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Often, the interaction between citizens and the government on public services is muddled with a wide array of processes, fees, and long lines. In the Philippines, public service delivery has been slow due to the added factor of bureaucratic red tape that makes processes more vulnerable to bribes and corruption.

Representing Germany’s Federal Chancellor at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Paris, the Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Thomas de Maizière, today announced Germany’s participation in the OGP initiative. French President François Hollande had invited government representatives from all over the world to attend the summit. The Open Government Partnership is an initiative supported by 71 states to promote open government and modern administration. Cooperation in this forum focuses on transparent processes, civil society engagement and the use of new technologies to meet the challenges of today’s societies.

Germany finally joined the Open Government Partnership on December 7th. Enthusiasm about Germany taking this step is high, since German civil society has been advocating for it since 2011. Though it had already been included into the coalition agreement by the current government in 2013, civil society had to wait until today to see it happening. Nevertheless, governmental activities in different areas suggest that "openness" has finally risen on Germany's agenda as a whole.

This year the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is celebrating its five-year anniversary, having grown from eight participating countries to 70 by 2016. At the same time the 180 signatories to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) have launched the second review cycle (link is external) of their commitments under the Convention on prevention (chapter II) and asset recovery (chapter V).

Severe heat waves, droughts and catastrophic flooding – exacerbated by a changing climate – have wreaked havoc on Pakistan’s agricultural sector, which employs almost half of the country’s population. Small-scale farmers like Asghar Leghari often bear the brunt of such devastating climate impacts, but few do what Leghari did: he sued the Pakistani government for failing to implement its 2012 National Climate Change Policy. And despite widespread corruption that often weakens citizens’ ability to bring officials to account, Leghari won.

More than 4,000 people gathered in Paris from 7-9th December for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit 2016 hosted by the Government of France. OGP is a unique partnership dedicated to making government decision making more open, inclusive and responsive. Summit attendees included representatives from 80 governments, many of them heads of state and senior ministers; leaders from cities, municipalities and regions; and leading civil society organizations from around the world.

Democracy is at risk. Authoritarianism is rising. Populism is upending the political order. Spaces for civil society are closing. Those are the somber messages that arose again and again at the first day of the annual Open Government Partnership Summit, a global conference that convened thousands of activists and officials in Paris.


Where previous annual conferences have featured optimistic reflections upon the world and the arc of its politics on stage, with undercurrents of warnings from journalists and advocates about restrictions, surveillance and ongoing secrecy...

The events of 2016 have challenged many of our assumptions. It certainly doesn’t feel like politics as normal. Commentators have wondered whether basic values are now being questioned. We have long assumed that open markets, open borders and open government were becoming the default. Indeed, as I write this I am attending the Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris...

The last year has been marked by a global rise of populist political projects, carrying nationalist aspirations of closed borders and ultimately revealing the deep mistrust of political elites and traditional government institutions. Globally, electoral defeats of liberal parties have brought to light the often overlooked social discontent that led to citizens rejecting traditional decision making elites.

Une petite révolution démocratique est en marche. Certains d’entre vous connaissent déjà l’Open Government Partnership (OGP), cette organisation d’Etats et de représentants de la société civile effectuant un travail remarquable pour faire progresser la transparence de l'action publique et la participation citoyenne.