OGP in the News – Week of August 21, 2017
A weekly round-up of Open Government Partnership (OGP) media coverage around the world. Want to receive OGP in the News directly in your email inbox? Subscribe here.
While most of this week’s OGP media coverage came out of Asia and Africa, OGP also made news in Germany, as well as in non-OGP countries Belgium and Guinea.
This week, members of the OGP Support Unit travelled to Seoul, South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the country’s “Korea OGP Forum.” The event was covered by major Korean news sources Naver and MK News, as was an interview with OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan. During his interview, Pradhan congratulated Korea for passing the first information disclosure law in Asia and expressed hope that Korea’s open government leadership would encourage other nations in the region to engage in OGP. Citing a number of successful OGP initiatives, Pradhan emphasized the need for continued collaboration between government and civil society in order to effectively tackle today’s most pressing problems, including social integration and unemployment. In another article, Naver also reported that Pradhan and Secretary General of the World Cities E-Government Council, Dr. Young-sook Nam, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote cooperation around sustainable urban development.
Elsewhere in Asia, Subnational Pioneer Bojonegoro—historically one of Indonesia’s poorest regencies—is channeling an “open government spirit,” according to Kumparan.com. Detailing the regency’s OGP commitments around open data, accountability, fiscal transparency, procurement, and improved public services, the article emphasized that one of the primary objectives of Bojonegoro’s Subnational Action Plan is to rebuild trust in government at the local level. And the regency’s investment in open government is already beginning to pay off, claims the article: Bojonegoro is no longer classified among Indonesia’s ten poorest districts in East Java.
In a piece for AllAfrica.com, Monday Osasah of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development reiterated the importance of implementing OGP reforms to combat Nigeria’s long-standing reputation for corruption. Explaining how the country established the OGP National Steering Committee, Osasah described the primary themes of Nigeria’s National Action Plan (NAP), which includes commitments to increase civic participation, open contracting, extractive industry transparency, and efficiency within the national tax system. He went on to warn that the government’s commitment to eradicating corruption will be thrown into doubt should Nigeria fail to fulfill its OGP commitments.
OGP public consultations to review Côte d’Ivoire’s 2016-2018 OGP commitments took place in the nation’s capital Yamoussoukro, as well as in the city of Daloa. Covered by Abidjan.net, the meetings were overseen by the president of the country’s technical OGP committee, Chantal Angoua Ehouman, who explained that along with expanding awareness of OGP, these consultations aim primarily at gauging citizens’ opinions and concerns and bolstering the “public integrity” of OGP processes in Côte d’Ivoire. Comparing OGP commissions selected to review the 2016-2018 NAP from several Ivorian cities, Angoua applauded Daloa for having the highest participation rate (78%).
Also in West Africa, Sierra Leone continues to recover from deadly floods and mudslides. With donations pouring in from individuals and organizations around the world, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Cornelius Deveaux pledged the government’s commitment to transparency concerning all relief funds in a piece for AllAfrica.com. Invoking OGP to support this claim, Minster Deveaux pointed out that foreign aid transparency is one of Sierra Leone’s current OGP commitments.
Earlier this month, the German government approved its first-ever OGP National Action Plan (NAP) with commitments on open data, transparency within the extractive industry, and greater access to information around family benefits. The new action plan continued to make news this week. An article published by Springer Professional quoted the government describing how the “network of the open-government movement is continually expanding and finds its resonance also in the federal states and municipalities.” According to the article, the government also plans to start the period of public consultation much earlier when drafting Germany’s 2019 NAP.
Finally, OGP made news in a few non-OGP countries, including Guinea and Belgium. Africatime.com reported that Guinea is working to join the Partnership. The Blogger Association of Guinea (Ablogui), with support from Open Society West Africa, headed a meeting with several national civil society organizations (CSOs) to familiarize them with OGP and discuss the possibility of joining. Abdourahmane Sano, president of the Platform of United Citizens for Development (PCUD), one of the CSOs present at the meeting, explained that OGP’s core principles of transparency and good governance will serve Guinea by attracting investors and improving relations with development partners. Support to join OGP also came out of Belgium where the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo touted the potential benefits of OGP before parliament, according to LeVif.be.
Last but not least, OGP in the News will be taking a brief hiatus next week as some of our staff go on vacation. We will be back in September with everything you might have missed in the world of OGP and a continuation of our weekly media roundups.
Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to email@example.com.