OGP Steering Committee

2019 Government Steering Committee Elections

To access past OGP Steering Committee Elections results, please click here.

The 2019 government Steering Committee (SC) elections will take place in the first half of the year, with total of three government SC seats opening up as of October 1.  This page presents an overview of the elections process, the criteria to run for SC membership, and rotation of the SC co-chairs.  

Overview of the OGP Steering Committee

The SC is OGP’s executive, decision-making body.  Its role is to develop, promote and safeguard OGP’s values, principles and interests. It also establishes OGP’s core ideas, policies, and rules and oversees the functioning of the partnership.

The SC is comprised of 22 members (11 from national governments and 11 from civil society), with parity maintained between the two constituencies. The SC has three standing subcommittees to support its work, the Governance and Leadership Subcommittee (GL), the Criteria and Standards Subcommittee (C&S) and the Thematic Leadership Subcommittee (TLS). Each subcommittee comprises equal numbers of government and civil society representatives drawn from the SC.

Some of the key responsibilities of the SC include:

  • Set OGP’s agenda and direction with principled commitment to the founding nature and goals of the initiative;
  • Lead by example through upholding OGP values, adhering to OGP processes to co-create and implement ambitious open government reforms, and fulfilling financial support of OGP.
  • Advance OGP priorities through their participation in the Global OGP Summit, OGP regional and thematic events, and other international opportunities to promote open government;  
  • Actively participate in Steering Committee and Subcommittee meetings (in-person and virtually), with Ministerial representation when necessary (at least once per year).

SC members serve for a term of three years and are eligible to serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms.  SC members seeking a second term must be reelected to stay on the SC. All SC terms begin on October 1 of the year in which they are elected. To learn more about the SC, please see here.

Current makeup and regional balance

The current makeup of the SC is as follows:



Current Term Ends

1. Argentina (Incoming co-chair 2019-2020)


2021 (first term)

2. Canada (Lead co-chair 2018-2019)


2020 (first term)

3. Croatia


2019 (leaving SC on Oct 1 at end of second consecutive term)

4. France


2021 (second term)

5. Georgia


2019 (ending first term on SC on Oct 1)

6. Italy


2020 (first term)

7. Mexico


2019 (leaving SC on Oct 1 at end of second consecutive term)

8. Nigeria


2021 (first term)

9. Romania


2021 (second term)

10. South Africa


2020 (second term)

11. South Korea


2020 (first term)


According to the OGP Articles of Governance, the SC should be comprised of a minimum of one and a maximum of four governments from each of the four regions (Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe). For 2019, the maximum possible vacant seats for each region are Africa (2); Americas (2); Asia-Pacific (3); and Europe (1).

If there are insufficient candidates from each region to meet the regional quotas, then the government with the next highest number of votes will join the SC, regardless of the region.

Criteria to run for a government seat in the Steering Committee

The criteria to run for a seat in the SC is as follows:

  1. Improved or maintained their Eligibility Scores since submitting a letter of intent to join OGP;  
  2. Acted in accordance with the OGP Declaration;
  3. Acted in accordance with OGP processes for the most recently completed Action Plan cycle (i.e. the country must not have acted Contrary to Process through any of the four triggers):
    1. The country does not publish an Action Plan within 4 months of the due date (by December 31).
    2. The government does not meet the International International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) “Involve” requirement during development or “Inform" during implementation of the Action Plan as assessed by the IRM.
    3. The government fails to collect, publish and document a repository on the national OGP website/webpage in line with IRM guidance.
    4. The IRM Report establishes that there was no progress made on implementing any of the commitments in the country’s Action Plan.
  4. Paid their financial contribution to OGP; and
  5. Complied with the minimum participation and co-creation standards.

In addition to the above requirements, current government members of the SC running for re-election must have regularly attended and participated actively in meetings of the SC and the SC subcommittees with Ministerial-level participation.

SC co-chair election

SC leadership is comprised of a revolving four-member co-chairmanship team (two from government and two from civil society) elected by members of the SC. The four co-chairs make up the Governance and Leadership Subcommittee (GL). SC co-chairs serve for a two-year term, with the first year as ‘incoming’ and the second as ‘lead’ chairs. The current co-chairs are the government of Canada and Nathaniel Heller (Lead co-chairs), and the government of Argentina and Robin Hodess (Incoming co-chairs).

The process for selection of the incoming SC co-chairs will be held following the conclusion of the general SC elections. All SC members, including newly elected, may run to serve as co-chairs. As per the timeline below, all interested candidates must submit a letter of candidacy outlining their proposed agendas to lead the SC by May 22. Voting, if necessary, will take place at the Ministerial SC meeting in Ottawa, Canada on May 29.

Voting process

Ahead of the voting period, all active OGP participating governments who are eligible* to participate in the elections process will receive a list of candidates (by email), and will have three weeks to complete their online ballots. The voting process is administered by an independent company, and the Support Unit only receives the final results. Ballots are secret and will not be published or shared.

The scoring system for the election is called Borda in which each voter ranks their preferred candidates. For example, where there are 6 candidates, the top-ranked candidate gets 6 points, the second place gets 5 points, third place gets 4 points, and so on for as many candidates as the voter ranks. If the voter chooses to only rank some of the candidates, all unranked candidates would not get any points from that particular voter. Once the voting period closes, all points are added up and the candidate with the most points gets elected (after accounting for the regional balance mechanism). If there is a tie between two candidates, the tie will be broken by determining which candidate received the majority of first-place votes (i.e. if Candidate A and Candidate B both receive 500 points, but Candidate A received 15 first-place votes and Candidate B only received 14 first-place votes, then Candidate A wins).

Timeline for the 2019 elections

  • February 11 - 2019 elections process is launched
  • April 1 - Deadline for governments to submit candidacy statements
  • April 8-29 - List of eligible candidates is announced and voting periods begins
  • April 30 - Election results are announced
  • May 22 - Deadline for SC members (including newly elected) to submit their candidacy for co-chair role
  • May 29 -  New incoming co-chair is selected through secret ballot at ministerial SC meeting in Ottawa, Canada. New SC members join the May meetings (ministerial and working level) as observers.
  • May 30 - Incoming co-chairs are announced
  • October 1 - All SC members begin 2019-2022 term

Process to submit candidacy

Eligible governments must submit a letter of candidacy addressed to the four OGP co-chairs (see here), and should include the following information:

  • Motivation for standing for election to the OGP SC.
  • Track record as a member of OGP and on open government related issues more broadly
  • Strengths the government will bring to the SC and how it will contribute to OGP’s leadership
  • Envisioned role and involvement of other government bodies (head of state/government, other ministries, foreign affairs and diplomatic networks) to advance OGP priorities and represent OGP globally

Please submit letters of candidacy to the OGP Support Unit through jaime.mercado@opengovpartnership.org by April 1.

* Governments currently placed under inactive or suspended status pursuant to the Response Policy (Azerbaijan) and/or Procedural Review (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Trinidad and Tobago) are not eligible to participate in SC elections. Members of the OGP Local programme are also currently not eligible to participate in these elections, pending discussion of the future of OGP Local engagement in 2019.