OGP Steering Committee

Civil Society Steering Committee Mandate and Selection

This note describes the mandate of OGP civil society Steering Committee members, captures their key roles and responsibilities, and outlines how they are selected. The selection process set out here aim to be a fully transparent one that seeks to attract capable candidates from a diversity of regions and backgrounds, with the goal of establishing a balanced team of civil society Steering Committee members who provide strategic and effective leadership to OGP.

The guidelines set out in this paper will govern the 2018 selection process. In parallel, we expect formal endorsement of the revised OGP Articles of Governance by the full Steering Committee later this year.

Introduction
Mandate of the OGP Steering Committee
- Specific mandate of the Civil Society Members of the Steering Committee
- Balance and diversity of the Civil Society Steering Committee
Required skills and experience of individual Civil Society Members of the Steering Committee
Seconds
Additional members
Selection of civil society Steering Committee members
- 1. Steps and Timeline
- 2. Selection Committee
- 3. Scoring Criteria
- 4. Communication & Community Engagement
Accountability

Introduction

OGP’s civil society Steering Committee creates a space for renowned civil society leaders to steer the global open government agenda, in partnership with their government counterparts. Serving on OGP’s Steering Committee as civil society representative places you at the heart of the global open government agenda and puts you in a powerful position to advance causes you care about. Since the launch of OGP in 2011, civil society SC leaders have successfully elevated national issues through global conversations, playing an important role in the landmark reforms OGP has delivered to date.

As a civil society Steering Committee member, you will be able to help shape OGP as a mechanism for the global civil society community. You will also be called on to attend and speak at high-level events, and will have the opportunity to open new doors for your organisation, your country and your region.

Mandate of the OGP Steering Committee

The OGP Steering Committee (SC) is the executive, decision-making body of the initiative. The main role of the SC - as outlined in its Articles of Governance - is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP. It also establishes the core ideas, policies, and rules of the partnership, and oversees the functioning of the partnership. It manages, in an open and transparent manner, the entry, rotation, and exit of OGP stakeholders. Under the leadership of its co-chairs, the SC plans and manages its major meetings and actions between meetings.

As an executive body and through its subcommittees, the SC - again, as outlined in its Articles of Governance - does the following:

  • Provides leadership by example for OGP in terms of domestic commitments, action plan progress, participation in the annual conference, and other international opportunities to promote open government;
  • Sets the agenda and direction of OGP, with principled commitment to the founding nature and goals of the initiative;
  • Manages stakeholder membership, including eligibility and participation;
  • Conducts ongoing outreach with both governments and civil society organizations;
  • Provides intellectual and financial support, including through in-kind and human resource support; and
  • Sets and secures the OGP budget.

Specific mandate of the Civil Society Members of the Steering Committee

The eleven civil society members of the OGP Steering Committee have further specified their two key responsibilities as follows:

  • To perform the international governance role for OGP in the Steering Committee;
  • To represent the concerns and interests of the global OGP civil society community in the Steering Committee.

Additional responsibilities civil society SC members take up include:

  • Champion and articulate core OGP ideas and values on the global stage, particularly protecting and promoting engagement of civil society;
  • Link and leverage OGP to deliver on advocacy asks of key open government movements and issues;
  • Advance the open government agenda and the OGP process in country/region(s) they work in;
  • Participate in and add demonstrable value to in-person and virtual meetings of the Steering Committee and the subcommittees of which he/she is a member, including meetings of the civil society members;
  • Represent the Steering Committee and OGP at national, regional and international meetings;
  • Provide political and technical support to advance the OGP process at the country level, conducting outreach to new countries and supporting existing processes;
  • Effectively promote open government to the broader civil society community and bring more civil society actors into the global and national OGP process.

Balance and diversity of the Civil Society Steering Committee

As we strive for a balanced team of civil society representatives on the OGP Steering Committee, diversity will be taken into account across a range of factors (including gender, geographical location, type of experience/organisation, expertise on OGP issues and skills).

Since regional diversity is particularly valued, OGP aims to have at least one and no more than three civil society members from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia/Oceania. OGP will further aim for a balance between representatives with global or national profiles to ensure that civil society organisations of diverse mandates and scope are represented.

Given this express aim to maintain a balanced representation, OGP may opt to state a preference for nominations from specific regions or for women candidates in any given selection round. This will be clearly specified in the call for nominations.

Required skills and experience of individual Civil Society Members of the Steering Committee

Each civil society member of the SC needs to fulfill the two key responsibilities listed in the mandate above: to perform the international governance role for OGP in the Steering Committee; and to represent the concerns and interests of the global OGP civil society community in the Steering Committee.

Beyond this, individual SC members are expected to take on a subset of the additional responsibilities that build on their specific skills and experience, as outlined below. These skills also serve as the selection criteria for civil society Steering Committee members and will be scored as per the table in section 3 (scoring criteria).

Required:

  • Strong track record in powerfully and clearly articulating core open government issues, including at high level global and regional (political) fora;
  • Proven ability to canvas and represent the interests of the civil society community with government or at multistakeholder fora;
  • Demonstrable experience in strategically engaging with senior government and civil society members and exercising sound political judgment;
  • Extensive leadership experience in civil society and recognition as a respected and legitimate actor in national, regional and/or global civil society networks;

Desired:

  • Sound technical expertise and strong track record in influencing policy processes and partnering with government - and proven ability to draw on that experience to support national (OGP) processes beyond their own country;
  • Provide an informed international perspective on core open government issues to leverage global standards and/or partners.
  • Track record as an effective board member, preferably with demonstrable experience chairing (sub)board meetings;

Additionally, while the below will not be formally scored, strong candidates will:

  • Model OGP principles by practising high levels of openness, integrity and accountability (e.g. disclosure of your organisation’s annual plan/budget and publication of its audited accounts)
  • Be highly organized, detail-oriented and able to consistently meet tight deadlines;
  • Be fully proficient in English, the working language of the Steering Committee;
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills, including excellent communication skills
  • Exercise good judgment and act thoughtfully in his or her interactions with others;
  • Be able to dedicate ½ day a week to OGP – with intensity increasing around SC meetings and other OGP meetings;
  • Be available to travel internationally to represent OGP at high-level meetings, including up to two mandatory in-person SC meeting(s) per year.

Lastly, OGP seeks individuals who bring the abilities and proven track record as outlined in the job description. With that in mind, please note that:

  • Candidates are selected and serve in their individual capacity. Candidates may be nominated by an organisation or network, or may nominate themselves. The organisations/networks that the nominated candidates are affiliated with could be national, regional or global, however this does not mean that the candidates represent the affiliate in particular.
  • Since SC members serve in their individual rather than organizational capacity, should a SC member leave before their term ends no presumption would be made that his/her replacement will come from the same entity.
  • CS SC members will declare their financial and non-financial interests, apart from those which could not potentially lead to or be perceived as a conflict of interest. These declarations of interest will be made publicly available. Where there are personal safety or similar serious concerns about full publicity, parts or even the whole of the declaration should be submitted to the CEO, who will hold it and act upon it as appropriate, in confidence.

Seconds

We encourage all civil society members of the Steering Committee to appoint a "second": a colleague who may be able serve in a supportive function and cover or deputise for him/her when he/she is unable to participate directly. Seconds are welcomed as observers, and as active participants when the primary member is unable to attend virtual or in-person meetings.

According to the rules developed and agreed to by the civil society members of the Steering Committee:

  • The second can come from the member’s own organization (staff or board) or from within the community the civil society SC member is a part of.
  • The appointment of the second shall be communicated in writing to the civil society co-chairs of the SC and the Director, Civil Society Engagement of the Support Unit.
  • Seconds shall serve for the same period as the SC members. Any intermediate changes shall be communicated to the civil society SC co-chairs and the Support Unit.
  • Members are responsible for keeping their seconds up to date and for their perspectives on key decisions.

While the choice of the "second" will not feed into or affect the selection process in any way, we encourage all candidates to share information about a proposed seconds in their nomination material. Please also note that, while we encourage civil society members to appoint a second, they are under no obligation to do so.

Additional members

The Civil Society Steering Committee members recognize that additional bandwidth and perspectives from civil society is valuable to support the myriad responsibilities of Steering Committee members. Further, orientation has been a persistent challenge and in the experience of the civil society members, having additional time to become familiar with the Steering Committee ways of working enables more active and meaningful participation. We also recognize that transitions do occur within the committee and additional support would help to manage these periods in a seamless manner. Lastly, we recognize the wealth of expertise and experience within the civil society community and seek to meaningfully leverage different perspectives.

Mindful of this context, the civil society Steering Committee members propose the selection of ‘additional members’, to be piloted in the 2018 cycle. This provision would allow the Selection Committee to suggest appointing up to two ‘additional members’ each year. These members would be invited to participate in meetings (with associated costs covered by the Support Unit), but would not have voting rights.

After one year, following endorsement by the civil society Steering Committee members and providing that a sufficient number of open caucus slots are available, additional members would become members of the Steering Committee. As the same criteria for selection will apply to the additional members, we seek to recruit world-class candidates. Therefore, while the transition to Steering Committee member is not guaranteed, the additional members will be positively biased towards graduation from the outset.

Selection of civil society Steering Committee members

Every year, OGP launches a rotation process to replace its outgoing civil society Steering Committee members. The selection of the new members takes place through a transparent and participatory process that invites inputs from OGP’s civil society community and creates opportunities for input and engagement at each step. The specific steps of that process, and the ways in which the civil society community can participate, are outlined below.

1. Steps and Timeline

The steps of the rotation process are described in detail below. With regard to timing, calls for nomination typically go out in Q1, with new members expected to take up their position in Q3. The process in its totality looks as follows:

WEEK 1-3: Call for nominations & Call for Selection Committee volunteers

WEEK 4-5: Public comments

WEEK 6-8: Shortlisting process

WEEK 9-10: Interviews & webinars with shortlisted candidates

WEEK 11-12: Final selection

WEEK 13-14: Endorsement of selected candidates by the OGP Steering Committee

WEEK 15: Accountability & Communication

  1. Call for Nominations
    OGP issues a call for nominations on its website and through its other communication channels. This call specifies how many seats are available and outlines the details of the selection process.

     

    Nominations are submitted by sending the following to rotation@opengovpartnership.org:

      A CV (max 4 pages)
      A cover letter explaining a) your (or the candidate you are nominating) motivation for joining, b) open government experience/skills, c) highlight demonstrated track record in global level leadership, articulation and strategy. Please refer to the qualifications and criteria listed in this document. (max 2 pages).
      One strong example of a video, blog, article or piece of writing by the candidate, that reflects the candidate’s thinking and articulation on open government and civil society issues.
  2. Public Comments
    Once the call for nominations has been closed, all complete nominations will be made publicly available, in full, on the OGP website. OGP will then make available a form for public comments for a period of 10 days. Only comments received through this form will be taken into account.

    Please note that while relevant and detailed comments will be taken into account by the selection committee, the number of endorsements or objections a candidate receives will not factor into the committee’s decision. The final selection is based on set and transparent criteria, as outlined in this note.

  3. Shortlisting
    The initial selection will be undertaken by the Selection Committee (to be selected as outlined below - see ‘selection committee’). The lead civil society co-chair of the OGP Steering Committee will be kept informed of key developments but will not serve as a member of the Selection Committee.

     

    The Selection Committee will individually rank completed nominations across the qualifications and key attributes described below and draw on the summed result to decide on a shortlist, which will be shared with the community (including scores). The range of scores of non-shortlisted candidates will also be shared.

  4. Interviews & Community Webinars

    Shortlisted candidates will be invited for up to two virtual interview(s) with the Selection Committee.

    Shortlisted candidates will also be asked to participate in a public webinar with the OGP civil society community. Details of this webinar will be made available on the OGP website and via the OGP civil society mailing list.

    Please note that shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide at least two references that may be contacted by the selection committee.

  5. Final Selection
    Following the interviews, the public webinar and final deliberations, the Selection Committee will carefully document the reasons for their choice and communicate a list of prefered candidates - as well as a potential runner-up - to the civil society members of the SC. The civil society SC members will ultimately endorse the decision in writing, as per the OGP’s Articles of Governance.

     

  6. Accountability and Communication
    Once the selected candidates have been endorsed in writing by the civil society Steering Committee members, the civil society lead chair will inform the full Steering Committee of its choice. At the same time, the Selection Committee will publish an account of their process, deliberation and choice to share with the broader OGP community. Lastly, the civil society co-chair shares a blog with the civil society community to outline the process and decisions taken, and to introduce the new members.

     

2. Selection Committee

The Selection Committee consists of:

  • Two members from the current civil society SC members (excluding the lead co-chair);
  • Two volunteers from the broader OGP civil society community;
  • OGP Director, Civil Society Engagement

Candidates for the volunteer position on the Selection Committee are invited to send a short letter explaining their motivations and qualifications to serve to the Director, Civil Society Engagement by the date specified in the call for volunteers.

The civil society co-chairs of the OGP Steering Committee and the Director, Civil Society Engagement will assess the candidates for the external members of the selection committee along the following criteria: active members of CS, good understanding of OGP and what its leadership requires, experience with recruitment and selection processes, experience with SC type of governance mechanisms, and time commitment. The need to have a diverse and representative selection committee will also be taken into account.

3. Scoring Criteria

The scoring criteria listed here will be applied in both the shortlisting and final selection of candidates. Each candidate will be scored against all six criteria, on a scale from 1 to 5, following the point system outlined below:

 

Criteria

1 point

5 points

1. Strong track record in powerfully and clearly articulating core open government issues, including at high level global and regional (political) fora;

The candidate is mostly active at national level and has little experience speaking on core open government issues at high level events.

The candidate has a strong track record in powerfully and clearly articulating core open government issues, including at high level global and regional (political) fora.

2. Proven ability to canvas and represent the interests of the civil society community with government or at multistakeholder fora;

The candidate is hardly rooted in and connected with civil society in his own country, and/or has experience in only one sector, and/or is not involved in the OGP process nationally.

The candidate is very well connected across civil society and issues, also beyond his/her country, is able to look beyond his/her own issue, country or region, has extensive experience representing his/her community with government or at multistakeholder fora; can serve as a listening post and/or has been a leader in the OGP community.

3. Demonstrable experience in strategically engaging with senior government and civil society members and exercising sound political judgment;

The candidate has some experience engaging with senior government and civil society members but mostly works at national level, with little to no experience at global level.

The candidate has a strong track record in engaging strategically at the global level and has demonstrated sound political judgement in dealing with senior government and civil society members.

4. Extensive leadership experience in civil society and recognition as a respected and legitimate actor in national, regional and/or global civil society networks;

The candidate has little leadership experience in civil society and lacks recognition as a national, regional and/or global civil society actor.

The candidate has extensive leadership experience in civil society and is widely recognised and respected as a national, regional and/or global civil society actor.

5. Sound technical expertise and strong track record in influencing national policy processes and partnering with government - and proven ability to draw on that experience to support national (OGP) processes beyond their own country.

The candidate has limited technical expertise and limited experience in policy processes, with a weak track record partnering with governments on specific policy issues.

The candidate has substantial technical expertise and significant experience influencing policy processes and partnering with government, including a strong track record in supporting national processes outside of his or her country.

6. Provide an informed international perspective on core open government issues to leverage global standards and/or partners.

The candidate is mostly locally anchored and largely lacks an international perspective on core open government issues, with few connections beyond his or her country/region.

The candidate has an informed international perspective on core open government issues and is well positioned to help OGP move on issues and/or partners.

7. Track record as an effective board member, preferably with demonstrable experience chairing (sub)board meetings;

The candidate has some experience as a board member but has not served as chair and has limited experience facilitating board meetings

The candidate has extensive experience as board chair and has a strong track record leading effective board meetings.

4. Communication & Community Engagement

OGP wants to offer the global civil society community every opportunity to inform the selection of civil society members. With that in mind, OGP will communicate on each step of the rotation process and will offer the following participation opportunities:

WEEK 1-3: Call for nominations & Call for Selection Committee volunteers

  • OGP will communicate both calls on its website and through the civil society mailing list
  • The civil society community is invited to nominate candidates
  • The civil society community is invited to fill two seats on the formal Selection Community

WEEK 4-5: Public comments

  • Once nominations close, the candidates will be listed on the OGP website. Public comments - including endorsements and objections - from the community will inform the shortlisting process. This public comment period will run for a minimum of ten days.

WEEK 6-8: Shortlisting process

  • OGP will communicate the list of shortlisted candidates

WEEK 9-10: Interviews & webinars with shortlisted candidates

  • The shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their ideas to the OGP community and answer questions.

WEEK 11-12: Final Selection by the Selection Committee

WEEK 13-14: Endorsement of selected candidates by OGP’s Steering Committee

  • The OGP Steering Committee will publicly endorse the selected candidates

WEEK 15: Accountability & Communication

  • The selected candidates are shared with the Steering Committee and then announced on the OGP website, along with their scores.

Please check the OGP website for regular updates and more details on how to participate in this selection process.

Accountability

To ensure the highest transparency and accountability standards are met, members will be asked to reflect and report on the work and activities they undertake throughout their term on OGP’s Steering Committee. Concretely, the following accountability checks are in place:

As a civil society caucus:

  • Steering Committee meeting minutes, as well as a covering blog by the Chair, will be shared with the civil society community;
  • The selection of new CS SC members will take place in full transparency and with substantial opportunities for community engagement, as outlined in this paper;
  • At the beginning of their term the lead Civil Society Chair will share his/her priorities and workplan with the community with the intention of seeking input on those priorities or action plan;
  • The caucus shares an annual self-assessment of its work, based on the mandate and roles specified above.

As individual members:

  • An attendance overview for each member, listing participation in CS SC monthly calls, SC meetings and key events, will be shared with the civil society community;
  • Each member will share a self-assessment with the caucus every six months, based on the mandate and roles specified above. These self-assessments will be made publicly available as well;
  • Members will also complete 360 reviews on each other on an annual basis. The results of these 360s will not be made public (per standard norms for such assessments) but should be used by the respective member to continually strengthen her/his contributions to the caucus.