News

21 August 2017

OGP in the News - Week of August 14, 2017

A weekly round-up of Open Government Partnership (OGP) media coverage around the world. Want to receive OGP in the News directly in your email inbox? Subscribe here.

What was the theme of this week’s OGP international media coverage? National Action Plans—both new and old—in Germany, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic.   

Germany presented its very first OGP National Action Plan (NAP) for 2017-19. An article published by leading German news portal Heise Online called the action plan an “important first step” to Germany’s participation in OGP. Civil society organizations that participated in the country’s public consultation in March were, reportedly, pleased to see many of their proposed commitments incorporated into the final NAP, which covers a wide array of themes from open data and free access to scientific publications to extractive industries transparency and a knowledge network for LGBTQ+ people. Highlighting the need for “more vivid democracy,” Federal Minister of the Interior Dr. Thomas de Maizière commented on role of OGP in achieving this end, saying, “The OGP process is a driving force for jointly identifying and pursuing new approaches to societal challenges.”

One of OGP’s founding countries, the Philippines, also launched a new NAP this week during a side event of the Philippines’ Chairmanship of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meeting. Covered by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the High Level Regional Conference on Open Government provided a forum for discussion and exchange among ASEAN members on the topic of open government. A Memorandum of Understanding for Subnational Commitments was signed as evidence of the current administration’s commitment to extending the principle of open government to both the provincial and municipal levels.

In neighboring Indonesia, Koran Jakarta reported that journalists are contributing their talent to help fulfill the country’s information disclosure commitments made within the framework of both OGP and the Public Information Disclosure Act of 2008. While open data portals are on the rise, the article noted that Indonesian journalists “have the opportunity to assert their role as watchdogs” and fill any information gaps by independently collecting data. To bolster environmental analyses, for example, journalists are incorporating geospatial data into their reporting, announced Data Science Indonesia (DSI) member Satya Nugraha following a data journalism workshop titled “Spatial Analysis Usage in Covering Environmental Issues.”

More OGP NAP excitement came out of the Czech Republic, where ParlamentníListy.cz announced that the Ministry for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation is conducting a public consultation on the country’s OGP Self-Assessment Report. The government invites public comments on the report and the status of individual OGP commitments contained in the current action plan, including those aimed at expanding access to scientific information and improving security at the local level.  

In a recent address, Nigerian acting president Yemi Osinbajo articulated plans to rebuild Nigeria’s economy after signing into the law the 2017 Appropriations Bill. Osinbajo explained that the new budget, christened the “Budget of Economic Recovery and Growth,” is focused around five priorities, including improved transportation infrastructure and increased support for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs). The acting president also drew a connection between OGP and a stabilized economy, saying, “Pursuant to our commitments to the Open Government Partnership, we recently issued an Executive Order that will promote budget transparency, accountability and efficiency.”

Last but not least, OGP is hiring! The Independent Reporting Mechanism has several job openings, including researcher positions for the Dominican Republic, Finland, Ghana, Mongolia, and Norway, as well as temporary Report Production Specialists. All details here.

Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to jacqueline.mcgraw@opengovpartnership.org.