Open Government Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue
*Embargoed until 20 July, 12:00 pm Philippine Standard Time*
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – 20 JULY 2016 – The 2016 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue will be hosted by the Asian Development Bank on July 21st and 22nd at their headquarters in Manila, Philippines. The workshop, co-organized by ADB, OGP, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and IBM Philippines, will bring together 100 participants from across the region, including civil society partners, OGP Steering Committee representatives, and OGP’s multilateral supporters in the region. The dialogue aims to raise the ambition level of individual countries’ commitments to open governance, while promoting and deepening collaboration between government and civil society. The Philippines’ Secretary of Budget and Management Benjamin Diokno will deliver the keynote address. Local government leaders from Bojonegoro (Indonesia), the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Tbilisi (Georgia) will also attend the event and share how their participation in OGP’s Subnational Government Pilot Program will help them deliver transformative change for their citizens.
The workshop will be an opportunity for civil servants and civil society representatives working on OGP implementation to share how open government is being harnessed to address pressing issues in their countries in their forthcoming 2016-2018 OGP National Action Plans. The discussions will cover a range of diverse topics, including open data, fiscal and legislative openness, openness in natural resources, public service delivery, how open governance can be used to address the Sustainable Development Goals, and how the implementation and monitoring of open government initiatives can be strengthened to deliver better results.
“We are looking forward to this meeting as an opportunity to build on regional successes, as well as a way to increase support for open government and the empowerment of citizens,” said OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan. “We want to raise the ambition of our participating countries so that they tangibly improve the lives of citizens by addressing their most urgent needs. We would also like to encourage more government agencies and civil society organizations in the region to come into the fold, in order to truly broaden the base of participation and re-commit to instituting transformative reforms that will improve quality of life for those in the Asia-Pacific region and throughout the world.”
The Asia-Pacific region currently has eleven OGP participating countries. Many countries in the region have had a successful record of implementing open governance initiatives. For example, Indonesia, a founding member of OGP, developed a data-driven initiative that won second place in the 2015 Open Government Awards. Georgia responded to concerns about government surveillance and wiretapping by following through on a commitment to make that data public. Mongolia created an accessible database of environmental data to better inform citizens of the impacts of resource extraction and heavy industry. And the Philippines launched citizen participatory audits, to engage citizens in public audit processes.
“Open government can help strengthen space for government and civil society to work together towards the common goals of more transparent governance systems and processes,” said Haidy Ear-Dupuy, OGP point of contact at the ADB. “OGP member countries in the region can share experiences with one another and reinforce each other’s success in living out the principles of OGP. This dialogue brings together key stakeholders, such as government and civil society, from across OGP’s Asia-Pacific countries, in order to learn from one another and to identify new areas that they each need to work on in their countries. OGP is a journey, and regular meeting and sharing helps to support countries in the process of becoming more open and transparent, and in creating a more engaging government for their citizens.”
 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Georgia, Indonesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. OGP uses the United Nations’ Statistics Division definition to define what is considered “Asia,” which includes Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, as well as New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Representatives of government and civil society from several countries who have expressed interest in joining OGP will be in attendance at the meeting. Azerbaijan is currently listed as inactive in OGP, due to concerns about the narrowing of civic space in that country, and has one year to address these concerns in order to rejoin as a fully participating OGP country.
Notes to editors:
- About Open Government Partnership (OGP):
OGP launched in September 2011 with eight governments and nine civil society organizations at a side event during the United Nations General Assembly. Today OGP is composed of 70 national governments and hundreds of civil society organizations who together have made over 2,500 commitments to bring about greater transparency and accountability in government, facilitating real changes that improve the lives of citizens around the world. OGP recently launched a subnational government pilot program to engage people working in and around local governments. For further information visit: http://www.opengovpartnership.org
- About the Open Government Partnership’s Asia Pacific Regional Dialogue:
The Regional Dialogue provides an important opportunity for reformers to come together to exchange open government experiences, and share best practices and latest news with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Through discussions and interactive workshops, the Regional Dialogue helps connect members of government, academia, civil society, and multilateral organizations, facilitating peer learning across countries in the region and providing an opportunity to share successful experiences.
- Follow the Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue:
- The event hashtag is #OGPAsiaPac; follow @opengovpart, @UNDP, @UNDPAsiaPac, @ADB_HQ, @adb_governance, and @IBMPhilippines
- OGP will publish an Asia-Pacific newsletter in the weeks following the dialogue, which you can subscribe to here
For further information, or to set up interviews with any of the following OGP Support Unit Staff attending the event, please contact: Rachel Ostrow, Communications Officer, email@example.com.
OGP CEO, Sanjay Pradhan
Deputy CEO, Joseph Powell
Shreya Basu, Regional Civil Society Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific
Jack Mahoney, Program Officer for Government Support and Exchange