A New OGP Calendar: What Countries Need To Do and When
Last week the Support Unit released the Open Government Partnership activity calendars for all participating countries. The calendars clearly present dates and deadlines for key activities in the OGP process, such as National Action Plan (NAP) drafting, implementation, and assessment. This information enables governments to plan ahead and avoid delays. It is also a crucial resource for national and international civil society as it makes it clear when different countries are developing NAPs, and therefore what the best moments are to advocate for ambitious open government reform commitments. Finally OGP Working Groups, multilaterals, and other national stakeholders will find these useful as it equips partners with information to provide support and collaboration at the appropriate stage of the OGP process.
Until 2014, each country calendar was based on the year they joined OGP. Cohort 1 included the 8 founding countries, Cohort 2 was comprised of the 38 countries that formally joined at the Brasilia Global Summit in 2012, Cohort 3 was a smaller group of 8 countries that joined in April 2013 and Cohort 4 included all the countries that joined afterwards. The cohort system gave us the necessary flexibility to grow from 8 to 65 participating countries. However, it was confusing for stakeholders because the dates varied considerably between cohorts.
Starting 2015, all OGP countries will now fall into two groups – “Even” and “Odd” Year – based on when countries submit their action plan. Even Year countries submit their two-year NAPs in an even year. Odd Year countries submit their NAPs in an odd year.
Under this new cycle, there are different activities with clear deadlines that happen in parallel or in a series of sequential steps. Every country will deliver their new NAP by June 30 every two years. Governments will continuously implement their commitments and produce a Self-Assessment report once a year: one after the first year of implementation, or at the halfway point, and one upon completion of the two-year cycle. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) will also produce two reports during the cycle to monitor results achieved and make recommendations for improvements. These standardized deadlines give greater accountability to the OGP processes.
There are no gaps between the end of the last action plan and the beginning of the new one. This means every country will be implementing a NAP at all times. In order to achieve this, countries will co-create their new NAP with civil society during the last six months of implementation of the previous NAP. Implementation of the action plan will span two years, although individual commitments may vary in length.
The full Calendar Guidance Note has more information about the activities and their deadlines for the two groups. The Note includes details of the rules regarding delays on the delivery of National Action Plans and Self-assessment reports. It also provides a full list of countries in the Even and Odd Year Groups. Additionally, individualized country calendars were created to help government, civil society, and OGP partners stay informed of upcoming deadlines for each country (see here).
The Support Unit encourages government and civil society to review their country calendars to help identify important points for dialogue and collaboration throughout the action plan cycle. Other resources that provide guidelines for different activities in the cycle have also been made available. For more information see the National Action Plan Guidance Note, National Dialogue Guidance Note, Self-Assessment Guidance Note, and the IRM Procedures Manual.
Even and Odd Year Countries
|Even Year Countries||Odd Year Countries|
|Bulgaria||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|New Zealand||United States|
|Trinidad and Tobago|