News

11 October 2017

OGP in the News - Week of October 2, 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.

Following OGP’s participation at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA72) in New York, UNGA-related media coverage of OGP continued to pour in this week.  

Coinciding with the Partnership’s event at the UN, “Rebuilding Trust in Government,” OGP also launched Trust: The Fight to Win It Back, a collection of 25 essays detailing many different ways to #RenewTrust in institutions. One of the essays by Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman appeared in HuffPost. While the UN Sustainable Development Goals establish a framework for the “vision of the world we want,” explained Polman, collaboration between government, civil society, and business is essential to realizing this vision and quelling the current trust crisis. Emphasizing the need for incentive programs within both government and business that promote “purpose-driven, socially accountable business models,” Polman posits OGP as a promising entry point.    

20 Minutos.es reported that Imanol Lasa, Deputy Governor and spokesman of Spain’s Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa, was part of a Basque delegation that met this week with Program Manager for the OGP Subnational Pilot Program, Brittany Lane. Looking to deepen citizen trust and improve service delivery “at a time when all the institutions of the world are facing a new paradigm,” the Gipuzkoa government is exploring partnerships with different international governance networks, including OGP. Following the recent OGP Steering Committee decision to expand the OGP Subnational Program, Gipuzkoa representatives reiterated the Province’s interest in joining the new tier of OGP subnational pioneers.    

OGP Subnational Pioneer Buenos Aires meanwhile, showcased its “Open Government Ecosystem” at the Smart City Expo, which took place in the Argentine capital on September 30. The Buenos Aires “Open Government Ecosystem” encompasses all of the city’s initiatives, aimed at increasing access to information, citizen participation, and co-creation of public policies. These include visualizations illustrating the breakdown of the city budget, a set of over 180 databases to encourage social development, and, of course, Buenos Aires’ OGP commitments. With tracking features built into each of the initiatives, Buenos Aires residents can regularly check up on the city’s opengov progress.        

In Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani called for change - in the direction of OGP! Speaking at an OGP conference in Kabul, President Ghani said Afghanistan’s model of governance must shift from a “citizen-oriented rather than a power-oriented system,” reported Tolo News. According to UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, progress toward this end will be made if the country fulfills its OGP commitments.

On to Africa, Liberia’s presidential election took place on October 10. In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, the director of Accountability Lab, Blair Glencorse, and the country director of Accountability Lab Liberia, Lawrence Yealue II, called for new leadership that will break Liberia’s long tradition of corrupt governance by legislators who are “more beholden to their patrons and cronies than to their voters.” And “there are grounds for hope,” they claimed, noting that two-thirds of the population is now registered to vote. Among the areas the new government will need to prioritize, Glencorse and Yealue emphasized decentralization, anti-corruption efforts, and leveraging the country’s membership in OGP to set a precedent of transparency.

Elsewhere in Africa, Côte d’Ivoire government spokesperson, Minister Bruno Nabagné Koné, commemorated International Right to Know Day (September 28). Abidjan.net published the address in which Minister Koné emphasized that transparency has become an idea “inseparable from participatory democracy and good governance.” Pointing to the creation of an open data portal, growing radio coverage of national news, and a vibrant written press, Minister Koné said these achievements have allowed the country to join several international initiatives promoting good governance, including OGP.

Finally, the Netherlands released its interim self-assessment report to review the progress of OGP commitments for 2016-2018. Published on the government website, the entire report can be accessed here.

Last but not least, have you always dreamed of throwing the #opengov party of a lifetime? Event planning meets open government fun in OGP’s latest job opening for an Asia-Pacific Events Logistical Support Consultant. 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.