OGP Goes Subnational: Highlights from the 2016 Global Summit

Pioneer civil society and government leaders on stage at Paris City Hall, with Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who hosted the Subnational events of the OGP Summit.

In December 2016, Open Government Partnership, the Government of France, and the City of Paris hosted the OGP Global Summit. With an entire day devoted to subnational governments, the Summit celebrated the  work accomplished by subnational pioneers and leaders in the open government community as well as kicked off the exciting future of OGP at the local level.

Throughout the Summit, subnational leaders from civil society and government engaged and contributed to nearly every aspect of the Summit, showing the overall enthusiasm to continue pioneering work at the local level and seeking ways to integrate and engage these unique local perspectives into the global open government community. There were many Summit highlights, below are a few from a subnational perspective.

  1. Subnational Action Plans Submitted: Prior to the start of the OGP Summit, all fifteen subnational pioneers submitted their Action Plans on time. These plans are all accessible under the name of each pioneer on the OGP website. Full of interesting commitments co-created by government and civil society in each of the fifteen subnational pioneers, the Action Plans have a significant focus on tackling inequality, improving public services, and innovating in participatory processes, such as participatory budgeting. A few highlights include: tackling homelessness in Austin, Texas by better informing funding and policy-making; improving the quality of public services working with community health projects in Bojonegoro, Indonesia; and improving education by increasing the transparency of online data and receipts of the free education funds in Kigoma, Tanzania.

  2. Workshop on Subnational Pilot Program: Over forty subnational civil society and government partners from the Pioneer program joined the OGP Support Unit in a half-day workshop in Paris on Thursday, December 8th. The workshop focused on capturing learning and best practices from the co-creation process of the subnational Action Plans by identifying opportunities and challenges for the upcoming implementation of commitments in 2017, exchanging ideas and innovations across the pioneer network in relation to commitments, and brainstorming next steps for future subnational involvement and growth in OGP. Key takeaways from this workshop will help guide the development of the subnational program in the future as well as support the implementation of commitments this year.

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Subnational Pioneer civil society and government partners pose at the start of their half-day workshop. (PC: Brittany Giroux Lane)
  1. Signing of the Open Government Subnational Declaration: OGP pioneer political leaders signed onto the Open Government Subnational Declaration (English, French, and Spanish) in a press conference at Paris City Hall on Friday, December 9th. This declaration recognizes that government is closest to the people at the subnational level, offering greater opportunity for truly transformative change for government to be more transparent, responsive, accountable, and effective for all citizens. The pioneers committed to create and implement open government commitments alongside civil society partners which advance the needs of the local community. Lastly, the declaration calls on additional subnational governments and civil society partners to sign onto the declaration, the OGP community to recognize the important role of subnational governments in the Partnership, and urges OGP countries to engage with and support subnational governments and incorporate their perspective and commitments in National Action Plans.

OGP Subnational Pioneers at the Signing of the Open Government Subnational Declaration at Paris City Hall, December 9, 2016.

Additional highlights include: Three pioneers, Austin, Buenos Aires, and Madrid, provided substantial contributions to the Paris Declaration with support of collective actions around climate change, open lawmaking, public services, and beneficial ownership. Technical and resource partners like the World Resources Institute (the OGP civil society co-chair), Instituto Nacional de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales (INAI), Hewlett Foundation, Omidyar Network, UN Habitat, Reboot, UNDP, Feedback Labs, and many others were key supporters and stewards of the innovations found in open government at the local level, hosting workshops and roundtables, providing financial support, supporting the Leader’s tier of the subnational pilot program, and many other valuable inputs.

Participants in the Workshop on “Piloting Subnational Co-Creation: finding the center of the venn diagram” at Paris City Hall on Friday, December 9th.

Mo Ibrahim, OGP Ambassador and founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, met African subnational pioneers; sitting down with civil society and government leaders from Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya; Kigoma Ujiji Municipality, Tanzania; and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Area, Ghana to discuss open government in their local contexts. The City of Paris OGP team produced a fabulous short video featuring the OGP Pioneers speaking to why local open government matters and what the future of OGP looks like.

Mo Ibrahim, OGP Ambassador, meets with civil society and subnational government leaders from Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya; Kigoma Ujiji, Tanzania; and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.

Subnational open government featured prominently throughout the days in Paris, highlighting the enthusiasm, support, and passion within the open government community to engage at the local level to create more responsive and effective local governments that create true change for citizens at the ground level. The exchanges, conversations, and learning from the Summit will guide future work for the OGP community, from the implementation of the pioneer action plans to the vision and next steps for the subnational pilot program. Let’s keep the conversation going using the hashtag #OGPLocalGov!


Topics: Subnational
Filed Under: OGP News