Independent Reporting Mechanism Welcomes New Staff
The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) proudly announces the addition of new staff members and interns to bolster its coordination and research capacities.
The IRM produces independent assessments of OGP action plan development and implementation in each OGP participating country. In 2013, the IRM will be assessing progress in 47 OGP countries with reports scheduled for release in September 2013 and January 2014. In order to achieve this significant logistical and intellectual challenge of working with researchers in these countries and publishing these reports, the IRM recently hired two new staff members and two summer interns.
In the broadest sense, the growth of the IRM signifies the increasing maturity and “institutionalization” of one of the many moving parts of OGP. The IRM results will provide an opportunity for impartial feedback and government dialogue about each participating country’s action plans.
About our new staff…
Lesly Baesens is the IRM’s Program Assistant. She will be in charge of identifying, contracting and training local researchers as well as work with the IRM Manager to track and shepherd quality control processes for international reports in each OGP country. She will also assist in fact-checking national studies and assist in the editorial process as well as coordinate international events and conferences. Lesly is from Belgium but has lived in Washington, DC for over 10 years. She was previously working with the World Resources Institute where she was the Project Coordinator for the Global Secretariat of The Access Initiative, a Network of civil society organizations working on issues of transparency and accountability in environmental decision-making processes.
Preston Whitt is the IRM’s Research Assistant. He will be responsible for assisting in carrying out research and quality control for OGP participating countries. He will play a significant support role in helping researchers with writing and research. Preston also is a Master’s student at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where he graduated summa cum laude this past May. He has previously worked for several international think tanks in Washington and abroad as well as in academic research editing and support.
Ayan Ali and Paloma Baytalman are OGP’s summer interns from Wellesley College and New York University respectively. They will be assisting the team with the publication process and the recruitment of the the large cohort of researchers later this year. Ayan is from outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a rising senior at Wellesley College and majoring in International Relations-Political Science. Paloma is a Fullbright Fellow from Chile with tremendous experience as a blogger and journalist in the digital media.
The IRM team is looking forward to supporting civil society and governments in realizing meaningful governance changes in the years ahead.