OGP Picks Five Persons as IRM Technical Experts
Open Government Partnership unveils five technical experts to track governments’ progress in delivering on their transparency commitments
The Open Government Partnership(OGP) has announced the five technical experts who will report on whether countries are delivering on the commitments they have made to be more open and accountable.
The technical experts who have been confirmed are South African researcher Debbie Budlender, U.S. Professor Jonathan Fox, Indian research fellow Yamini Aiyar,UK research fellow Rosemary McGeeand Brazilian Professor Fernando Abrucio. They join Mary Robinson, Dr Mo Ibrahim, and Graça Machel, who were recently announced members of the International Expert Panel (IEP). Collectively they will be responsible for the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM), which allows stakeholders to track progress and impact among OGP participating governments.
The technical experts will play a direct role in overseeing the quality control process for producing reports for the IRM, including reviewing and approving final reports for publication. Their confirmation comes after the meetings of the OGP’s Ministerial Level Steering Committee meeting and Peer-to-Peer exchange meetings in London on 4 and 5 December.
Julie McCarthy, Director of the OGP Support Unit, said: “The Independent Reporting Mechanism is a key tool that allows citizens to track the progress of their country’s commitments, as well as promoting strong accountability between member governments and citizens.
“Along with the senior advisors, these technical experts will play a key role in ensuring the IRM delivers the highest standards of research on participating country processes, while also identifying opportunities to strengthen OGP progress on implementation of national commitments.”
By annually tracking participating countries’ progress and the implementation and impact of each country’s action plans, the IRM serves a key role in ensuring the continued credibility and legitimacy of OGP. It will do this by ensuring that impartial analysis feeds into the continued government and civil society dialogue and renewal of action plans in continuing years of OGP process.
Both technical experts and members of the IEP will initially have a two-year term, with the possibility of a one-year extension.
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Notes to Editors
1. About OGP
OGP is an international initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable.
The initiative formally launched in September 2011 when the eight founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States), endorsed an Open Government Declarationand announced their country action plans.
In the past year, the OGP has grown from drastically, from the founding eight to 58 participating governments from around the world. The combined population of the 58 countries participating in the OGPis more than two billion, based on the 2011 statistics from the World Bank(the latest available figures), which represents around 29 per cent of the world’s population.
2. About the Technical Experts
Debbie Budlender, Community Agency for Social Enquiry, South Africa
Debbie is an independent research consultant. She worked as a specialist researcher with the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (C A S E) – a South African non-governmental organisation working in the area of social policy research – from 1998 to June 2012. Between April 2002 and June 2012 she was on a long-term part-time secondment to the Centre for Actuarial Research at the University of Cape Town.
Jonathan Fox, UCSC, United States
Jonathan is Professor and Chair in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has taught at UCSC since 1996 and previously served as chair when the LALS program became a department in 2001. He is also a research affiliate of UCSC’s Chicano-Latino Research Center, and the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. His research interests include transparency and accountability, democracy and governance, social and environmental policy, transnational civil society dynamics, immigration, and Latino youth civic and political participation. His current empirical research focuses on Mexico and central California. His teaching focuses on political participation and social change, including interdisciplinary courses on Mexico, social science concepts and methods, and transnational civil society.
Yamini Aiyar, Accountability Initiative, India
Yamini is a senior research fellow and director of the accountability initiative being set up at the Centre for Policy Research. The Accountability initiative aims to promote research, innovations and tools to strengthen accountability and citizen’s engagement in India’s governance processes. Prior to joining CPR, Yamini worked as an independent consultant providing research and policy support to government, international donors and civil society organizations on governance reform with a focus on issues related to strengthening accountability in basic service delivery. Yamini has also worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program and Rural Development unit in New Delhi.
Rosemary McGee, Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom
Rosemary is a Fellow in the Participation, Power and Social Change team at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Trained in interdisciplinary Development Studies, she has alternated between her academic role at IDS and various development practitioner roles in the international NGO sector. She joined IDS’s Participation, Power and Social Change team in 1999, working on promoting and supporting the participation of civil society organisations in policy processes. McGee works with UK charity Christian Aid, as well as holding positions with a number of international development NGOs including Christian Aid Trócaire, Plan International, Plan UK, CARE, World Vision, ActionAid and Amnesty International. In several projects with the International Budget Partnership she has explored and supported civil society advocacy on budget policy and practice. From 2012 she also convenes the MA Participation, Power and Social Change program at University of Sussex.
Fernando Abrucio, Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil
Fernando holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo (1990), Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of São Paulo (1995) and Doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of São Paulo (2000). He has been professor and researcher of São Paulo’s Getúlio Vargas Foundation (SP) since 1995, and he is currently in the office of Coordinator of Master’s and Doctorate Programs in Public Administration and Government. He has worked as a columnist in politics for the newspaper “Valor Econômico” from 2000 to 2006 and is currently a columnist for the weekly magazine “Época”. He was coordinator of the GT Political Power and Democratic Controls of the Brazilian Association of Graduate Program and Research in Social Sciences (ANPOCS) from 2005 to 2006. He has published articles in academic journals in the US and France.
3. About the Independent Reporting Mechanism
The OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is a key means by which all stakeholders can track progress and impact among OGP participating governments, as well as promote strong accountability between member governments and citizens. In addition to on-going cooperation and collaboration between governments and civil society, the IRM serves a key role in ensuring the continued credibility and legitimacy of OGP.
IRM reports will be undertaken every 12 months for participating countries. Each IRM report will be published no later than four months following the implementation period being assessed. The first round of reports examining action plans from each founding government (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States) will be concluded in May 2013.