News

12 March 2018

Civil Society Steering Committee 2018 Call for Nominations

Are you a civil society leader committed to strengthening how governments work for their citizens? Join the OGP Steering Committee!

The Open Government Partnership is made up of thousands of reformers inside and outside of government who believe in more open and responsive democracies that put citizens first. This made 2017 a particularly tough year. According to independent watchdog Freedom House, democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades, as fundamental human rights, the rule of law, and civil society came under attack around the world. Civicus reported serious violations of the freedoms of association, expression, and peaceful assembly in over 100 countries, and Edelman’s Trust Barometer showed trust in government continuing to fall.

It is precisely at this moment that we believe OGP, with a growing membership of 75 countries, 15 local governments, and thousands of civil society organizations, needs to step up and serve as a positive global movement for deepening democracy and openness, and a countervailing force against the rise of closed government.  

We are opening the call for nominations for two civil society seats on the OGP Steering Committee.  OGP’s Civil Society Steering Committee creates a space for renowned civil society leaders to steer this global open government agenda, in partnership with their government counterparts. As a civil society Steering Committee member, you will be able to help shape OGP as a mechanism for the global civil society community.  You will also be called on to attend and speak at high-level events, and will have the opportunity to open new doors for your organisation, your country and your region.  

What 2018 has in store

OGP can advance this ambitious goal in 2018 first and most practically through the 56 national and 20 local OGP participants who will be co-creating an open government plan. To give these activities more profile and encourage real-time learning internationally, OGP will coordinate the first ever Global Open Government Week starting May 7th, and we are kick-starting the expansion of the OGP Local program (formerly known as the OGP Subnational Pilot), with an additional five participants being invited to apply by March 9th.

OGP action plans are also great opportunities to advance emerging global open government standards. In 2018 we hope to see OGP being used to advance policy areas like citizen feedback on public service delivery, public registers of who owns and controls companies, and opening up procurement systems so that more businesses can compete and corruption risks are reduced.

2018 will also be the year in which we launch a Feminist Open Government project, with the collaboration of the incoming lead OGP Steering Committee co-chairs, the Government of Canada and Nathaniel Heller from Results for Development. Last but not least, we will lay the groundwork for a new State of Open Government campaign that will allow much easier comparison of how different OGP participants are performing and where the greatest needs are for progress.

Mandate and Selection of the Civil Society Steering Committee

The OGP Steering Committee (SC) is the executive, decision-making body of the initiative. The main role of the SC - as outlined in its Articles of Governance - is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP.  

The eleven civil society members of the OGP Steering Committee have further specified their key responsibilities as follows:

  • To perform the international governance role for OGP in the Steering Committee;
  • To represent the concerns and  interests of the global OGP civil society community in the Steering Committee.

Beyond this, individual SC members are expected to take on a subset of the additional responsibilities that build on their specific skills and experience.  These skills also serve as the selection criteria for civil society Steering Committee members.

The four required criteria are as follows:

  1. Strong track record in powerfully and clearly articulating core open government issues, including at high level global and regional (political) fora;
  2. Proven ability to canvas and represent the interests of the civil society community with government or at multistakeholder fora;
  3. Demonstrable experience in strategically engaging with senior government and civil society members and exercising sound political judgment;
  4. Extensive leadership experience in civil society and recognition as a respected and legitimate actor in national, regional and/or global civil society networks.

For the full set of selection criteria, please consult the CS SC Mandate & Selection paper.

The 2018 Rotation

The OGP Steering Committee will be looking to fill two Civil Society seats as of September 2018.  This rotation process aims to be a transparent one that seeks to attract capable candidates from a diversity of regions and backgrounds, with the goal of establishing a balanced team of 11 civil society Steering Committee members who provide strategic and effective leadership to OGP.  

In addition, the civil society Steering Committee members may suggest appointing up to two ‘additional members’ who would be invited to participate in meetings, but who would not have voting rights.  

As we strive for a balanced team of civil society representatives, diversity will be taken into account across a range of factors (including gender, geographical location, type of experience/organisation, expertise on OGP issues and skills).  OGP further aims for a balance between representatives with global or national profiles to ensure that civil society organisations of diverse mandates and scope are represented. For this rotation, we are especially looking for women candidates and/or civil society leaders from Latin America.  

Next steps

The selection of these new members takes place through a transparent and participatory process that invites inputs from OGP’s civil society community and creates opportunities for engagement at each step.  The specific steps of that process are outlined below:

March 12th - April 5th: Call for nominations & Call for Selection Committee volunteers

April 6th - April 15th: Public comments  

April 16th - April 29th: Shortlisting process

April 30th - May 11th: Interviews & webinars with shortlisted candidates  

May 14th - 18th: Final selection  

May 21 - May 31st: Endorsement by the OGP Steering Committee

June 1-8: Accountability & Communication

Nominations for the CS SC position are submitted by sending the following to rotation@opengovpartnership.org (Please note you may nominate yourself or someone else):

  • 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, blog, article or piece of writing by the candidate, that reflects the candidate’s thinking and articulation on open government and civil society issues.

Candidates for the volunteer position on the Selection Committee are invited to send a short letter explaining their motivations and qualifications to serve to rotation@opengovpartnership.org by 31 March 2018.  Full details on the composition and role of the Selection Committee can be found here.  

Nominations for the 2018 rotation are now open.  For further details, please consult the OGP website or contact lotte.geunis@opengovpartnership.org.