Open Government Partnership Adds Five New Local Governments to its Local Program
The Basque Country, the City of Iași, South Cotabato, Kaduna State, and Nariño Join OGP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. April 9, 2018. – Recognizing and supporting the role that municipal, city, metropolitan, state, regional, and provincial entities play in advancing open government, Open Government Partnership (OGP), a non-profit organization committed to bringing governments and their citizens closer together, has added five new local governments to its OGP Local Program. The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country in Spain, the Romanian city of Iași, the Colombian Department of Nariño, the state of Kaduna in Nigeria, and the Filipino province of South Cotabato have now joined the 75 countries, 15 local participants, and thousands of civil society organizations currently working with OGP.
Following the success of the OGP Subnational Pilot (now the OGP Local Program), which saw the addition of 15 local governments to OGP in 2016, the OGP Steering Committee decided to expand the program in 2017, releasing a global call for expressions of interest for the next five participants to join the first cohort earlier this year.
OGP’s Chief Executive Officer, Sanjay Pradhan, warmly welcomed the addition of the five new members to the Partnership. “We are very pleased to see the strong interest local governments have in joining OGP and advancing the open government agenda. It is at the local level that governments are closest to the people they serve and can work with citizen groups to make a real difference.
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai from the state of Kaduna, Nigeria welcomed their addition to the program and hopes that working with OGP will advance the open government agenda in the country and improve the way governments serve their citizens. “Organizations like Open Government Partnership provide a beacon of hope in our attempts to rebuild citizen trust in public institutions. Kaduna State looks forward to participating in this new program and encouraging other local governments across the world to aim for the laudable targets of Open Government Partnership.”
Camilo Romero Galeano, Governor of the Department of Nariño, Colombia, was honored to see Nariño join the Open Government Partnership and sees it as a testament of their commitment to open government, a feat only achieved when governments work with citizens. He added, “To have been selected encourages us to continue with the commitment we made in 2016: to become the first departmental open government in Colombia. This experience has allowed us to confirm that, starting from a political will, an exercise of governance where citizens really feel part of innovative exercises that seek to rescue trust in public institutions, is possible.
President (Lehendakari) of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Iñigo Urkullu, also welcomed the addition of the autonomous community to OGP (including the Provincial Councils of Araba, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa and the City Councils of Bilbao, San Sebastián and Vitoria) and thanked civic organizations for supporting the community. “I would like to sincerely thank OGP for having selected Basque Country to join the Local Government Program, an important recognition as we face challenges towards better governance. We will continue to work closely with them to face these new challenges,” Urkullu said.
Assessed by the OGP Support Unit and elected by a diverse Selection Committee composed of OGP Steering Committee members and current OGP Local participants, the newly elected local participants were selected based on the assessment of criteria outlined in the call for proposals, as well as other factors considered to ensure a regionally diverse group, with different types and size of entities, and unique strengths to complement the objectives of the Local program.
The five finalists will join the cohort of 15 OGP Local existing participants who, along with civil society groups, will co-create new action plans due in August 2018, working towards more inclusive and responsive governments. Most OGP participants will kick off their action plan development process during Open Gov Week, a global call to action to transform the way governments respond to their citizens happening on May 7-11.