In this section of the OGP newsletter, we feature open government champions both from government and civil society, and ask them about their OGP experiences. Here is what they have to say:
How does open government make a difference in people’s lives?
The difference is done by improving the quality of public services, making governments more effective, efficient and open. As a vision, we have to build a model of open society where relationships between all actors will contribute toward the development of a democratic space, based on trust, openness, integrity, and collaboration.
Describe one OGP commitment that the IDB is proud of supporting at the LAC region
First, we are very proud of having supported Trinidad & Tobago to draft the First OGP Action Plan. Second, the Bank is working with Uruguay to implement innovative solutions for the improvement of public services with citizens´ participation. The project is divided in three phases: (1) Call for proposals through the group Facebook Dateidea2014 where citizens submitted 79 proposals containing a problem or challenge to be fixed with technology and better information; (2) Hackathon with 20 groups designing solutions to the proposals received; (3) Sustainability: through a competitive process, during 2015 public agencies and civil society groups will compete for funds to develop the necessary technology to implement the best solutions designed at the prior phases.
How are you working to overcome challenges in opening up government?
The IDB strategy follows a three-tier approach that combines technical advisory, financial resources, and knowledge sharing among LAC countries for: (1) designing and monitoring OG policies and action plans; (2) strengthening countries´ capacities to effectively implement OG solutions in the areas of public services, integrity and civil society participation; and (3) promoting south-south and extra regional cooperation and policy dialogue.
What can we expect from the upcoming OGP Regional Meeting in Costa Rica?
I would expect a strong pledge from governments to implement more significant commitments to improve people’s daily life during this upcoming second cycle of Action Plans. I also expect to participate in a strong debate around the quality and usefulness of the IRM reports, especially regarding the possibility of measuring concrete results of the impact of open government policies. Finally, I’m looking forward to see Mexico exercising a strong OGP leadership.
Nicolás Dassen, Modernization of the State Senior Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank.