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Launch event kicks off week of legislative openness activities

Greg Brown |

In celebration of the third annual Global Legislative Openness Week, the OpenGov Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, National Democratic Institute and other partner organizations will convene a two-part panel discussion to explore the importance of open legislatures, discuss legislative openness initiatives around the world, and consider openness priorities for the 115th U.S. Congress. The launch event will take place at the OpenGov Hub in Washington, DC on September 12 at 10:00-1:00. For more information — and to register if you plan on attending in-person — please see this link.

Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW) is a celebration of open, participatory legislative processes around the world. It is an opportunity for diverse stakeholders — in parliaments, governments and civil society — to collaborate and make progress toward adopting and implementing openness reforms. The week is coordinated by members of the Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group and the broader parliamentary openness community, particularly the OpeningParliament.org civil society network, and will include activities in both OGP and non-OGP countries. This year, GLOW will include a legislative hackathon in Taiwan, a technology training for members of the parliamentary press corps in Ghana, the launch of a legislative openness reform plan in Kosovo, a civil society campaign for openness reform in Liberia, and much more. For more information on the full range of events and activities taking place during GLOW, please see the calendar here and follow the action on #OpenParl16.

With elections quickly approaching, GLOW provides an opportunity to reflect on both recent efforts to enhance the transparency of the U.S. Congress and reform priorities that should be considered by the incoming Congress. This portion of the event will feature a panel of leading civil society experts, who will introduce their work and identify the most important openness issues to be addressed in the 115th Congress. The organizations and projects that will be presented include: TechCongress, an initiative to place talented technologists in key Congressional offices to help deepen tech policy capacity; POPVOX, a platform to connect citizens to their lawmakers; the Resilient Democracy Coalition, an effort to support Congress as it operates in an increasingly complex, tech-empowered world; and, the advocacy and technology work of the OpenGov Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation.

The second half of the program will consider international efforts to advance legislative openness, specifically considering the role of parliaments in the Open Government Partnership. A general overview of the status of legislative participation in OGP will be provided and panelists will discuss opportunities for deepening legislative engagement, specifically a new legislative engagement policy currently under consideration. This portion of the event will also feature presentations via video link to provide updates on the status of legislative openness reform issues in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.

If you are able to join the event in Washington, please RSVP here. If you aren’t able to join, please consider viewing the live-stream. Details for the live-stream will be shared on the GLOW website soon, and please do not RSVP for the event if you plan on only viewing the live-stream. We look forward to seeing many of you there!