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Subnational Pilot Phase and Transition to OGP Local

OGP launched the “Subnational Government Pilot Program” in 2016. This decision recognized that many open government innovations and reforms are happening at the local level where governments can engage more directly with citizens and many crucial public services are delivered. The Pilot program consisted of 15 “pioneer” subnational governments who signed onto the Open Government Subnational Declaration and submitted their first Action Plans (APs) at the Paris Global OGP Summit in December 2016 which were implemented throughout 2017. In addition to the Pioneers’ Tier, the pilot program also included a Leaders’ Tier –a larger network of subnational open government reformers from government and civil society who were already involved in open government and were further encouraged to engage in peer learning and foster closer involvement with national action plans in their respective countries.

Following the strong early results of the pilot period between 2016 and 2017, the OGP Steering Committee approved the expansion of the subnational  pilot program, which going forward will be known as the OGP Local Program, and will continue to prioritize the participation of a diverse range of entities, such as municipalities, local governments, regions, provinces, etc.. The Steering Committee’s resolution on the program’s expansion can be found in the meeting minutes here.

Expansion of the OGP Local Program

The OGP Local program aims to harness the innovation and momentum demonstrated by local governments and civil society partners across the world. OGP is a platform for these governments and civil society to come together to make their governments more open, inclusive and responsive, modeling the values and principles of the Open Government Declaration and processes.

As a first phase of the program’s expansion, the Support Unit launched a call for expressions of interest in early 2018 to bring on board five additional participants to join the original 15 pioneers. This expanded cohort of 20 local governments will receive assistance and guidance from the Support Unit and the Steering Committee as they, with civil society partners, co-create and implement new action plans in 2018-2020. For results of the 2018 expansion process, please see here.

In addition to this expansion, OGP will support the launch of a global Community of Practice on Transparency and Local Open Government within the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) – Global network of local and regional governments and its associations – and led by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP). This Community of Practice will support peer learning, networking, and wider awareness and capacity development on open governance and public integrity at the local level. Applicants and current OGP Local participants are welcome to join this initiative, which will officially launch in mid-2018.

To ensure the sustainability of the program, a strategy package for the formal integration of the OGP Local program into OGP will be tabled for Steering Committee approval in 2018. This strategy package will include a model for rotation of participants out of the program to provide other local entities the opportunity to join, as well as alignment to the guidelines and standards that all OGP participants are held to.

Why does OGP work with local governments?

Local governments are closer to the people and their work has a more direct impact on citizen’s everyday lives than national level governments. With increased populations in urban areas come increasing demands for services and the need for more effective and responsive local level governments. But it’s not just city governments that are facing challenges that could benefit from the OGP’s support. States, regions, provinces, and counties deliver crucial services, especially within federalized systems, where much of healthcare and education is administered at the state and local county levels. These governments are often more nimble than national level governments and are in closer proximity to the people they exist to serve. This makes the impact they have through participating in OGP sizeable. They are also sometimes  inadequately resourced and thereby have a greater need for support.

Improved visibility of the types of open government initiatives happening at all levels of government helps OGP to better serve not just local but national level governments as well. Many innovations and open government reforms are happening at the local level and the OGP Local program helps to build partnerships between local governments and CSOs to make their governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens.

For additional information regarding the program, please reach out to or Patrick Kazyak (, Program Associate for the OGP Local Program.