Help us Shape Canada’s Commitments to Open Government!
The Challenge: 6 weeks into the process and only 4 weeks left to shape plan!
Canada is currently drafting its fourth action plan on open government as part of its role in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Action plans are a place where governments articulate concrete commitments intended to empower citizens, fight corruption, and strengthen governance.
In order to better engage citizens and civil society, Canada recently launched a Multi-stakeholder Forum on Open Government (MSF). This forum aims to promote government-stakeholder dialogue on open government policies and to help ensure robust participation in Canada’s next action plan.
Meet the members of the MSF here.
Having just completed our first meeting on January 24th in Ottawa, we already face a challenge – an extremely tight timeline. The new plan is due in July. Given the time it takes to secure high level approval of ambitious reforms, this means that the time to engage is now.
With Canada set to chair the Open Government Partnership later this year, it is critical that the next action plan on open government be full of strong commitments, reflective of robust engagement. However, timing is tight and the MSF is new.
We need Canada to ‘step up.’ But what does this mean? How can we ensure commitments solve real problems? Empower Canadians? Improve transparency? Fight corruption? And improve governance?
To wrap our heads around this, we need you.
At the first meeting of the MSF we worked with government to develop a list of key themes upon which to engage Canadians:
- Open policy making
- Open data
- Open science
- Open heritage
- Financial transparency and accountability
- Beneficial ownership
- Access to information reform
- Reconciliation and data sovereignty
- Data needs of the social and charitable sector
- Cities and urban development
- Entrepreneurship and innovation
- Inequality and inclusion
- Open parliament
- Service delivery improvement
- Past commitments that could be rolled over into the next plan
Government is already planning events to engage Canadians around these topics. As civil society members working with Government on the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, we are mindful of the need to engage civil society more broadly. Many organizations and individuals have been and currently are doing amazing work on these themes, advancing civil society’s interests and it will be a poorer process without their voices being heard. Here are some opportunities to enrich the narrative:
- Workshop on the changing technological context of open data, March 7, 2018 – Calgary
- Roundtable on feminist Open Government, March 8, 2018 – Online
- Roundtable on inclusive policy making, March 15, 2018 – Online
- Roundtable on financial transparency and accountability, March 22, 2018 – Online
Registration for these events can be found here.
Are these the right themes, what else is important to you? What commitments would you like to see?
Are you or your organization able to help us form commitments?
- Register for an online discussion March 2 HERE
- Submit your ideas and join the open gov can mailing list HERE
- Link to Canada’s current action plan and the ideas section of the last consultation
by Claire Woodside, Jean-Noe´ Landry, Lindsey Marchessault, Michael Lenczner, Rob Davidson