Open Government Partnership Launches

Posted by Public Policy Lab

Is the international community putting new focus on citizen experience?

The inaugural announcement from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) promises a broad-based commitment, from an initial group of eight national governments and nine NGOs, to building more responsive government institutions:

The Open Government Partnership is a new, multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance…

The July 12 [launch] event will convene government and civil society representatives to discuss best practices through interactive panels, issue framing sessions, and idea sprints. Another feature, “Innovation Alley,” will demonstrate technologies and other tools and methodologies available from private and non-profit companies and organizations that enhance open government.

Come September, member nations of the founding steering committee, co-chaired by the U.S. and Brazil, will formally announce their open-government “action plans” at OGP’s first annual meeting. At that time, other nations will also be invited to join the partnership.

According to OGP’s Roadmap to Participation [doc], candidate nations are required to have demonstrated basic commitments to four open-government principles — fiscal transparency, information access, financial disclosures by elected officials, and citizen engagement. In coming years, participants will tackle five “grand challenges,” including the improvement of public services, defined as:

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

A follow-up conference is scheduled for March 2012. Support for the initiative is being provided by the Transparency &Accountability Initiative and Global Integrity.