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10 Things You Might Have Missed at the 2021 OGP Global Summit

10 cosas que quizá te perdiste en la cumbre global de OGP de 2021

Meghan Wallace|

Last month, the Republic of Korea hosted the 7th Open Government Partnership Global Summit around the themes of civic space, anti-corruption, and inclusive digital innovation. The Summit was an opportunity to reflect on the progress of OGP in its first decade and to present a vision for the future, including reinforcing the importance of open government in recovering from the pandemic, countering the 15-year-trend of rising authoritarianism, and strengthening and renewing democracy.

Previous Summits hosted by Canada, Georgia, France, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Brazil provided opportunities for representatives of civil society, government, and others to meet and exchange experiences, best practices, and progress on open government initiatives and implementation. While we were not able to gather in person due to the ongoing pandemic, we drew on lessons of the last two years to design a variety of sessions for virtual participation. The agenda featured 280 speakers across 40 plenaries and main sessions, partners hosted more than 50 sessions during the week, and ​​thousands of OGP community members participated globally.

Below are some highlights, resources, and initiatives to watch coming out of the Summit.

  1. High-level political leadership – 14 Heads of State and Government – the highest number ever – participated. Hear remarks from the leaders of the Republic of Korea, Canada, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Ukraine, and the United States. Notably, we also hosted conversations between the Prime Ministers of the Republic of Moldova and the Slovak Republic and civil society leaders on their visions for the future of open government in their countries – a dialogue element that is unique to OGP Summits.
  2. Open Government Awards – We announced the winners of the OGP Impact Awards and OGP Local Innovation Awards and featured their work through the Summit. Learn how  these open government reformers are improving the transparency, accountability, participatory nature, and impact of open government work here.
  3. Evidence that OGP works – As we reflected on the first decade of OGP and plan for the next, we released two new reports. OGP Vital Signs – 10 Years of Data in Review reviews data from nearly 200 OGP action plans to understand where the action plan process is working well, where it needs improvement, and what this means for future OGP strategy. OGP at Ten: Toward Democratic Renewal shares the data, reforms, and stories that show that OGP works.
  4. Rich thematic dialogues – These sessions featured a mix of formats and speakers – from USAID Administrator Samantha Power to investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova as well as other government ministers, funders and private sector representatives, and civil society leaders. They were designed to mobilize high-level support, highlight country-level concrete reforms, including in OGP action plans, and celebrate reformers working on the Summit themes. Watch them below:
  5. Launch of the Civic Space Learning Network – This network will be a first of its kind space for cross-sector learning on how to implement concrete policies to protect and enhance civic space. Learn more.
  6. OGP Local activities
    • Leaders from Bogota, Brebes Regency, and Catalonia joined the Local Leaders Plenary to highlight local open government efforts to combat the challenges of the pandemic.
    • OGP and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize our partnership and strengthen collaboration to promote open governance and increase local voices in global agendas.
    • We announced an expansion of up to 50 new OGP Local members in 2022 and launched the Call for Expression of Interest.
  7. Youth engagement in open government  – Youth representatives participated in a series of events and the Youth Summit to discuss the future of open government, strengthen international solidarity, and develop recommendations toward improving youth representation in open government processes.
  8. Open dialogues with the community – Through these 12 community dialogues we encouraged the community to engage and discuss open government relevant topics with peers in a more intimate setting.
  9. Launch of OpenStories – We launched OpenStories, a place where the community can share and find stories of progress and inspiration as we work together to change the way governments serve their citizens.
  10. Pre-Summit Events – We also held a series of events and engagement opportunities in the months leading up to the Summit.
    • OGP and partners hosted a series of thematic events to advance the agendas around justice, anti-corruption, and gender and inclusion.
    • The 2021 OGP Academy: The Case for Open Government engaged academics and experts, shared new research developments, captured open government impacts, and devised future research collaborations.
    • IRM Week focused on the latest Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) assessments through targeted launches, select country discussions, and the release of comparative cross-country data, blogs, and more.

Thanks to all of you who hosted Partner Sessions, spoke during plenaries, participated in dialogues and more to make the Summit rich and engaging and energize and inspire the community going forward. We’d also love to hear about your Summit experience and how we can improve OGP events in the future through our Global Summit Survey.

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