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Haidy Ear-Dupuy, Answers all of our questions about the Asian Development Bank OGP Asia Pacific Meeting

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Haidy Ear-Dupuy is a Social Development Specialist in the NGO and Civil Society Center, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of Asian Development Bank. She supports the facilitation of civil society participation and engagement in ADB’s operations. She is an active member of the Governance Thematic Group and is the focal person for Open Government Partnership in ADB.  Before joining ADB, Haidy worked with World Vision Cambodia as Director of Advocacy and Communications. Haidy holds two Masters in both Economics and Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Development in the Government Department of the College of William and Mary. 

Haidy Ear-Dupuy, thank you for your time. Can you tell us please, what you feel is the potential of OGP to have real impact in Asia?

Because participants in OGP are both from government and civil society, there is an opportunity to work together to bridge the gap of trust deficit between government and civil society, which is an important issue in many Asian countries.  Strengthened collaboration and information sharing channels between decision makers and citizens are powerful trust creating and confidence building measures that have lots of potential to improve development outcomes for countries in the region. OGP has the potential to support governments in the region (and beyond) to leverage the tools and technologies available today to share more information with citizens.  OGP also provides a platform for countries to support reform minded individuals by providing opportunity to network and learn from each other. 

What role does the ADB see for itself in realizing the potential of OGP in the region?

ADB’s long standing regional experience and extensive network of issue specific experts makes it well positioned to help convene OGP champions in the region to build the momentum needed to further strengthen knowledge and learning in the region. We believe that OGP provides a great opportunity for governments and civil society to work together to find common solutions to governance problems. An efficient and effective government requires good checks and balances on the use of public budget, open communications with the constituents/citizens, and transparent decision-making processes.  ADB aims to support our developing member countries to improve governance through the OGP member countries’ NAPs.  Additional support to developing member countries is provided through our regular programs and projects, delivered as part of our Public and Financial Management work. 

Why did you decide to host the Asian Development Bank OGP Asia Pacific Meeting? 

The OGP Asia Pacific meeting is an opportunity for countries in the region to come together to prepare for the OGP Global Summit in Mexico at the end of October.  The ADB-supported regional event is a working space where government, civil society, multilaterals, and foundation proponents of the partnership will be able to share best practices and identify areas with potential for mutual collaboration to advance the OGP principles.  ADB is also working on an action plan to deepen our own application of open government principles in our core operations, while also supporting the OGP specific development agenda.  The meeting is thus a good opportunity for us to receive input from individuals active in OGP on how they feel we design our own action plan to best meet specific country needs.  We will also be discussing progress and exchange ideas on how to build more support for OGP in the region. 

What outcomes would you like to see?

We would like to see some recommendations from participants on how members of the Asia Pacific region can work together to support the principles of OGP. Active networking amongst the participants and sharing of ideas and positive reinforcement of each other’s work will be important for building solidarity between governments and CSOs working towards common objectives of improved government services to the people.  For ADB specifically, we hope that the meeting will provide us with ideas and inspiration to complete a plan of action for better integration and application of open government principles in our operations.

Are there any specific OGP commitments or projects in the region that you find particularly promising?

From the Philippines, the Open Data Platform and the Participatory Audit are excellent examples of government openness and the interest in engaging with the people.  The concept behind Indonesia’s Lapor is a good one as it creates a portal where citizens can report what is not working to the government through use of smart phones.  The government agencies are expected to report back on progress towards addressing the issues raised by the citizens.  The participatory audit open data platform of the city of Bandung in Indonesia is also another example of a good initiative by the government.

Will you be at the Mexico Summit? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

ADB will be hosting a panel for Asia Pacific participants to share progress to a global audience.  We look forward to connect with others and to learn about what countries are doing to bring about more accountability and transparency as part of their OGP participation.

There are a great number of events that are interesting – I am most excited by the panel we proposed for Asia Pacific partners to share their progress with the global audience. I think it’s essential for everyone to know what we’re working towards and I look forward to gathering inputs from the community of open government reformers.

The International Anti-corruption conference (IACC) was just held in Malaysia and is now being followed by the ADB event in Manila. What opportunities and challenges do you see for deepening open government reforms in the region?

There is an opportunity to bring government and civil society together to develop specific reforms and build trust through tangible cooperation.  Working together for specific outcomes such as participatory policy decision-making or grassroots implementation decision is important; and building trust requires many more positives forms of decision makers’-citizens’ interactions.  The challenges remain, whether the reforms identified by the OGP National Action Plan can be implemented as part of holistic reforms to improve governance, or if they are just tick-box exercises. OGP turns five next year and if it is to evolve into a vibrant force for global good governance reforms, it has to improve its translation of the National Action Plan ambitions into concrete results that citizens feel make a positive difference in their lives.