When the Ukrainian government decided to hold national consultations on the OGP plan – to fulfill the requirement for civil society input – by means of these civic councils and scheduled the meetings for right around Christmas, we realized that the government wanted to conduct pseudo-consultations and avoid any serious critique.
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These mapping parties are about bringing people together to learn about an an area and collect data to grow the map, a form of data co-creation and collaborating with the larger community. This Sunday you can take part in one and get to know the streets of Brasilia that are not yet on the map.
The UK’s chairmanship is a tremendous opportunity for the UK to promote and encourage open government and governance, domestically and internationally. It is also an ideal opportunity for the UK Government – in full consultation with civil society groups – to revisit its National Action Plan. (David Banisar and Alan Hudson.)
As we quickly approach next week’s high-level event in Brasilia, we wanted to take a minute to update readers on the OGP Networking Mechanism (NM). As some readers of this blog know., we at Global Integrity are managing the NM, a service provided to OGP governments through which we introduce governments to some of the world’s leading open government experts (from the public, private, and civic sectors) to help those governments develop more innovative, “stretch” OGP commitments.
The Ukrainian OGP Action Plan, just like most other country OGP Action Plans, takes advantage of the power of the internet. It contains the creation of new online resources that will improve public access to government information; it foresees new ways of government-citizen online interaction; and it places an increasing number of government services online, making the government’s work more transparent and efficient. But the best news is that the Ukrainian government understands that it also needs to address the challenge of access to internet and training, the weak point on many contemporary e-governance strategies. According to World Bank data from 2011, only 6% of Ukrainians have fixed internet subscriptions.
By providing a powerful online program, OGP is demonstrating how engaging, transparent, large-scale events – delivered in partnership with civil society – can lead to greater public awareness, activism, and participation.
One of the outcomes of Brasilia will be for the OGP plenary to endorse the steering committee-drafted governance policy for OGP, which includes a framework for how OGP governments and OGP NGOs nominate steering committee candidates from their respective caucuses. The early politicking around this should be fascinating, and I'm disappointed I won't be there to watch it in person!
We are building here mechanisms to strengthen democracy, new ways to engage with civil society and new partnerships to address old challenges of governance.