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OGP Academy 2017: Showcasing the best papers on co-creation in policymaking

Jornadas Académicas en Gobierno Abierto 2017: Los mejores artículos sobre cocreación de políticas públicas

Peter Tuths|

In November 2017, OGP held the first “OGP Academy.” As part of our commitment to promote research and evidence in policy-making, OGP joined with GIGAPP (Grupo de Investigación en Gobierno, Administración y Políticas Públicas) and the University of Buenos Aires to host the OGP Academy conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event brought together more than 60 academics from across the Americas and Europe to showcase the latest research on open government initiatives. The presentations, papers, blogs, and best practice pieces from the Academy offer reformers new and innovative resources to harness in the context of their own fights to make government more open, participatory, and accountable. Writing for Mexican news outlet Animal Politico, Maria del Carmen Nava, a political scientist studying accountability, legislative power, and political parties, described the OGP Academy as a “space for reflection with the aim of observing how the opening processes have been sought, what have been the scope and failures.”

In the spirit of Open Gov Week, we are showcasing five academic papers presented at the OGP Academy. The papers highlight some of the best models of co-creation and collaboration in policy-making from Latin America – ranging from dialogue with indigenous communities to citizens co-creating national open data policies.

Title: Open Government and Appropriation of Public Policies in Indigenous Communities in San Luis, Argentina [Read the paper here]

Author: Graciela Beatriz Rodríguez Murano

Between 2006 and 2013, the government of San Luis, Argentina worked with the Huarpe Guanacahe and Ranquel indigenous communities to co-create and implement policy reforms in their communities. This in-depth study examines the historical and cultural contexts of these indigenous groups, and the concept of open government itself, positing the question: What does authentic, successful co-creation look like? In a series of 20 interviews with men and women of these indigenous communities, interviewees describe the ownership that they felt over the policies put in place, and how consultations and open dialogues resulted not just in a renewed sentiment of respect for their culture, but in policies that took local contexts and knowledge into account.

Title: Dialogando BA: Knowledge, Participation and Consensus in the Co-creation of Public Policies [Read the paper here]

Author: Marina Lacalle

Offering a blueprint for successful consensus building, Marina Lacalle’s paper describes the Dialogando BA forums, created in Buenos Aires as open tables for participatory policy-making. As stated in the opening of her paper, “One of the greatest challenges that governments face during the decision-making process is reaching consensus.” Indeed, consensus building is a challenge inherent to the co-creation process, as participating actors from government, academia, civil society and beyond vie to make their voices heard and their key concerns addressed. Seeking to avoid many of the common catalysts for failure in policy co-creation, the Dialogando BA forums adhere to three key principles – knowledge, participation, and consensus.

Title: Collaboration: A Crucial Element for Developing and Implementing Open Government Initiatives. Analyzing the Co-creation of Costa Rica’s National Open Data Policy (PNADP) [Read the paper here]

Author: Jorge Umaña Cubillo
In this paper, Jorge Umaña Cubillo details the context surrounding Costa Rica’s National Open Data Policy, co-created in 2015 as part of the country’s National Open Government Strategy and second Open Government Partnership action plan. As Cubillo states early in the paper, his work “seeks to show how the collaboration process allowed for the co-creation, co-implementation and co-assessment of the National Open Data Policy.” This study asserts that the highly inclusive process in Costa Rica resulted not only in an open data policy better informed by a diversity of expertise and opinion, but built trust in the country that open dialogue can be a successful driver of the open government agenda.

Title: Cycles, Highs and Lows of Open Government in Argentina: Access to Information, Experts, and the Structure of Political Opportunities [Read the paper here]

Author: María Soledad Gattoni

In recent years, Argentina has undergone what María Soledad Gattoni characterizes as a “cyclical openness process,” during which public participation in policy-making, government transparency, and public access to information has ebbed and flowed. By taking an in-depth look at the history of state openness in Argentina, Gattoni identifies and explains factors that affected policy successes and failures, including political transitions, lack of representation in policy-making, participation of experts, the rights of access to information, and more. In examining the ups and downs in Argentina’s open government efforts in the years leading up to its acceptance as an OGP member country in 2012, this paper helps shed light on the conditions in which reform efforts can fail or flourish.

Title: Citizens’ Draft Bills for the Strengthening of Open Government Principles Through the Collaborative Development of Laws [Read the paper here]

Authors: Marco Konopacki, Debora Albu, Fabro Steibel, Victor Vicente

Brazil’s Democratic Constitution of 1988 institutionalized the ability of members of civil society to propose citizens’ draft bills in the national, state, and municipal legislative houses. This mechanism empowers citizens and builds confidence in the political system – yet since its adoption in 1988, not a single citizen’s initiative draft bill has been presented to the Brazilian National Congress. The authors of this study explore the reasons for this breakdown between policy implementation and uptake, describing in detail the financial and time costs faced by the Brazilian public when attempting to access this constitutional right, and presents a potential solution.

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