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Connecting the Open Government Dots in Morocco

Conectando los puntos del gobierno abierto en Marruecos

Tarik Nesh-NashandOusseynou Ngom|

Over the past decade, the open government agenda exponentially grew from a network of governments working to implement the principles of openness at the national level, to an encompassing culture of open governance that now includes other branches of government and local governments. This is even more evident when we look at the long trajectory and current state of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

Today, OGP brings together reformers in government and civil society organizations in 78 countries, 76 local governments and 55 parliaments. In parallel, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has stressed the importance of streamlining and building synergies between open government action plans at different levels, by aligning existing initiatives and providing a holistic and long-term vision of the country’s open government roadmap. Building synergies between institutions implementing action plans to advance the open government agenda is a key step towards achieving open governance. This requires a culture of openness, founded on participation and effective collaboration between citizens, knowledge experts, civil society organizations and public institutions. 

The Kingdom of Morocco has made great achievements in this context, as one of the few countries in the world that is actively working to achieve the principles of open governance on three levels: an OGP action plan, an Open Parliament action plan, and a local action plan for the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, a new member of OGP Local. In fact, the “Open, Smart Regions” Forum, organized by Impact For Development in November 2020 in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), OECD, the Digital Arabia Network (DAN) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), marked a rare milestone in the open government agenda in Morocco. It gathered reformers at the national, parliament and regional levels to discuss how to ensure collaboration and convergence of strategies and action plans. For instance, the three OGP action plans have explicit commitments related to citizen participation and access to information, as these are fundamental rights highlighted in the 2011 Moroccan constitution. These reformers confirmed their will to build a partnership framework to achieve the open government principles. In this spirit, Impact for Development plans to continue its efforts, as was proposed by the participants, and hold this forum periodically, as a space to strengthen national and regional networks and promote convergence. 

To strengthen democracy and inclusive growth, we need to promote a holistic and citizen-centric approach to governance. This approach fosters the principles of open government, among the branches and levels of government, to promote coordination, transparency, integrity, accountability, and stakeholder participation.

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