OGP and the 2030 Agenda: Moving beyond the Joint Declaration
The role of open government in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was a major theme of the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Mexico City last month. At the Summit, government and civil society leaders highlighted the opportunity to bridge the open government and sustainable development agendas by embedding the principles of transparency, accountability, and public participation across institutions globally. Participants argued that an open government approach can improve public services, and ultimately, reduce poverty by making governments more responsive and effective.
Recognizing the importance of OGP in implementing the 2030 Agenda, members of the OGP Steering Committee met on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in September 2015 to endorse the Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The declaration commits governments to use the OGP platform to advance the Global Goals. While forty participating governments and around 90 civil society organizations have endorsed the declaration, we encourage more to sign up.
However, endorsing the declaration is not enough. To make real progress, political commitment must be translated into concrete action. As an international partnership with a built-in participatory public policy and accountability mechanism–i.e. national action plans and the Independent Reporting Mechanism–OGP provides a readymade vehicle for implementation.
With over 40 new OGP national action plans due in June 2016, governments have a unique opportunity to get a head start on this agenda. Government and civil society should use the domestic OGP infrastructure to develop concrete SDG-relevant commitments in participating countries. To help this effort, we collaborated with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to develop a special edition of the Open Government Guide. The guide showcases examples of relevant commitments in current action plans and highlights illustrative commitments for inclusion in the future. We hope government and civil society champions will build on these ideas in the coming months and include bold commitments in their new action plans to spur progress across the 17 Global Goals.