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Open Government and COVID-19

Join webinars and conversations, and find important resources and statements from our community on open government approaches to COVID-19.


A Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus

This guide is a one-stop shop for the best current resources on how open government projects and approaches can support tackling the pandemic. It draws on over 350 crowdsourced examples from the open government community and amplifies the work of OGP’s wide range of thematic partners, many of whom have directly contributed their expertise to the guide.


Apolitical Opinion Series

In partnership with Apolitical, we’re releasing a series of opinion pieces showcasing what governments and civil society organizations are doing to preserve open government principles amidst challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and ensure an open response and open recovery.


Anti-Corruption

Public Procurement

As part of the Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum, OGP, Open Contracting Partnership, and International Budget Partnership hosted a virtual conversation on how to strengthen the transparency and accountability processes in the budgeting and public procurement under the emergency while enabling a fast, efficient and transparent response. | Watch the recording in English, Spanish, or French

Find a round-up of resources from OGP and partners on public procurement and COVID-19 in the Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Public Procurement here.

  • OGP member Portugal and Transparency International Portugal hosted a webinar on transparent contracting to share civic monitoring tools, explain resources that can be mobilized by citizens to detect and prevent corruption and irregularities associated with public procurement procedures. | Learn more here.
  • Access Info shares ten recommendations on transparency in COVID-19 emergency procurement. | Read it here.
  • The Open Contracting Partnership has a dedicated resource page on emergency procurement for COVID-19 with key recommendations, a recording from a community call on best practices and more. | Explore it here.
  • Thirteen Transparency International chapters highlight measures that need to be taken to corruption in emergency procurement. | Read it in Spanish and English.
  • Hivos and the Open Contracting Partnership are hosting a collaborative learning series – Learning Circles – every two weeks in English and Spanish. | Learn more here.

Beneficial Ownership Transparency

  • OpenOwnership shares five areas where beneficial ownership transparency is key in addressing Coronavirus. | Read it here.
  • OpenOwnership released a recorded panel on how beneficial ownership transparency can assist with targeting corruption in the response to coronavirus. | Watch it here.

General

  • The Open Gov Hub is hosted a conversation about policy advocacy against corruption during COVID-19. Hear from experts at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Transparency International, Global Financial Integrity, and Fundamedios.| Watch the recording here.
  • The U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre published a briefing on corruption in the time of COVID-19 and its double-threat in low-income countries. | Read it here.
  • The Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) shares corruption risks and useful legal references in the context of COVID-19. | Read the briefing here.

To Read

  • Open Contracting Partnership staff share five public procurement responses for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. | Read it here.
  • Hivos discusses the crucial role of open contracting and transparency in the context of Latin America’s health purchases for COVID-19. | Read it here.

Civic Space

Find a round-up of resources from partners on civic space and COVID-19 in the Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Civic Space here.

  • ICNL unpacks an analysis of over 300 measures in the COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker and summarizes the top 9 trends affecting civic space. | Read it here.
  • ICNL shares examples of governments safeguarding safeguard rights while also protecting public health. | Read it here.
  • CIVICUS shares a snapshot of restrictions and attacks on freedoms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. | Read it here.
  • Hivos hosted a conversation for and by journalists on data-driven investigative journalism in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. | Learn more here.
  • The Centre for Civil and Political Rights is tracking measures taken by states in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic that may influence the state’s ability to ensure the rights and obligations protected by the ICCPR. | Explore the tracker and geo-map here.
  • Directorio Legislativo has launched a COVID-19 edition of their Civic Space Guardian (CSG) tool, which monitors regulations affecting civic space in Latin America and the Caribbean. While many freedoms have been restricted for health reasons, there are debates about excesses and how to protect the right of access to information, citizen participation and freedom of expression in these times. | Explore the tool here.
  • CIVICUS is gathering tips and guidance for defending civil society, democratic rights, and fundamental freedoms during the COVID-19 crisis. | Explore them here.
  • ICNL is tracking government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights. | Explore the tracker here.
  • CIVICUS has created a social security protocol for civil society. | Read the statement here.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is tracking COVID-19’s impact on journalists and freedom of the press around the world. | Explore their resources here.
  • The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is sharing monthly bulletins to address restrictions on fundamental rights that EU member states are implementing to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. | Read them here.

To Read

  • As government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupt civil society globally, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace shares new forms of civic activism taking shape and how to scale them up. | Read it here.
  • CIVICUS shares five key principles to define a post COVID-19 world | Read it here.
  • CIVICUS shares an open letter to donors and supporters asking them to act to ensure civil society resilience against COVID-19 pandemic. | Read it here.
  • As governments put in place extreme measures to contain the spread of the virus, many of which have curtailed human and labor rights, Sharan Burrow, Vice-Chair, The B Team asks the question: What will a world with less free speech and freedom of assembly mean for business? | Read it here.

Data and Digital Governance

As part of the Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum OGP and partners are hosting two webinars on data and digital governance:

  • OGP, the Open Data Charter, and Access Info held a virtual conversation to address some of the challenges that governments have faced when trying to promote transparency during crisis response, and draw attention to the current data needs from citizens and civil society. | Watch the recording in English, Spanish, or French
  • Experts from the World Wide Web Foundation, the Governments of France and Taiwan, Luminate, and Article 19 led a cross-sector conversation to unpack the policy measures related to use of digital platforms in times of crisis response and policy considerations important for longer term reform. | Watch the recording in English, Spanish or French

Find a round-up of resources from partners on public procurement and COVID-19 in the Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Open Data here.

Open Data, Data Protection and Privacy

  • In an effort to open up more data to tackle COVID-19, the Open Data Institute (ODI) is running a program of free support to people and organizations who have data they think could help the world to navigate the pandemic. | Learn more here.
  • The Open Data Charter, OECD, Government of New Zealand (via secondment) and other partners are exploring what critical data should be made publicly available in reliable and safe ways. | Check out their shared draft here,  or contact info@opendatacharter.org if you’re interested in contributing. 
  • The Open Institute and DataReady recently hosted a half-day virtual workshop called “Preparing for better times: Restoring Data Rights in a post-pandemic world”. | Watch the recording here.
  • AccessNow has highlighted concrete policy recommendations (including specific examples of what works and what doesn’t) on data protection and privacy related to COVID-19 policy responses. | Read them here.

Tackling Misinformation

  • The Knight Foundation’s Chief Program Officer, Sam Gill, is hosting weekly webinars about the misinformation generated through the COVID-19 crisis and how it is undermining trust in the media and government institutions. | Learn more and register to attend a Knight Vision webinar here
  • Web Foundation has developed a policy briefing on tackling misinformation during COVID-19. | Read it here.
  • Article 19 released a policy briefing on misinformation and the coronavirus | Read it here.

To Read

  • COVID-19 is raising multiple questions, and the world is relying on data to get answers. The Open Data Charter and the OECD Digital Government and Data Unit have partnered to launch an international collaboration to identify high value open data in a pandemic. | Learn more here.
  • UN Women’s new brief highlights emerging trends and impacts of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls facilitated by information and communications technology (ICT) | Read it here.

Extractive Industries

  • On May 19, join Publish What You Pay for a dialogue focused on COVID-19, oil dependency and tools for advocacy.| Learn more and register here.
  • In May, Publish What You Pay members from across East and Southern Africa gathered for a webinar to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s extractive sector and discuss policy options to mitigate its effects. | Learn more and watch the recording here.

To Read

  • As the extractive sector rebuilds from a period of volatile commodity prices, lockdowns and demand shocks, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) says civil society organizations can help rebuild the confidence of international partners. | Read more here.

Fiscal Openness

As part of the Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum, OGP, Open Contracting Partnership, and International Budget Partnership hosted a virtual conversation on how to strengthen the transparency and accountability processes in the budgeting and public procurement under the emergency while enabling a fast, efficient and transparent response. | Watch the recording in English, Spanish, or French

Find a round-up of resources from partners on public procurement and COVID-19 in the Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Fiscal Openness here.

  • In a recent webcast event, the International Budget Partnership launched the release of the 2019 Open Budget Survey and discussed its relevance to the current situation with coronavirus, the connection to building healthy and resilient societies and the growing movement signing on in support of the open budget agenda. | Watch the recording here.
  • Fundación Observatorio Fiscal is sharing daily updates and analysis on government spending in Chile in response to COVID-19. | Explore them here.
  • The Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency launched the Fiscal Data for Emergency Response: Guide for COVID-19, which helps to identify datasets and data fields that should be gathered and disclosed to ensure transparency is embedded in policy responses. | Consult the 15 datasets, time series, and more here.

To Read

  • Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) shares insights to generate fiscal openness in emergency response and stimulus packages, from budget, macro, and revenue perspectives. | Read it here.

Gender and Inclusion

Find a round-up of resources from partners on inclusion, gender and COVID-19 in the Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Inclusion and Gender here.

  • UN Women’s new brief highlights emerging trends and impacts of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls facilitated by information and communications technology (ICT) | Read it here.
  • UN Women, Pathfinders, the World Bank and others launched a report called “Justice for Women Amidst COVID-19”. | Read it here.
  • The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics is hosting an e-discussion on women’s leadership in the COVID-19 response. | Join the conversation and see what others are saying here.
  • The International Foundation for Electoral Systems shares an overview on how to protect gender equality in elections during COVID-19. | Read it here.
  • Women Deliver’s Deliver for Good campaign is calling on governments to take action to put girls, women, and gender equality at the center of COVID-19 preparedness, response, and recovery. | Learn more about the actions and sign the open letter here.
  • The Inter-Parliamentary Union is sharing guidance and examples of gender-responsive parliamentary practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. | Learn more here.
  • CARE created a rapid gender analysis tool here to guide policymakers through needs, such as identifying populations most affected by COVID-19 (e.g. men, elderly, persons of color), tailoring resources to support the disproportionate amount of women in the healthcare field, outsized home and caregiving burdens, and planning for an increase in gender-based violence. | Check it out here.
  • Women Deliver discusses the importance of including a gender lens in COVID-19 responses. | Read the article here.
  • UN Women created a data hub that explains the need for improved data collection by sex, age, and race or ethnicity. | Explore it here.
  • Home isn’t always a safe space for citizens to shelter in place. UN Women recommends revisiting legal frameworks and international/national laws preventing violence and discrimination as well as strengthening dialogue with women’s organizations with expertise on gender-based violence. | Explore these resources in UN Women’s briefing and this article from Apolitical.

To Read

  • Power 3.0 highlights why disinformation targeting women undermines democratic institutions. | Read it here.
  • Data 2x discusses why disaggregating COVID-19 data can help in achieving health equity for women and girls. | Read it here.
  • The United Nations Foundations writes about the “shadow pandemic” occurring along side COVID-19 – the unraveling of worldwide progress toward gender equality. | Read it here.
  • UN Women explains why data is so crucial for understanding how and why pandemics result in an increase in violence against women and girls. | Read it here.
  • Oxfam Canada explains why COVID-19 solutions require a feminist approach. | Read it here.
  • Nuray Özbay of UN Women’s San Francisco Chapter discusses the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and outlines measures governments can take right now to reduce them. | Read more here.
  • Foreign Affairs highlights how Taiwan is harnessing civic technology to respond to COVID-19. | Read it here.

Justice

As part of the Open Response + Open Recovery Digital Forum, OGP and Open Society Justice Initiative hosted a virtual conversation with experts from Canada’s Department of Justice, AdvocAid (Sierra Leone), the ILF (Afghanistan), and Article 19 South America. The discussion highlighted promising practices in protecting access to justice during a crisis from across the globe that can serve as examples for the OGP community and its emerging coalition on justice in considering how to respond locally to these challenges. | Watch the recording in English, Spanish or French.

Find a round-up of resources from partners on justice and COVID-19 in the Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Justice here.

  • UN Women, Pathfinders, the World Bank and others launched a report called “Justice for Women Amidst COVID-19”. | Read it here.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is hosting a webinar on justice in times of COVID-19 for the Judicial Integrity Network in ASEAN. | Learn more and register here.
  • Pathfinders and a long list of justice experts and partners (including OGP) have developed a comprehensive briefing on policy issues to consider and seven areas for urgent action during the public health emergency. | Read it here.
    • Their new companion paper focuses on the role and needs of grassroots justice defenders who are making critical contributions to the seven areas of priority actions for justice leaders, identified in the first publication. | Read it here.
  • Namati recently hosted a webinar on legal empowerment approaches during the COVID-19 crisis . | Find the recording here.

To Read

  • Liviana Zorzi of UNDP explores the “new possible” for justice after COVID-19 – digital, open and inclusive courts. | Read it here.
  • Pathfinders shares tools to help us build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies during and after this the COVID-19 crisis. | Read more here.
  • leaders from the City of Buenos Aires’ judicial branch reflect on their efforts to promote openness & accountability and ensure the delivery of justice services during the pandemic. | Read it here.
  • The justice community’s “Justice for All and the Public Health Emergency” briefing explores the key justice challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. | Read more here.
  • In World Politics Review, Center for International Cooperation’s Céline Monnier and g7+ Deputy General Secretary Habib Mayar examine the risks the COVID-19 pandemic poses to fragile and conflict-affected countries. | Read more here.
  • Congo Research Group director Jason Stearns co-authored a correspondence article in The Lancet modeling the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. | Read it here.

Parliaments

  • ParlAmericas, GIFT and IFSD have launched to provide guidance for parliamentarians to promote openness throughout the budgetary cycle and other fiscal measures. The publication is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
  • ParlAmericas and Asamblea Nacional Ecuador developed a compendium of legislation and executive orders adopted by countries in the Americas and the Caribbean in response to the COVID-19 crisis. | Read it here.
  • The Open Parliament e-Network (OPeN) – which includes Directorio Legislativo, the National Democratic Institute, ParlAmericas and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy – hosted a webinar called “Parliaments and Pandemics: Going virtual and staying open in the COVID-19 age” in May. This webinar is the first in “The 2020 Conversation: Open Parliaments”, a series of conversations on where parliaments are today, and how we can build more open, responsive and accountable legislative institutions. | Watch the recording here.
  • Directorio Legislativo and ParlAmericas have published a paper on the role of parliament during a pandemic, an explanation on how the parliaments of the Americas and the Caribbean currently work and a set of open parliament recommendations. | Read it here.
  • Many of the emergency measures governments are adopting in response to COVID-19 limit the ways in which parliaments do their work. The Open Parliament eNetwork (OPeN) is creating a tracker to monitor who is doing what around the world and to help ensure parliaments have a voice and are able to hold governments to account. | Add to the tracker here.
  • ParlAmericas has developed a publication on COVID-19 and the role of parliament during a pandemic. | The publication is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.
  • The Inter-Parliamentary Union is sharing guidance and examples of gender-responsive parliamentary practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. | Learn more here.

Public Service Delivery

To Read

  • The Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST) released a statement calling for increased transparency, accountability and participation in the infrastructure sector. | Read it here.
  • Engineers Against Poverty discusses the impact of COVID-19 on infrastructure and services projects. | Read it here.

Transparency

  • FUNDE El Salvador, the country’s Transparency International chapter, hosted a virtual international conference on transparency in times of emergencies with speakers from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank, and Transparency International. | Watch the recording here.

To Read

  • Transparency International emphasizes the need for transparency, accountability, and integrity during the #COVID19 pandemic. | Read more here.
  • The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) examines the threats to resource transparency from the pandemic and offers ideas on what it will take to keep transparency on track. | Read it here.

Cross-Thematic Resources

  • Integrity Action shares a roundup of social accountability initiatives from partners around the world as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis. | Read it here.
  • On a special episode of the Finding Humanity Podcast, former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights Mary Robinson and Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein join for a conversation on COVID-19, human rights, and ethical leadership. | Listen here.
  • OGP Armenia, USAID and IFES recently hosted a discussion on digital tools for participatory democracy. | Watch the full webinar here.
  • On May 13 at 9:00 EDT, the World Bank is hosting an expert panel on ensuring state continuity during COVID-19, ensure integrity, mitigate corruption, and maintain public sector productivity and essential public services. | Register here.
  • The Paris Peace Forum is tackling the COVID-19 pandemic head-on in its annual Call for Projects. The deadline for submissions has now closed. | Learn more here.
  • Edelman released a Trust Barometer Special Report on COVID-19, which demonstrates the essential role of the private sector as a source of reliable and timely information. | Read the report here.
  • The civil society members of the OGP Steering Committee have released a statement on COVID and its risks to open government. Focused on democratic values, the statement is a call to action to governments, donors and international organizations. | Read it and add your support here.
  • The International Monetary Fund is tracking the key economic responses governments are taking to limit the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. | Explore it here.
  • Incorporating feedback from affected communities, alongside expert advice, is absolutely vital in determining a COVID-19 response. Yet, questions remain about how to best listen and act on feedback when social distancing is the norm and the needs are ever-growing. Feedback Labs has created a guide with evidence, tips, and tools for listening and acting on communities’ feedback during a pandemic. | Read it here.
  • Civil Society Europe is sharing information and resources on what their member organizations are doing to counter the pandemic and call on the authorities to find solutions to the crisis. | Find them here.
  • The International Growth Centre hosted a discussion on the challenges COVID-19 poses to African countries and how policymakers can respond. Speakers included Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Paul Collier, and Jonathan Leape.| Watch the recording here.
  • The World Bank has released a paper providing an operational framework to guide policymakers and World Bank teams in the Africa Region to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis. | Read it here.
  • OECD has published a list of policy responses – on issues ranging from healthcare to tax measure. | Explore their open call for evidence from countries on use of open government data for COVID response here.
  • The ONE Campaign, along with several other partners, have highlighted key policy issues for decision-makers to consider in their response to the pandemic. | Read them here.
  • Reboot led a three-part masterclass series for those building the urgent (and sometimes unlikely) partnerships needed to make decisions in the midst of uncertainty and create lasting networks for inclusive co-creation. | Watch the recordings here.

To Read

  • Cicely Marston, Alicia Renedo and Sam Miles of DEPTH Research Group share why community participation is essential in the collective response to COVID-19 – from compliance with lockdown, to the steps that need to be taken as countries ease restrictions, to community support through volunteering.| Read it here.
  • In their Participo series, open gov experts at OECD share perspectives on digital deliberation, how to design online citizens’ assemblies, and more. | Read them here.
  • Experts from the World Bank write about the need for high levels of collaboration between government and citizens to defeat the pandemic and how clear, accurate, and real-time information from government increases citizen trust. | Read it here.
  • Experts at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reflect on the many impacts COVID-19 will have on democratic governance around the world. | Read it here.

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Data Readiness, Response, Recovery and Reform

COVID-19 has brought to light how gaps in public health-related data hinder pandemic readiness, response, and recovery. These gaps, along with the pre-existing inequalities exacerbated by them, have increased the urgency to shift to demand-driven publication of data and identification of data types needed across different regions and contexts.

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Reflections on an Unprecedented Year

The 2019-2020 OGP co-chairs reflect on their term and take stock on what's happened across the Partnership and the open government community these past twelve months.

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FinCENFiles: Why Taking Action Now is Essential to Protect Democracy

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for governments across the world to take urgent policy action on critical issues that protect people's lives and livelihoods. At the OGP Virtual Leaders Summit last week, world leaders including German Chancellor Angela…

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