About the IEP

As an independent body, the IRM is guided by, but not directly accountable to, the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership. An International Experts Panel (IEP) directly oversees the IRM. This panel is made up of five steering members and five quality control advisors. The steering members play an important role in setting the vision for the IRM and promoting its findings. The quality control advisors, all renowned experts in transparency, participation, and accountability, play the principal role of guiding development and implementation of the IRM research method and ensuring the highest quality of reports.


Steering Committee

Hazel Feigenblatt, Global Integrity, United States and Costa Rica
Hazel Feigenblatt is Managing Director of Research in Global Integrity in Washington DC, where she leads the organization's cross-country data collection projects focused on transparency, accountability and openness in the public sector, including national, subnational and sector-specific research efforts. These include the Global Integrity Report, the Africa Integrity Indicators, the U.S. States Investigation, and a new assessment of campaign finance laws and implementation in 54 countries.

Other projects include research exploring the dynamics of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) processes across several countries to better understand whether and how pro-reform actors are able to leverage the OGP to pursue more accountable governance.

Hazel is a member of the Ibrahim Index Advisory Council, and is on the board of Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente, a Latin American non-profit organization that uses information technology innovation to promote transparency and citizen participation as tools to protect and develop stronger democracies. Previous work includes 10 years of investigative journalism, for which she won multiple awards for investigations involving political manipulation of large government procurement projects, among others.

She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs Reporting, and was a Fulbright's Humphrey Fellow 2002-2003. She has edited several Global Integrity publications, including a compendium of citizen monitoring tools and an upcoming manual with the UNDP on the use of corruption and anti-corruption measurements.

Mary Francoli, Associate Professor, Carleton University, Canada
Mary Francoli is an Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication in Ottawa, Canada. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from Western University. Prior to joining the School of Journalism and Communication, she was the Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in New Media and Internet Politics at Royal Holloway, The University of London.

Dr. Francoli’s research looks at the relationship between digital media and issues related to politics and governance. While this is a large and diverse field, most of her research has focused on the way that digital media has impacted three broad areas: citizen engagement and mobilization, governance, access to information and data.

Dr. Francoli is a leading researcher in the field of open government and open data. She has authored two major reports for the Open Government Partnership assessing the Government of Canada’s progress in the area of open government. She has provided expert testimony to the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Government Operations on the issue of open data and has been invited to speak about open government and open data at a number of conferences and venues, including the annual meeting of the federal and provincial Information Commissioners in 2014.

Hille Hinsberg, Praxis Centre for Policy Studies, Estonia
Hille Hinsberg works for Praxis Centre for Policy Studies, an independent think tank in Estonia. She has MA in Communications. Her research topics include foresight (trend analysis) for non-profits; impact assessment of social enterprises and evaluation of government-provided e-services. She has launched several Open Data initiatives, including state budget visualization, personal tax burden calculator and Government Watch for monitoring political pledges.

Hille advises civil servants on citizen engagement and good governance in Estonia, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. She has written guidelines for government agencies on giving grants for civil society organizations and has co-authored a handbook on public participation. She leads civic participation processes, such as deliberation process People´s Assembly that crowd-sourced citizens proposals to amend financing practices of political parties. She received a national award for strengthening civil society in Estonia. Working for the Government Office, she led several initiatives to promote Open Government and citizen-to government dialogue, and introduced a Code of public participation to civil servants.

Anuradha Joshi, Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex), United Kingdom
Dr. Anuradha Joshi is a social scientist with a focus on policy processes and extensive experience in institutional analysis of development. She received her PhD in public policy from MIT in 2000. She has worked on issues related to poverty, low-income housing, public services and environmental policy.

Her current research interests focus on collective action, social accountability and service delivery - mobilising 'demand' in basic services and in the scaling-up of innovative service delivery approaches. She is also interested in taxation of the informal sector. She has experience of consulting for bilateral and multilateral agencies in development and managing large, multi-country research projects and has travelled and researched in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam and Ghana.

Ernesto Velasco-Sánchez, Cívicus, Consultores en Gestión Pública y Social, Mexico
Ernesto Velasco-Sánchez is CEO of the Mexican consultancy firm Cívicus, Consultores en Gestión Pública y Social, S.C. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Government and Public Administration at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and holds an MBA (Public Service) from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He obtained a BA in Public Administration from El Colegio de México.

As a consultant he specializes in strategic and performance management, organizational analysis and program evaluation in the public and non-for-profit sectors. He has been a recurrent program evaluator with the National Council for Evaluation of Social Policy (CONEVAL) in Mexico and conducted consultancy projects for the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others. He acted as facilitator during the round tables where the OGP National Action Plans of Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago where developed. He has taught graduate and postgraduate courses in several higher education institutions such as El Colegio de México, The University of Birmingham, Universidad Iberoamericana, and the School of Public Administration of the Federal District, Mexico. His main research interests are transparency, accountability and management for results in the public sector. He has published several academic articles in prestigious journals such as Gestión y Política Pública and Reforma y Democracia.

Quality Control

These individuals for the first year of their membership will play a quality control role. Beginning in 2017, they will assume a steering role and the above members will step out of that role. Note that the IRM is currently hiring for these positions.

César Nicandro Cruz-Rubio, CEO and Senior Researcher, GIGAPP

Ph.D.  Political Science and Public Administration from Complutense University of Madrid (UCM  2015). B.A. Political Science and Public Administration from National University of Mexico (UNAM 1992. Honors).

Political Scientist. Research areas: Policy designs, policy legitimacy. Open Government, governance, transparency. Cesar works as a professor and teaching-content developer for several international and Spanish entities, like OAS, Granada University, National Institute of Public Administration-Spain. Speaker and trainer in policy analysis and open government topics. Since 2012 to date, he is the IRM-OGP researcher for Spain. Since 2010 to date, he is Senior researcher and President of GIGAPP, an Iberoamerican Research Group on Government Administration and Public Policy, and organization who coordinates research projects into a network of nearly 900 researchers in Latin America and Spain (www.gigapp.org(link is external)). Since 2015, he is also researcher at the Integrity Project, a project held by Transparency International Spain and funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

He is author of several papers and articles published in specialized journals in the field of public policy, as well as author of several contributions with teaching materials who currently are used for open government teaching programs.

Open Access to Publications:  Google Academico: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=(link is external)jMy7ohsAAAAJ(link is external)&(link is external)hl(link is external)=es(link is external)  GIGAPP website:http://www.gigapp.org/index.php/component/(link is external)jresearch(link is external)/member/show/2(link is external)  Academia website:https://gigapp.academia.edu/(link is external)CesarNicandroCruzRubio(link is external)

Brendan Halloran, International Budget Partnership, USA
Brendan Halloran is the Senior Fellow in the International Budget Partnership’s Strategy and Learning team. In this role, Brendan supports strategy and learning processes at IBP – both the internal production of learning insights and drawing on evidence and ideas from broader research and practice in the governance space. He’s particularly interested in complex change dynamics, and how to support organizations to both navigate and strengthen accountability ecosystems. Prior to joining IBP in 2016, Brendan lead the learning work of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, where he played a role in shaping and interpreting evidence about what works, as well as supporting collective learning spaces, such as the TALEARN network. Before that, Brendan spent five years working on and researching governance issues in Guatemala, including as a Governance Advisor for USAID.  Brendan has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, and has published work in a variety of journals, think pieces, and blogs, including his own — Politics, Governance, and Development(link is external).  He is also on the board of Rhize, an NGO that supports and accompanies non-violent social movements around the world. 

Jeff Lovitt, New Diplomacy, Czech Republic
Jeff Lovitt is the Chair of New Diplomacy, an association established in Prague in 2015 to address the challenges facing global and regional policymakers in the eastern and southern neighborhoods of the European Union. New Diplomacy focuses on security policy, diplomacy, and media standards, including raising the quality and accuracy of factual information available to policymakers and the wider public. He has provided policy expertise and risk consultancy services to clients such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

From 2005-2015, Jeff was Executive Director of PASOS, a network of independent think-tanks in Europe and Central Asia. He developed PASOS as a leading regional civil society network (in 2012, and again in 2014, he served as co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum), and he put the Open Government Partnership on the agenda in the Western Balkans, resulting in the first annual OGP Balkans Dialogue conference in Tirana in 2015. From 2000-2005, he was Director of Communications at the international secretariat of Transparency International (TI). From 1995-1998, he was Central Europe correspondent for The European newspaper, and from 1987-1995 he was an editor and journalist in London for The European, the Sunday Times, New Statesman, Tribune, and other titles. He was an op-ed contributor for the International Herald Tribune.

Jeff has conceived and managed projects linking up civil society actors in the Middle East, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia with independent think-tanks in Central Europe. He has delivered training courses for journalists on reporting on corruption, and for think-tank leaders on strategic communications. In 2015, he was a member of the Advisory Group on Media Freedom in the Eastern Partnership countries, chaired by the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council.

He is the author and editor of a range of publications on inclusive policymaking, including Democracy’s New Champions. European Democracy Assistance after EU Enlargement (2008), How to Win Respect and Influence Policymakers. Principles for Effective Quality Controls in the Work of Independent Think-tanks (2011), The Right Approach to Europe. An Advocacy Handbook for Civil Society: Understanding and Influencing EU Policymaking (2012), the European Integration Index 2014 for Eastern Partnership Countries, and Civil Participation in Political Decision-Making in the Six Eastern Partnership Countries - Part One. Laws and Policies (2016).

Showers Mawowa, Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) and University of Pretoria, South Africa
Showers Mawowa holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies (2013) and Masters in Economic History (2007) both from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He is currently a Research and Development Manager at the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO), a regional policy think tank based in South Africa and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pretoria’s PoliticalSciences Department. His expertise includes extractives governance, development economics, political economy and South Africa’s Foreign Policy.

At SALO Showers has been responsible for developing new areas of work, in particular the “Development Series Dialogues” and research covering themes such as extractive governance, AU’s Agenda 2063, the UN 2030 agenda and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) among others. He has written and published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, commissioned research papers and opinion pieces in print media as well as peer reviewed for academic journals. Other work experience includes teaching at Universities in South Africa, pro-poor economic policy research and advocacy, local and international advocacy on public debt, aid effectiveness and development co-operation. Showers Mawowa is an alumnus of the African Program on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE).

Fredline M’Cormack-Hale, Associate Professor, School of International Relations, Seton Hall University
Dr. Fredline M’Cormack-Hale is an Associate Professor with the School of Diplomacy, Seton Hall University (New Jersey). Her teaching and research interests include post conflict recovery, African economic development, gender and the international aid community, with a focus on Sierra Leone. Fredline’s research explores the impact of international non-governmental organizations on democratization, women’s political participation, and most recently, the role of international organizations in the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone. She also serves as Research and Policy Director for the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), a policy think tank in Sierra Leone. The organisation’s research, advocacy and social accountability efforts are focused on public sector reform, extractives, elections, and decentralized service delivery. Fredline has also consulted for a number of bilateral and multilateral organizations on a variety of development projects including UNDP, Oxfam Novib, and GIZ, and conducted research in Guinea, Niger, Benin, and Mali as well as Sierra Leone. Her work appears in a variety of mediums, including peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and consultancy research reports. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Masters’ degrees in Gender and Development Studies and Mass Communication. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Sierra Leone, 2013-2014. 



To see a list of previous members who have served on the International Experts Panel, please visit this page(link is external).



Beginning in 2016, the IRM will make more effort to be transparent about IEP meetings, agendas, and decisions. Those documents can be found below:

  • First 2016 IEP Meeting in Washington, DC (April 2016): Agenda
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