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Faces of Open Government: Ouiame El Moustamide

Rostros del gobierno abierto: Ouiame el Moustamide

Les visages du gouvernement ouvert: Ouiame el Moustamide

Ouiame El Moustamide|

This year, OGP and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco are co-hosting the OGP Africa and Middle East Regional Meeting from November 1-3, 2022. Focused on improving the delivery of public services through open government approaches, the event will gather reformers in and outside of government from the region to celebrate the goals accomplished so far, the challenges ahead, and the solutions needed to tackle those challenges. 

Ouiame el Moustamide, Head of the Studies Division and Coordinator of Morocco OGP team at the Ministry of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform, sat down with OGP to share her insights on the progress Morocco has made so far in OGP and what she hopes the Regional Meeting can accomplish for the open government community in Africa and the Middle East.

1. What does open government mean to you, and why is it important to a country like Morocco?

I have two personal connections with open government: as a citizen, and as a public servant. As a citizen, I dream that my voice is heard, that public services are up to my expectations and my children have a brilliant future in this country that I am so in love with. 

As a public servant for 17 years, I feel the burden to meaningfully contribute to the development of Morocco to improve the lives of all citizens. Open government provides a strong framework where I can get involved both as a citizen and as a public servant to be a changemaker.

Morocco already has a solid constitutional and legal framework that sets the foundations of open government. The challenge we face is the effective implementation of policies so that citizens feel the impacts of transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in their daily lives

2. You have worked on all things OGP since Morocco joined the Partnership in 2018. What would you consider to be the hardest challenge you and your team have faced to push the open government agenda forward in the country?

Beyond the operational and technical processes of OGP, the success of open government relies on the change of mindset within the administration and civil society. While we worked to make our processes go beyond the OGP standards of  co-creation and participation, the mutual trust remains a challenge. 

We have made efforts to publish all OGP information through a transparent dashboard, and we have established a civil society platform that currently includes more than 600 civil society organizations  as a space for permanent dialogue between the administration and civil society.

This work paid off. We are steadily  witnessing interest and ownership of the OGP agenda by the larger community. Yet, more is needed to increase inclusion and participation.. For instance, little academic research investigates the question of OGP and democratic innovation in Morocco.

3. Which reforms would you say Morocco has advanced in partnership with stakeholders like civil society?  And what would you like to see Morocco tackle next?

There is a long standing tradition of citizen participation and engagement in Morocco. My favorite one is the new development model where a year long citizen consultation was organized across different regions in Morocco to identify the priorities and proposals of citizens. The outcome of the consultation oriented the government strategy for the next five years.

In this same spirit, I would love to further align the OGP action plan  with the Government strategy, so citizen engagement becomes a natural path throughout the whole process of creation, implementation and evaluation phases.

Another important work is around local open government, which is closest to citizens. The Directorate General of Territorial Communities  of the Ministry of Interior is launching an ambitious program to scale up Open Local Government to the 1600 Moroccan local governments. This step will hopefully take Open Government to another level.

 4. Working with stakeholders on complex issues and implementing commitments made through OGP action plans requires a lot of work that many times is unacknowledged. What inspires you to keep going and continue working on these issues and effectively collaborating with stakeholders in the country?

Real social impact requires patience, passion and expertise. Behavioral change is even more challenging.

Through my OGP work, I am constantly challenged by different administrations and civil society organizations on how to be more efficient and impactful. I am also shifting from technological implementation to political prioritization. This work fulfilled both my desire for impact and for the solution driven approach. It is certainly a space for complex multi-disciplinary challenges and continuous learning.

5. Morocco is welcoming hundreds of people for the OGP Africa and the Middle East Regional Meeting. What do you want participants to take from this event and take back to their countries?

The whole region has been facing social and economical challenges. The OGP African and Middle East Regional Meeting in Marrakech is an opportunity to identify African solutions to African problems.

This event can be a moment for assessment, hope and knowledge sharing. We all need to rethink governance and to adopt a participatory process driven by impact on citizens. We welcome all open government reformers to Morocco!

Comments (1)

Gladys Estela Riveros Rojas Reply

En contexto, el rostro del gobierno es una mujer como representante del hogar como madre, hija, esposa y hermana, imagen muy acertada y oportuna 1) Cada ser humano es un agente de cambio para mejorar su nivel de vida, en esta linea personal, familiar y de la misma sociedad; 2) La inclusión y participación es importante y un desafío, ejemplo una persona trae consigo (cultural, familiar) este desaliento cultura o de genética. 3) Como estrategia de gobierno debe estar indicada, además de las causas y efectos.

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