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Civil Society Selections (2016)

OGP Now Recruiting Six Prominent Members of Civil Society to Join its Steering Committee

As the Open Government Partnership (OGP) enters its fifth year, the international initiative seeks six new civil society steering committee members. This is a unique opportunity for talented and committed civil society leaders to further shape OGP, represent the interests of the civil society community and assure that ambitious open government reforms get delivered.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP), which currently includes 69 countries, half a dozen multilateral organizations and hundreds of civil society groups, is a multi stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens. OGP brings together government and civil society champions of reform 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 input and oversight.

The OGP Steering Committee (SC) is the executive, decision-making body of the Open Government Partnership (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. At present two civil society seats are vacant and a further four will open up in October 2016. Of the current SC, four members can run for a second term. If they re-apply they will go through the same process of nomination and selection as outside candidates.

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 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:

  • Ability to engage strategically at the global level, exercising good judgement and engaging effectively with senior government officials and civil society members;
  • Read 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. There is a strong desire to fill many of the open seats with female candidates.

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. Last date to submit nominations was midnight EST on February 18, 2016.

Current members and job description of the civil society SC members can be found here. 

Nomination and selection process


The nomination period closed at midnight GMT on February 18, 2016. 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 may be nominated by an organisation, coalition or network, or nominate themselves. Organisations, coalitions and networks can be national, regional or global.
  • Candidates are selected and serve in their individual 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
    • 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 (max 2 pages)
    • One strong example of a video, blogpost, article or piece of writing you (or the candidate you are nominating) have already done that reflects your 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.


Between February 19 – February 29 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, a volunteer from the broader OGP civil society community (to be selected as outlined below) and Paul Maassen (OGP Support Unit Director for Civil Society Engagement).
  • 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 members of the civil society Steering Committee.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide two references and will be invited for an (in-person where possible) interview.
  • After the interviews and final deliberations, the SC will carefully document the basis of their choice and communicate a list with the prefered six 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.

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 intake two members will start immediately,the other four will join the SC at the regular annual rotation moment in October 2016, together with new government members.


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.

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/coalitions. Finally, there is a strong desire to fill many the seats with female candidates.

Candidates for the volunteer position on the Selection Committee are invited to send a short letter explaining their motivation and qualification to serve to Alejandro Gonzalez ( and Paul Maassen ( by January 10.

The lead CS co-chair and the Director for Civil Society Engagement will assess the candidates for the external members of the selection committee along the criteria: active members of CS, good understanding of OGP and what its leadership requires, experience with recruitment and selection processes, experience with SC type of governance mechanisms, time commitment, diversity.

Open Government Partnership