OGP in the News – Week of December 11, 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.
The main theme of this week’s global media coverage of OGP was, of course, the Asia Pacific Leaders Forum on Open Government (APLF2017).
Bringing together some 200 high-level government officials, ministers, local government leaders, civil society organisations, businesses, and development partners, the Asia Pacific Leaders Forum on Open Government took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. The second of Indonesia’s major regional open government gatherings since the founding of OGP in 2011, the significance of the forum was not lost on the national media. During the week of the event, close to 60 Indonesian news outlets mentioned OGP in relation to #APLF2017.
Detik.com announced the event a few days before it kicked off,, while The Jakarta Post ran an editorial on December 14, the day of the event. The Jakarta Post piece begins, “Throughout most of its modern history, bureaucracy in Indonesia has operated under the shroud of secrecy.” It then goes on to highlight a few of Indonesia’s recent reforms towards an “accessible, accountable and open government,” including the citizen complaint mechanism LAPOR! and a single-submission system for business and investment permits championed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The editorial commended the forum, saying that “The meeting comes at a crucial time when the world is undergoing a sweeping change that could affect how governments conduct their business.” It concluded with a powerful message underscoring the importance of continued open government reform: “Governments, including that of Indonesia, have no choice but to advance openness, or else they will perish.”
In the run-up to the forum, OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan also summarized some of the progress Indonesia and other countries in the Asia Pacific have made on open government. Published in The Jakarta Post, Pradhan encouraged governments to scale up and deepen these reforms in order to “tackle key societal challenges,” especially as ten of the 13 OGP countries and all three subnational pioneers in the region prepare to co-create new OGP action plans in 2018. Pradhan said the “Leaders Forum comes at a critical time,” and outlined three priority areas for future open government commitments: innovation, ambition, and collaboration. In his conclusion, Pradhan said that “In the world’s most populous region, there is extraordinary potential to harness open government for inclusive development – but we must work together.”
Coverage of the event itself continued on December 14 and the days following. Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla took to the stage during the opening plenary, as reported by Tribunnews.com, Merdeka.com, and Okezone.com, among others. In his remarks, Kalla emphasized that governments must be open to criticism and benefit from citizen input. He noted that the government of Indonesia is looking to expand outlets for citizen participation to help shape and improve government services related to poverty reduction, education, and healthcare. Kalla also underscored the importance of coordination between the executive and legislative branch. Concluding his speech, Kalla expressed hope that APLF2017 will have a positive effect on governance throughout the Asia Pacific.
Speaking alongside the Vice President, Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro was quoted in articles by Okezone.com and Merdeka.com. He said APLF2017 represented an opportunity to share knowledge about the role of open government in bolstering inclusive development efforts through economic growth, poverty reduction, public service innovation, and increased trust government.
And at the day’s closing, Tribunnews.com reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir said work on open government should not be limited to OGP participants, but should be a “universal value.” He continued that APLF2017 serves as a testament to the Indonesian government’s leadership and commitment to the principles of open government throughout the region.
In other news, a Georgian news agency announced that Georgia, as current OGP government co-chair, will host the fifth OGP global summit in 2018. The article noted that Georgian Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia to participate in the Asia-Pacific Leaders Forum on Open Government. There, she invited all of the countries present to attend next year’s global summit in Georgia, and held bilateral meetings with government representatives from Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia. According to the article, a Memorandum is expected to be signed between the governments of Georgia and Indonesia to exchange knowledge and learning on transparency, e-government, and improved public services.
Outside of the Asia Pacific, OGP made news in Mexico. National newspaper El Universal reported that Secretary of Civil Service, Arely Gómez González, sat down with commissioners of the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI). According to the article, Gomez hoped to garner support among INAI commissioners to convince civil society organizations to re-engage with Mexican government on OGP. These organizations withdrew from the country’s OGP process in May 2017 following allegations of government spying on several civil society members.
Last but not least, as the end of 2017 approaches, we have some final insights from #OGPArgentina – take a look at our most recent OGP newsletter to get the scoop!
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.