OGP in the News – July 2016
In this round-up, we look back at press coverage of the Open Government Partnership for all of July, highlighting some of the main storylines from the month’s more-detailed news recaps (from the weeks of July 4, July 11, July 18 , and July 25).
The biggest news in the OGP world this past month surrounded the July 20 White House Summit on Global Development, which brought together leaders in different sectors to discuss progress made in recent years on issues of “global health, energy, food security, good governance, partnership, and youth engagement.” In the lead-up to the event, an Associated Press article which cited OGP, “Burnishing His Legacy, Obama to Host World Development Forum,” was picked up by around 200 outlets – including The Daily Mail, Yahoo News and the U.S. News and World Report. In conjunction with the summit, the Huffington Post ran a piece by United States National Security Advisor Susan Rice. But the most significant exposure for the Open Government Partnership during the day-long event, which featured a panel discussion on governance that made repeated reference to OGP, came during President Obama’s address in which he praised the Partnership as a potent tool for “prodding governments [toward] setting new norms that over time make a difference.”
Another major story in the past month was the submission of new National Action Plans (NAPs) by nearly 20 countries. This was the case in Canada, where a press release on the new plan ran in over a dozen sources, including Yahoo Finance, benzinga and Marketwired, and in Kenya, where there was a good deal of coverage of the release of the country’s second NAP. An op-ed in the leading Daily Nation of Nairobi considered the significance of OGP and the country’s new plan, stating that it “outlines clear time-bound milestones that need to be achieved in two years, inspiring new or catalysing ongoing processes of Kenya’s transformation agenda.” While not directly related to the plan, Foreign Policy published a piece entitled “How Kenya Cleaned Up Its Courts” – an in-depth look (based on an OGP-funded case study) at the nation’s progress in bringing about much-needed judicial reform.
NAP development continues, with many plans set for release in the near future. In Greece, pieces on consultations to develop a third action plan, as well as a new “open education” effort, appeared in palo.gr, ICT plus, enikonomia.gr, Netweek and ioanna24.gr. In neighboring Italy, at least ten outlets, including a network of local newspapers comprising Il Tirreno, La Nuova Sardegna and several others, ran articles on the opening of a new web portal for public discussion ahead of the country’s plans to publish its third NAP during the OGP Global Summit in December. In Guatemala, as ideas for the country’s upcoming NAP were reported in outlets such as República.gt, the successes of the last plan made headlines in Fox News Latino and Panamá América, which featured pieces on advances in the area of financial transparency achieved through the OGP framework.
Meanwhile, Nigeria made OGP-related headlines throughout the month, as its process of joining the Partnership was featured in The Punch, THISDAY, NTA.ng, Business Day, TODAY.ng and The Eagle Online. In “Why Nigeria Intends to Join Open Government Partnership,” the country’s Attorney General was quoted as saying: “Joining the OGP will help Nigeria improve transparency in the management of natural resources and public funds, as well as citizen participation in governance.”
Moreover, at least 20 articles – including in Nigerian dailies Vanguard and P.M. News, along with Pulse.ng, AllAfrica.com and several other sources – reported on a July 28 transparency workshop in Abuja. During the event, the country’s Attorney General suggested that ‘Nigeria’s membership in OGP is a boost to its fight against corruption.’ The workshop also featured an address, published by the government of the United Kingdom, by the UK Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, in which he praised the country’s decision to join OGP and participate in May’s Anti-Corruption Summit, calling it “a chance to stand on the world stage and share real life experiences of the devastating consequence of endemic corruption.”
Elsewhere in the world, Devex ran an interview with OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan from the OGP Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue in Manila, where he discussed, among other things, using the meeting as a means to raise ambition for openness commitments. In Germany, an article in Handelsblatt, one of the country’s leading business dailies, mentioned the country’s rumored interest in joining OGP; the article was reproduced in MSN Deutschland, the weekly Wirtschaftswoche and other sources. Op-eds in the Philippine Daily Tribune and Phil Star examined new president Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to take executive action on freedom of information (FOI). And following the “Brexit” vote of June 23 in the United Kingdom, an article in the Huffington Post connected the fallout of the consequential referendum with questions of transparency in extractive industries sector.
And last but not least, we present: #OpenGov reforms coming from everywhere, an OGP Asia-Pacific Regional ‘Thrilla in Manila’, a #5yearsOGP movie… starring you, and the Storification of the White House Global Development Summit!
Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.