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Taking Your OGP Process Online – A Quick Reference to Participation and Co-creation Standards to Keep in Mind for Online Processes

The OGP Articles of Governance state that OGP participants commit to “Co-create an Action Plan through a multi-stakeholder process, with the engagement of citizens, civil society, private sector, and other entities.” Due to the current situation, countries have had to adapt their citizen and civil society engagement processes, often carried out through face-to-face consultations, meetings and workshops. While the Criteria and Standards Subcommittee has issued a resolution that provides flexibility in the co-creation and implementation of action plans, it is expected that all members continue to meet basic requirements, as established in the Participation and Co-creation Standards, in all OGP related undertakings, mainly via online means.

The Support Unit put together this guide highlighting key basic standards to keep in mind while carrying out online engagement processes. While it is meant to be used as a quick reference to OGP standards, it does not replace the OGP Participation &  Co-Creation Standards. The IRM will take into account the constraints imposed by the current situation and adapt its review process, encourage online tools to carry-out action plan assessments, and adjust its work schedules when necessary. However, it will continue to assess country performance in meeting OGP standards in line with the OGP process.

Basic standards

When taking your OGP processes online, please keep in mind that the OGP Co-creation and Participation standards outline the following basic standards.

Throughout the OGP cycle

  • Have a visible, accessible and searchable national OGP website/webpage with information related to the country’s OGP activities.
  • Collect, document and publish a repository that provides access to all documents related to the national OGP process, accounting for the development and implementation of OGP action plan, according to the IRM guidance on repositories.
  • Form a multi-stakeholder forum to oversee the OGP process. The forum should have a clear remit, meet regularly and facilitate a mechanism for direct communication with stakeholders including proactively reporting back on its decisions, activities and results. Remember that it should meet at least every quarter (OGP is neutral as to whether meetings are held in person or online), accept inputs and representation on the action plan process from any civil society or other stakeholders, keep a record of communication with stakeholders and conduct outreach to inform of its decisions, activities and results.
  • The forum should include an even balance of governmental and nongovernmental representatives selected by a transparent process and its members should jointly develop the forum’s remit, membership and governance. It should include high-level representatives with decision making authority from the government.

When developing an action plan

  • Proactively communicate, with adequate notice, the process for the development of the action plan, through the national OGP website/webpage or other appropriate communication channels.
  • Develop an appropriate methodology for the consultation, which should provide online opportunities to any interested stakeholders to participate and adequate background information.
  • Make this information available online, raise awareness and include a range of options for stakeholders to respond (e.g. written responses, online discussions, surveys, or remote meetings), and be open for an adequate duration (e.g. at least 2 weeks).
  • Organize frequent multi-stakeholder forum meetings (e.g. at least once a month), to  discuss, agree and oversee the action plan development process (e.g. number of events, platforms used, format)
  • During the development of commitments, government representatives should discuss with other members of the multi-stakeholder forum the government’s priorities for commitments and the political feasibility of adopting civil society priorities and proposed commitments.
  • Once commitments have been drafted, government representatives should review with the multi-stakeholder forum their comments, the final selection of commitments to be included in the action plan and state clearly their reasoning behind decisions.
  • Publish on the national OGP website/webpage an overview of stakeholder’s contributions collected online, feedback received on draft commitments and the government’s response to how they were considered. For detailed guidance on providing reasoned response, please refer to the IRM Guidance on “Involve”.

When implementing an action plan

  • Publish regular updates (i.e. at least every six months) on the progress of commitments, including progress against milestones, reasons for any delays, next steps. Provide the space for the public to comment on updates.
  • Hold at least two open meetings with civil society (one per year) on the implementation of the action plan.
  • Keep in mind that the multi-stakeholder forum is expected to meet at least every quarter and should monitor and deliberate on how to improve the implementation of the action plan.

 

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