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2024 Civil Society Steering Committee Candidate Video

Kevin Keith

View Kevin Keith’s application materials for the OGP Civil Society Steering Committee here.

For this video, candidates were asked to respond to the following questions:

  • Why do you want to be on the Steering Committee, and what would your priorities be?
  • How will your participation in the Steering Committee be useful in strengthening open government in your region? OR
  • What can the 2023-2028 OGP strategy do to advance the open government agenda and drive impact? How would you plan to advance the strategy as a Steering Committee member?

Once you’ve watched the video, leave a question or comment below! Candidates will respond directly. For more information about the CS SC selection process, see this page.

Comments (4)

simon fenton-jones Reply

Hi Kevin,
Nice to see your smiling face.
I’m trying to understand why you’d bother running for this steering committee.
All the candidates talk about the problems, as you have, and give examples of them. Seems none of them are actually offering a way forward, in very practical language.
This isn’t helped by the OGP support unit making so many obvious mistakes in how they present the candidates. (Just click on the two links of your page and think through how an interested person might compare between candidates and the process).
Look. You’re already doing more than the OGP support Unit has done in over a decade. You’ve taken the first step on creating an online present that offers ways for an interested English speaking person to participate.
You’ve also got Neisha, Doreen and Lucy as the Scottish OGP bridge builders, bridging the space between the Scottish Gov and UK civil society.
All Ive done (on that link) is suggest that an “Infrastructure” thematic group of OGPers could start steering a Global open source solution if only the OGP support group would start thinking and operating from a global user’s perspective, and not having broken links would also help.
Kevin. You’ve got my vote. BUT tell us HOW, in very definite terms you can see how to reach your/our goals. We live in an age now of PARTICIPATION, not representation. To my mind, that doesn’t mean talking about our common problems. It means talking about how we get the right (media) tools into a frustrated democrat’s hands.

Kevin Keith Reply

This is great Simon, thanks.
A PM famously once said to a senior civil servant: “I know the what. Don’t tell me the what. Tell me the how.” You are right, the ‘what’ whilst sometimes challenging to communicate, is easier than the ‘how’.
But three things.
First, I have to be in a position to affect change which means responding to the criteria you are set. That’s what I have done to the best of my ability (and with the time I have) in this process.
Second, I am seeking to join a committee. This means, even if I have the answers, I will have to listen to others who may feel they have the answers too, then work towards making change happen. But I am not afraid to lead, I want to accountable for my actions, and I share your sense of urgency. If I do make the committee, I would love to hear more about the infrastructure thematic group.
Third, ‘the how’ matters but in the UK, we receive so many ideas about how to make the government more accountable, transparent, and participatory. There are think tanks, and charities, who spend millions producing huge reports on ‘the how’ too. And whilst they can sometimes nudge in the right direction, the vast majority remain unimplemented.
We have to better understand the levers of change (like the media). That is what I hope to bring to the committee. And yes, that will mean equipping our community with better tools to affect change, but first, I have to get there.
Best wishes,

simon fenton-jones Reply

Thanks Kevin,
What can I say, apart from yep!
Urgency? Nah. I’ve been watching, for 25 years, how commercial, and public, institutions have responded to the invention of the web (Read, MEDIA). The commercial world says “share” (and wrap a lot of advertising around the talk), while the public world is still delivering the public’s services from a bunch of silos.
You’ve seen my evidence of how sad this is in the UK central gov.
Its much the same in Oz. A previous generation (of permanent secretaries) trying to invent the future,
But you’re missing my point too. You, as a UK civil rep, already have the basis of a starting point for building infrastructure – for PARTICIPATION, rather than representation. The UK forum I’ve just pointed could grown very fast if we had it hosted on this OGP (international) domain, and we had a few multi- lingual community managers.
Evidence? You missed the peoplepowered team’s video conference last week introducing their latest ratings of digital participation tools. I’m pointing you at the evaluation criteria,
Check out the “Features” and notice that “Discussion forum” is one feature.
Let’s face it. Every OGP member has a secretariat using a similar approach with different tools. What we/they don’t have a place for all secretariats to share their learning, and include others. Chicken or the egg. If we had the right infrastructure for participatory democracy we would have PD/it already.
Nice thing about this situation though Kevin, is that “the culture” is there already. Just watching you and your fellow candidates videos. Such nice stuff which offer nothing but hope. But you guys are gonna have the learn to speak a little geekish. if you want to co-design the right eggs, 🙂

simon fenton-jones Reply

And here’s the basis of the project which might offer an overview of the egg.

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