What is the Open Government Partnership?
The Open Government Partnership is a new global, multi-stakeholder effort to make governments better. OGP aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to drive open government reform and innovation at the country level, in an effort to stretch countries beyond their current baseline in the areas of transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement.
OGP formally launched on September 20, 2011, when the 8 founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration, and announced their country action plans. Since then the partnership has grown to 70 participating countries.
As a multi-stakeholder initiative, civil society participation is enshrined in OGP’s foundational principles and management structures. Civil society plays an important role in managing the OGP through equal participation with governments on the Steering Committee, OGP’s executive management body. Moreover, governments are expected to actively collaborate with civil society on drafting and implementing country commitments as well as on reporting and monitoring efforts.
How is OGP managed?
OGP is overseen by a multi-stakeholder international Steering Committee that currently includes nine governments and nine leading civil society representatives. The Steering Committee serves as OGP’s key executive management body. The Steering Committee is led by a government chair, a supporting (or incoming) government co-chair, and two civil society co-chairs.
More information on the OGP Steering Committee can be found here.
How can I check if my country is eligible to join the OGP?
In order to be eligible to participate in OGP, governments must demonstrate a minimum level of commitment to open government principles in four key areas (Fiscal Transparency, Access to Information, Income and Asset Disclosures, and Citizen Engagement). A country is eligible to join the OGP if they meet those criteria measured by objective governance indicators using public data sources.
How do countries join OGP and what is expected of them?
Governments must meet the following expectations to join and continue participating in the OGP:
- Meet the minimum eligibility criteria.
- Signal the government’s intent to participate in OGP by sending a letter to the four OGP Co-Chairs.
- Undertake broad public consultation to inform the government’s OGP commitments, and identify or establish a multi-stakeholder forum for ongoing dialogue with civil society on OGP implementation.
- Work with civil society to develop an OGP country plan with concrete commitments reflecting the four core open government principles of transparency, citizen participation, accountability, and technology and innovation.
- Publicly endorse the Open Government Declaration and submit the final country action plan for publication on the OGP website.
- Publish a self-assessment report on progress after the first 12 months of OGP implementation, and cooperate with the Independent Reporting Mechanism in generating its report.
- Contribute to the advancement of open government in other countries by sharing best practices, expertise, technical assistance, technologies, and resources, as appropriate.
- Countries should consult the OGP timeline to determine when they should complete each of these seven steps. Contact the Support Unit with questions about these dates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I work for an NGO? Can my organization join the OGP?
Civil society organizations do not formally join the Partnership in the same way that governments do, but they play a critical role in OGP at both the national and international level. Within every OGP participating country, civil society organizations are invited to work with their governments to develop, implement and monitor their country’s OGP action plan. Please consult your country’s page on this site to find out more about where your country is in the OGP process and opportunities to get involved.
At the international level, representatives of civil society organizations help oversee OGP through equal participation with governments on the Steering Committee, OGP’s executive management body.
For more information on how to get involved in OGP, please visit this page.
How is country performance tracked or reviewed?
OGP requires every participating government to engage in two forms of reporting and assessment to promote maximum accountability of its performance in living up to OGP commitments. First, governments must publish an annual Self-assessment Report after the end of each 12-month implementation cycle that assesses government performance in making progress toward achieving its open government commitments. Second, all OGP countries are subject to a bi-annual assessment by the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). The IRM works primarily through independent assessment reports for each OGP participating government. Each report will assesses the development and implementation of action plans as well as progress in fulfilling open government principles at the country level.
Does the OGP have a secretariat?
The OGP Support Unit is a small, permanently staffed organization that serves as the Partnership’s secretariat. A key function of the Support Unit is to support the Steering Committee, OGP’s management body, turning its policy decisions into action. Its role also includes communications and outreach, as well as coordinating peer exchange and knowledge sharing among stakeholders across the partnership.
Visit the OGP Support Unit page for more details on the Support Unit’s activities and staff bios.
How can I get in touch with someone at OGP?
For all inquiries please email email@example.com. Alternatively, you can contact the Support Unit by mail:
Open Government Partnership
c/o OpenGov Hub
1110 Vermont Ave NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Where can I access key documents such as the Partnership’s charter, meeting minutes, press releases, etc.?
OGP operates on the presumption of openness of all its activities and follows a default policy of proactive disclosure. As a result, it makes available online an extensive set of information including key governance, budget, and operational documents. The following are links to commonly requested OGP documents:
For more details on OGP’s Disclosure Policy including a comprehensive list of documentation available, please visit the Disclosure Policy page. To request more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.