8 November 15:00 – 17:00
Open Government Partnership: Empowering Citizens through Transparency and Civic Participation
This session will raise awareness of and showcase the success of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP’s success lies in this new multi-stakeholder initiative’s ability to tap into citizens’ desire to influence and change their daily lives and society – namely by promoting transparency and civic participation, fighting corruption, and harnessing technology to improve governance. A quarter of the world’s population – 1.8 billion people – stand to benefit from pledges by more than 50 governments announced at the OGP summit in April 2012 in Brasilia. This session will also connect civil society reformers and reformist government officials across OGP countries and between OGP countries and non OGP countries. In addition, the session will mobilize three groups of people. First, it will mobilize reformers from OGP member countries (in government and civil society) to share best practices and adopt innovative strategies to ensure that governments honor their OGP pledges by implementing country-specific OGP Action Plans shaped by close collaboration between governments and civil society. Second, by showcasing the OGP’s success to date in fighting corruption and promoting accountable systems of government, the session will mobilize reformers in non-OGP countries to consider how OGP membership could improve their daily lives, and how they could build cross-sector coalitions within their countries and with other international communities to advocate that their countries join the OGP. Lastly, the session will aim to mobilize all participants to discuss ideas regarding how to strengthen the OGP in both the short term and long term, including how the OGP can remain vital, fresh, and innovative; how to strike a balance between emphasizing country-led solutions while encouraging deeper reforms and discouraging “open government” rhetorical window-dressing; how civil society groups should affiliate themselves within the OGP (ie: Should there be a civil society declaration akin to the government-endorsed Open Government Declaration?); to what extent the success of the OGP rests on whether OGP countries fulfill the commitments in their OGP Action Plans; how the Independent Reporting Mechanism (the OGP’s peer review mechanism) can best hold countries to account in relation to their OGP Action Plans; whether and how the OGP can effectively address concerns about perceived weaknesses in the OGP’s eligibility criteria and the measurement of those criteria; what steps reformers in non-OGP countries should take to help their countries qualify for and join the OGP, including when there is resistance to increased transparency and accountability from senior government officials; in what form OGP governments should make new commitments (through new OGP Action Plans, or through updates to current OGP Action Plans); the extent to which new technologies can advance the OGP principles (lessons learned); what benefits the OGP could gain if it cooperates more closely with other international initiatives and multilateral bodies, and to what extent the OGP should build partnerships with other international initiatives and bodies; how and to what extent the OGP should foster open government initiatives involving national legislatures and judiciaries; and how the OGP can also benefit sub-national governments.
U.S. Department of State
Minister Jorge Hage (to be confirmed)
Head of Office of the Comptroller General of Brazil
Organisation: The Government of Brazil
Director General of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness
Topic: Sharing best practices and identifying innovative strategies to help civil society groups (in both OGP and non-OGP countries) advance OGP principles, and exploring how to strengthen the OGP in the future.
To be confirmed (TBC)
Official from the Government of Indonesia (to be confirmed)
Topic: Sharing best practices and identifying innovative strategies to help governments advance OGP principles, and exploring how to strengthen the OGP in the future.
Either Paul Maassen (Open Government Partnership Civil Society Coordinator)
Open Government Partnership Civil Society Coordinator
Topic: How civil society can strengthen the OGP and vice versa, and challenges faced by civil society
Daniel Kaufmann (to be confirmed), President of the Revenue Watch Institute, or another representative of the Revenue Watch Institute
The Revenue Watch Institute
Topic: The OGP’s role in advancing development, and in striking the right balance between emphasizing country-led solutions and encouraging deeper reforms and discouraging “open government” rhetorical window-dressing.
Francesco Checchi, UNDP Anti-Corruption Specialist for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
UN Development Program
Topic: The OGP’s role in using new technologies to advance OGP principles, and the role of international bodies such as the UNDP in advancing the OGP
U.S. Department of State