OGP Now Recruiting Two New Members Representing Civil Society to Join its Steering Committee
Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a unique multilateral partnership initiative that works with governments and civil society together, to improve government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens. OGP has grown from a partnership of 8 to over 70 countries, in a span of just five years, along with half a dozen multilateral organizations and hundreds of civil society groups, who recognize that governments have much to learn from their citizens and that they are more likely to be effective and credible if they open their doors to public dialogue and oversight.
2017 is a milestone year for OGP, as it enters a new phase in its work through a strategic refresh. This has been in part shaped by ongoing conversations with the civil society community engaged in OGP, through efforts such as the OGP Mid-Term Review and Strategy Dialogues led by civil society members of the OGP Steering Committee. During a time when , OGP seeks to amplify the global dialogue on active citizenship and participatory and responsive governments - becoming a countervailing force against threats to democratic engagement, citizen disenchantment and rising population. This is a unique opportunity for talented and committed civil society leaders to help shape OGP in this new phase of work, and to represent the interests of OGP’s diverse civil society community.
The OGP Steering Committee (SC) is the executive, decision-making body of OGP. Its main role is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP. The SC also establishes the core ideas, policies, and rules of the partnership, and oversees its functioning.
The SC consists of 22 members - 11 from government and 11 from civil society. The standard term of the SC members, whether civil society or government, is three years - with the possibility of a one term renewal. This year two civil society seats will open up - in May 2017 and October 2017, respectively.
Joining the OGP SC is a great opportunity for civil society leaders who feel passionately about the importance of citizen engagement in government. OGP SC members benefit from a global stage and significant political access. Members of the SC are regularly afforded opportunities to engage with senior political and policy leaders, and help shape the space for civil society to advocate for - and get delivery of - transformational open government reforms around the world. By sharing their skills, experience and networks SC members help further strengthen OGP at the global, regional and national level.
The two chief responsibilities of the Civil Society SC members are:
- To perform the international governance role for OGP in the SC
- To represent the concerns and interests of the international OGP Civil Society community in the SC
Civil society candidates for the SC must meet the following three key requirements, which form the criteria based on which they are selected:
- Ability to engage strategically at the global level, exercising good judgment and engaging effectively with senior government officials and civil society members;
- Canvas and represent the concerns and interests of the international civil society community;
- Powerfully and clearly articulate core OGP issues.
The rotation process set out in this note will be a fully transparent process that seeks to attract capable candidates from a diversity of regions and backgrounds, with the goal of establishing a balanced team of civil society SC members who are well-positioned to provide strategic and effective leadership to the OGP. The civil society SC also seeks to maintain gender and regional balance in its representation. This year, one seat will be reserved for a candidate working in Asia-Pacific and we strongly encourage civil society leaders from and with experience in Asia-Pacific to apply.
Full details on the role of the SC and the responsibilities, qualifications and key attributes of the civil society members of the SC can be found below, as well as details on the application process. Nominations should be submitted to email@example.com before 11.59pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
Current civil society members of the OGP Steering Committee
- Manish Bapna - World Resources Institute (WRI) - Lead Co-Chair, OGP Steering Committee
- Mukelani Dimba - Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) - Support Co-Chair, OGP Steering Committee
- Sugeng Bahagijo, INFID (seating opening up in 2017)
- María Baron, Directorio Legislativo
- Helen Darbishire, Access Info Europe
- Aidan Eyakuze, Twaweza
- Alejandro Gonzalez, GESOC (seating opening up in 2017)
- Nathaniel Heller, Results for Development
- Robin Hodess, Transparency International
- Suneeta Kaimal, Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
- Zuzana Wienk, Fair Play Alliance
General Purpose and Functions of Steering Committee (as specified in the Articles of Governance)
The OGP Steering Committee (SC) is the executive, decision-making body of the initiative. The main role of the SC is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP. It also establishes the core ideas, policies, and rules of the partnership, and oversees the functioning of the partnership. It manages, in an open and transparent manner, the entry, rotation, and exit of OGP stakeholders. Under the leadership of its co-chairs, the SC plans and manages its major meetings and actions between meetings.
As an executive body and through its subcommittees, the SC does the following:
- Provides leadership by example for OGP in terms of domestic commitments, action plan progress, participation in the annual conference, and other international opportunities to promote open government;
- Sets the agenda and direction of OGP, with principled commitment to the founding nature and goals of the initiative;
- Manages stakeholder membership, including eligibility and participation;
- Conducts ongoing outreach with both governments and civil society organizations;
- Provides intellectual and financial support, including through in-kind and human resource support; and
- Sets and secures the OGP budget.
Specific Responsibilities of Civil Society Steering Committee Members
The OGP Civil Society Steering Committee members have further specified their responsibilities. The two most relevant responsibilities are:
- To perform the international governance role for OGP in the Steering Committee;
- To represent the concerns and interests of the international OGP civil society community in the Steering Committee.
Other responsibilities include:
- Champion and articulate core OGP ideas and values on the global stage, particularly protecting and promoting engagement of civil society;
- Link and leverage the OGP to other relevant global movements;
- Advance the open government agenda and the OGP process in the country/region in which you work;
- Participate in and add demonstrable value to in-person and virtual OGP and SC meetings and to the subcommittees of which one is a member, including participating in the calls and in-person meetings of the civil society members of the SC;
- Represent the Steering Committee and OGP at national, regional and international meetings;
- Provide political and technical support to advance the OGP process at the country level, conducting outreach to new countries and supporting existing processes;
- Effectively promote open government to the broader civil society community.
As we strive for a balanced team of civil society representatives, diversity will be taken into account across a range of factors (e.g. gender, geographical region, type of experience/organisation, OGP issues, skills).
In particular, regional diversity is one of the key factors taken into account. For the civil society section of the SC it was agreed back in 2012 to have at least one and a maximum of two persons from North America and at least one and a maximum of three from each of the regions Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Asia/Oceania. For this very reason, this year we will need to select one civil society leader from Asia-Pacific for one of the two seats.
It was also agreed in 2012 that over time there would be at least one and a maximum of two members from the headquarters of international organisations/networks.
Appointing a "Second"
We encourage all civil society members of the Steering Committee to appoint a "second," a colleague who may be able serve in a supportive function and cover or deputize for him/her when he/she is unable to participate directly. The second should reflect the same high qualities and experience in the field, as required of civil society SC members. Further, according to the rules developed and agreed to by the civil society members of the Steering Committee:
- The second will, in principle, come from the member’s own organization. Alternatively a second can come from within the national OGP coalition the civil society SC member is a part of.
- The appointment of the second shall be communicated in writing to the civil society co-chairs of the SC, who will communicate the appointment of seconds to the OGP Support Unit CEO and Director for Civil Society Engagement.
- Seconds shall in principle serve for the same period as the SC members. Any intermediate changes shall be communicated to the civil society SC co-chairs and the Support Unit.
While the choice of the "second" will feed into or affect the selection process in any way, we encourage all candidates to share information about a proposed seconds in their nomination material.
Nomination period ends: March 8
Deadline for endorsements and formal comments: March 22
Shortlist, along with score published: week commencing April 3
Public webinar with shortlisted candidates: week commencing April 10/ April 17
Final announcement: week commencing May 1
The nomination phase opens on Wednesday, February 1 2017 and closes at 11.59pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. In parallel there will be an open invitation for external volunteers for the selection committee.
- OGP seeks civil society leaders who bring the abilities and proven track record that can further the global initiative as outlined in the job description.
- Candidates are selected and serve in their individual capacity. Candidates may be nominated by an organisation or network, or may nominate themselves. The organisations/networks that the nominated candidates are affiliated with could be be national, regional or global, however this does not mean that the candidates represents the affiliate in particular.
- Since SC members serve in their individual rather than organizational capacity, should a SC member leave before their term ends no presumption would be made that his/her replacement will come from the same entity.
- Nominations are submitted by sending the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- A CV (max 4 pages)
- A cover letter explaining a) your (or the candidate you are nominating) motivation for joining, b) open government experience/skills, c) highlight demonstrated track record in global level leadership, articulation and strategy. Please refer to the qualifications and criteria listed in this document. (max 2 pages).
- One strong example of a video, blogpost, article or piece of writing by the candidate, that reflects the candidate’s thinking and articulation on open government and civil society issues.
- All complete nominations will be uploaded in full to the OGP website and will be public for all to see
- Each shortlisted candidate will be asked to provide at least two references that may be contacted by the selection committee.
Key requirements and criteria for selection
The following key requirements for the civil society members of the Steering Committee, which form the criteria for selection are:
- Ability to engage strategically at the global level, in particular exercise good judgement and engage effectively with senior government and civil society members;
- Canvas and represent the concerns and interests of the civil society community;
- Powerfully and clearly articulate core OGP issues.
Other requirements include:
- Long-term experience in civil society/grounding and legitimacy in national, regional and/or international networks;
- Experience in at least one and preferably more areas of Open Government Partnership Declaration (transparency, accountability, citizen engagement and/or smart use of technology);
- Live up to OGP principles by practising high levels of openness, integrity and accountability (e.g. disclosure of annual plan/budget, publishing audited accounts)
- Highly organized, detail-oriented, ability to consistently meet tight deadlines;
- Proficiency in English required, as that is the working language of the Steering Committee;
- Possess strong interpersonal skills; desire to work as part of a small, virtual team;
- Ability to dedicate ½ day a week to OGP – with intensity increasing around SC meetings and other OGP meetings;
- Possessing skills that can advance a civil society agenda in the context of current OGP challenges;
- Thoughtful, good listener, and well-respected within the national/international civil society/policy community
- Ability to travel internationally, including to three in-person SC meetings per year.
This is an unpaid position. However, travel to in-person Steering Committee meetings will be covered.
Final selection process
The Selection Committee will assess and rank candidates using criteria and needs stipulated in this note, shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (in person when possible), final candidates will be presented to and need to be endorsed by civil society SC members in writing.
- The selection will be undertaken by the Selection Committee, comprised of 2 members from the current SC, two volunteers from the broader OGP civil society community and Paul Maassen (OGP Director for Civil Society Engagement).
- Candidates for the volunteer position on the Selection Committee are invited to send a short letter explaining their motivations and qualifications to serve to Paul Maassen (email@example.com) by February 15, 2017. The co-chairs of the Steering Committee and the Director for Civil Society Engagement will assess the candidates for the external members of the selection committee along the criteria listed above.
- The lead civil society co-chair will be kept informed of key developments but will not serve as a member of the Selection Committee.
- The Selection Committee will individually rank the long list of nominations across the qualifications and key attributes described below and use the summed result as basis to decide on an initial shortlist. The shortlist will be shared with the community .
- Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide two references and will be invited for an (in-person where possible) interview and participate on one open webinar to interact with the OGP civil society community.
- After the interviews and final deliberations, the SC will carefully document the basis of their choice and communicate a list with the prefered candidates - as well as a potential runner-up - to the civil society members of the SC, who will ultimately endorse the decision in writing as per the OGP’s Articles of Governance.
Community participation in the selection process
Starting with 2016 selection process, OGP initiated a more transparent and participatory selection process to choose incoming civil society members of the Steering Committee. In addition to having two members of the civil society community serve on the Selection Committee, the process also draws upon the expertise of the broader community.
The complete nominations of all candidates will be published on the OGP website after nominations close, inviting endorsements and formal comments from the community. Thereafter, the Selection Committee will arrive at a shortlist (read more about the Selection Process below). The names of the shortlisted candidates will be published on the OGP site, with the criteria and scores. Further, in addition to interviews with the Selection Committee, the shortlisted candidates will be invited to participate on a webinar presenting their ideas to the OGP community and answering questions. The selected candidates are shared with the entire Steering Committee and then announced on the OGP website, along with their scores. Please check the OGP website for regular updates and more details on how to participate in the webinars and inform the selection process.
Accountability and start date
After the endorsement in writing the civil society lead chair will inform the full Steering Committee of the choice made by the civil society members. At the same time the Selection Committee will publish an account of their process, deliberation and choice to the broader OGP community.
Of the new members, one member will start in May 2017 and the second will join the SC during the regular annual rotation in October 2017, together with new government members.