IRM senior advisers: names announced
The names of the three senior advisers who will sit on the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) international expert panel were unveiled yesterday, and they certainly meet the high expectations of the international opengov community: Ireland’s first female President and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mary Robinson, Sudanese-born entrepreneur, Dr Mo Ibrahim, and Mozambican politician and wife of Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel.
Commenting on his appointment, Dr Mo Ibrahim agreed that it is a panel of exceptional quality and importance:
The impressive calibre of my co-panellists Mary Robinson and Graca Machel underlines the integrity and autonomy of the IEP and I look forward to working with them.
Mary Robinson echoed him:
Over the years, I have learned that good governance is essential to the fulfilment of human rights and to achieving sustainable development. Issues of governance can be measured, which is why I welcome the opportunity to serve as a member of the OGP’s International Expert Panel.
These three high-profile senior advisers will soon be joined by five technical experts and together, during their two-year mandate, the eight will help ensure that the IRM delivers high quality, credible and independent reports each year on what OGP participating countries are doing to deliver on their commitments.
The appointment also comes at a time where ensuring the continued credibility and legitimacy of OGP is essential, and better internal governance is the necessary starting point for any credible international initiative. Robinson, Ibrahim and Machel will in this respect play a key role, as they will provide strategic advice in the initial development of the IRM’s overall assessment approach and can use their global standing to raise the profile of the annual independent assessment reports for each participating country.
The UK, current co-chair, is particularly proud of the panel selection and is looking forward to working with them towards an even greater success of OGP. As Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who is in charge of the OGP for his government, put it,
The United Kingdom was a founding member of the Partnership and it is a tribute to its growing importance as an international force for change that three such distinguished and experienced figures are joining this panel.
The announcement comes ahead of the OGP’s Ministerial Level Steering Committee meeting in London on 4 December 2012. The Steering Committee meeting will hear updates on participating country action plans; and decide how the OGP can engage with other multilateral organisations, like the World Bank and the OECD, to share expertise and resource. This will be the first time that multilaterals have formally supported an international organisation of this kind.
Also on 4 December, the UK will fulfil a commitment under its own transparency action plan with the official opening of the Open Data Institute. The Institute’s founders Sir Tim Berners-Lee – inventor of the worldwide web – and Professor Nigel Shadbolt have assembled an impressive team to help government and business identify commercially valuable public data, nurture innovative data-driven start-ups, and support both the public and private sectors so they can work effectively with open data.
We can certainly look forward to a very intense week of opengov debates in London and around the world following these important announcements. And, in true OGP spirit, we hope to have as many people involved in those discussions as possible!
Hashtag for the London Steering Committee Meeting: #opengov