OGP in the News – Week of February 1, 2017
A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.
Global OGP coverage this week centered around transparency wins in Indonesia, the future of open government in Nigeria, and the latest World Development Report issued by the World Bank.
A widely-viewed article published by the World Bank Group documented Indonesia’s impressive open government journey as a case study in the transformative power of transparency. One of the eight founding members of OGP in 2011, the Indonesian government, with help from the World Bank, constructed a centralized open data portal—data.go.id—in 2014 that has since inspired several local governments to follow suit in an effort to make public datasets easily accessible. In light of the fast-approaching 2017 gubernatorial elections to be held later this month in several regencies throughout Indonesia, the Indonesian civil society electoral reform group, Perludem, has been working to provide more open and accessible electoral data. As highlighted by Jakarta-based daily Media Indonesia, the Perludem Application Programming Interface (API) Pemilu initiative won third place at the 2016 Open Government Awards. Furthermore, the World Bank article reported that, in 2015, the government passed a regulation stipulating that all electoral results appear in open data format and quoted the Head of Jakarta Smart City, Mr. Setiaji: “Open data creates transparency, which promotes public trust towards the government.”
In Trinidad and Tobago, representatives of the country’s Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) committee addressed allegations of corruption in an article by Venezuelan publication Entorno Intelligente. The committee claimed that EITI reports reveal no evidence of corruption within Trinidad and Tobago’s energy sector and are, in fact, being used to fulfill OGP commitments.
More extractive news came out of Nigeria where The Punch ran an opinion piece by the communications manager of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku. Citing the successes of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the author encouraged continued progress on EITI initiatives, many of which are enshrined in the country’s OGP National Action Plan (NAP). Another opinion piece about Nigeria appeared in The Guardian Nigeria by Otive Igbuzor, Executive Director of Abuja’s African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development. Noting the link between open government and economic growth, service delivery, and social cohesion, Mr. Igbuzor emphasized the importance of fulfilling commitments made in Nigeria’s first NAP: “Nigerian government and citizens need to do everything possible to ensure effective implementation of the Nigeria OGP National Action Plan.”
Following the release of New Zealand’s Official Information Act statistics, the national news site The Scoop announced that work plans to make information more available across all government agencies have been formalized under the second commitment of New Zealand’s 2016-2018 NAP.
In other news, Stephan Kossof, the “governance czar” of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), shared his thoughts on the recently released 2017 World Development Report on Governance and Law (WDR17) in an Oxfam blog post. Summarizing the report’s key agenda elements, Kossof underscored the important role of international initiatives like OGP in “promoting global norms on transparency and accountability, particularly given trends towards creeping authoritarianism and closing civil society space across the world.”
And last but not least, OGP made it into the illustrious realm of podcasts! Esteemed Fellow of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute, former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, ethics expert under the Obama administration and co-founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Norman Eisen, spoke of OGP’s growth and impact while discussing the White House transition and his co-authored report on open government in a recording for the Brookings Institute podcast that has, reportedly, already been downloaded over 11,000 times!
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 email@example.com.