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A Spotlight on Results: Two New Publications Highlight Bold Reforms in OGP

Dos nuevas publicaciones que muestran reformas destacadas de OGP

Peter Tuths|

With nearly 50 OGP members developing new action plans in 2019, we want to introduce new editions of our flagship publications to kick off the new year. These new reports highlight some of the biggest and boldest commitments among the 3,500 that have been made by OGP members to date. We hope they give the OGP community ideas and inspiration for developing ambitious new action plans.

Star Reforms in the Open Government Partnership

Well-designed and ambitious open government commitments can serve as models for other governments and civil society advocates pursuing similar reforms. These “star” reforms encourage a race to the top among OGP members, pushing peers to learn from and build upon each other’s achievements. The second edition of Star Reforms in the Open Government Partnership highlights twelve highly ambitious and impactful commitments representing a diversity of regions and themes.

The commitments in the publication were selected from action plans that the OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) awarded “star” status in recent cycles of reports. They represent major steps forward in relevant policy areas and move government beyond business as usual.

You can learn how citizen engagement and collaboration are driving improvements to health centers in Buenos Aires, schools in rural Mongolia, and clean water accessibility in Uruguay. Avenues for corruption are being closed with the introduction of a public reporting platform for procurement in Ukraine, a mandatory registry of lobbyists in Madrid, and a beneficial ownership registry in Kenya. In Sri Lanka, the implementation of a powerful new Right to Information law could boost trust between citizens and government.

Early Results of Open Government Partnership Initiatives

Since transformative reforms take time to produce concrete social, economic and political benefits for citizens, OGP developed a publication in 2016 to follow up on promising commitments to review the results of those initiatives. The new 2018 edition of Early Results of Open Government Initiatives evaluates the intermediate outcomes of four open government commitments from 2013 and 2014 OGP action plans. The stories put a spotlight on the agents of change in the Philippines, Paraguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the challenges they overcame to see reforms through – often taking two steps forward, one step back.

Each story shows how OGP reforms push the status quo towards greater openness in each of these countries in incremental but powerful ways, even years after their inception and how these agents of change helped breathe life into the reforms and carry them forward beyond the action plan cycle.

In the Philippines, the mining industry is slowly transforming itself thanks to a movement begun by those inside government, the mining industry and activists. Reporting on revenues is up to 89 percent of mineral production in the country, a tool to monitor royalty payments due to indigenous communities has been introduced, and the transfer of revenues from the national to the local level is much faster than before.

In Paraguay, the government created more than 200 municipal councils, four
times the amount originally planned. The councils bring together local authorities from different sectors with neighborhood groups and local businesses. They serve as consensus bodies, convening public hearings, monitoring projects, and creating participatory development plans that outline what resources the municipality has and how the community believes they should be used.

The United Kingdom’s government took a collaborative approach to building a beneficial ownership registry. With the help of this tool, activists and journalists uncovered widespread malfeasance, exposed scores of senior politicians, seventy-six people on the U.S. sanctions list, and hundreds of others who are barred from owning UK companies. Following the UK’s example, fifteen countries have made beneficial ownership transparency an OGP commitment.

In the United States, 137 law enforcement agencies, including those in major cities such as New York City, San Francisco, and Detroit, released more than 200 datasets that included information on stops, citations, arrests, use of force, workforce demographics, police shootings, and homicides. The availability of better data has helped change police tactics in several jurisdictions.

We hope these new publications will give open government advocates tools to help them adopt, implement, and sustain transformative open government reforms in their new action plans.

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