September 20th, 2011.   The purpose of the initiative is to:

  1. to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency,
  2. empower citizens,
  3. fight corruption, and
  4. harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

To become a member of the OGP, participating countries must embrace a high-level Open Government Declaration; deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation by March 2012; and commit to independent reporting on their progress going forward.

On September 20th at the formal launch at the UN, the 8 founding members (8 founding governments are Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States) endorsed an Open Government Declaration, announced their country action plans, and welcomed the commitment of 38 governments to join the Partnership.  The 38 governments that joined the partnership are listed in the second table below.

In order for a government to participate in the OGP, it must:

STEP 1:

Meet the minimum eligibility criteria, and agree to the OGP's five common expectations.

For specific details on eligibility criteria, click here.).  PLEASE NOTE: If a country is not on the eligibility list, it can see to get on the eligibility list if it can demonstrate that it meets the eligibility criteria.  According to the OGP, "an independent group of experts will oversee the minimum criteria for participation ... [and] will be charged with informing the Steering Committee if a country is suspected of falling below the minimum eligibility criteria at any point."

Of note, two of the five common expectations are to:

1. Make concrete commitments as part of a country action plan that stretches the country beyond current practice;

2. Develop country action plans through a multi-stakeholder process, with the active engagement of citizens and civil society. 

STEP 2:

Signal the government's intent to participate in OGP by sending a letter to the OGP Steering Commitee for posting on the OGP Portal.

STEP 3:

Undertake the broad public consultation to inform the government's OGP commitments, and identify a multi-stakeholder forum for regular public consultation on OGP implementation.

Here, the OGP is quite specific about what is meant by broad consultation:

1.Countries will make the details of their public consultation process and timeline available (online at minimum) prior to the consultation

2.Countries will consult widely with the national community, including civil society and the private sector; seek out a diverse range of views and; make a summary of the public consultation and all individual written comment submissions available online

3.Countries will undertake OGP awareness raising activities to enhance public participation in the consultation

4.Countries will consult the population with sufficient forewarning and through a variety of mechanisms-including online and through in-person meetings-to ensure the accessibility of opportunities for citizens to engage

5.Countries will identify a forum to enable regular multi-stakeholder consultation on OGP implementation-this can be an existing entity or a new one

Countries will report on their consultation efforts as part of the self-assessment, and the independent reporting mechanism will also examine the application of these principles in practice.

STEP 4:

Develop an OGP country plan with concrete commitments on open government that address at least one grand challenge, drawing on the expertise provided by the OGP networking mechanism as needed.

The five "grand challenges" are:

Improving Public Services-measures that address the full spectrum of citizen services including health, education, criminal justice, water, electricity, telecommunications and any other relevant service areas, by fostering public service improvement or private sector innovation 

Increasing Public Integrity-measures that address corruption and public ethics, access to information, campaign finance reform, and media and civil society freedom

More Effectively Managing Public Resources-measures that address budgets, procurement, natural resources and foreign assistance

Creating Safer Communities-measures that address public safety, the security sector, disaster and crisis response, and environmental threats

Increasing Corporate Accountability- -measures that address corporate responsibility on issues such as the environment, anti-corruption, consumer protection, and community engagement 

STEP 5:

Participate in peer consultation on the OGP country plan with other country participants and the Steering Committee.

STEP 6:

Publicly endorse the OGP Declaration of Principles and deposit the final country plan on the OGP portal.

STEP 7:

Publish a self-assessment report on progress after 12 months of OGP implementation, and cooperate with the independent reporting mechanism in generating its own report.

The exact details of the independent reporting mechanism are as yet unclear and involve an "an independent assessment report will be written by well-respected local governance experts from each OGP participating country" which will be shared with the public approximately 3 months after the 12 month implementation cycle (prior to being made public it will be shared with "a small international expert committee (appointed by the OGP Steering Committee) for peer review."

All 8 members of the steering committee have met their current commitments including submitting a country action plan.  36 additional countries have committed to the process and are currently developing their action plans, which are due in March, 2012.  To see the full list of countries who have committed to the OGP process please click here.

New countries interested in joining will also be welcome as long as they participate in the OGP Peer Engagement Meeting in Brasilia 7 and 8 December, 2011 as well as endorse the OGP declaration and submit their national action plans at the March 2012 meeting in Brasilia.  For more details, click here.

OGP Steering Committee:

Governments: Brasil, Indonesia, México, Noruega, Filipinas, Sudáfrica, Reino Unido, Estados Unidos

Civil Society: Africa Center for Open Governance (Kenia), Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (Brasil), Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (México), International Budget Project (Internacional), MKSS (India), National Security Archives (Estados Unidos), Revenue Watch Institute (Internacional), Transparency and Accountability Initiative (Internacional), Twaweza (Tanzania)

Currently Participating Countries:

Country

Region

Status

Comments

South Africa

AFME

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

Ghana

AFME

Developing Plan

 

Jordan

AFME

Developing Plan

 

Kenya

AFME

Developing Plan

 

Liberia

AFME

Developing Plan

 

Tanzania

AFME

Developing Plan

 

Brazil

AME

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

-          Lead chair:

(9/11 - 8/12)

Mexico

AME

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

-          Co chair:

(9/13 - 8/14)

-          Lead chair:

(9/14 - 8/15)

United States

AME

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

-          Lead chair:

(1/11- 9/11)

-          Co chair:

(9/11 - 3/12)

Canada

AME

Developing Plan

 

Chile

AME

Developing Plan

 

Colombia

AME

Developing Plan

 

Croatia

AME

Developing Plan

 

Dominican Rep.

AME

Developing Plan

 

El Salvador

AME

Developing Plan

 

Guatemala

AME

Developing Plan

 

Honduras

AME

Developing Plan

 

Peru

AME

Developing Plan

 

Uruguay

AME

Developing Plan

 

Indonesia

APD

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

-          Co chair:

(9/12 - 8/13)

-          Lead chair:

(9/13 - 8/14)

Philippines

APD

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

South Korea

APD

Developing Plan

 

Malta

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Norway

ECA

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

United Kingdom

ECA

Action Plan Delivered

-          Steering Committee

-          Co chair:

(3/12 - 8/12)

Lead chair:

(9/12 - 8/13)

Albania

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Azerbaijan

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Bulgaria

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Czech Republic

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Estonia

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Georgia

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Israel

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Italy

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Latvia

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Lithuania

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Macedonia

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Moldova

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Mongolia

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Montenegro

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Netherlands

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Romania

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Slovak Republic

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Spain

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Sweden

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Turkey

ECA

Developing Plan

 

Ukraine

ECA

Developing Plan

 

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