OGP in the News – Week of June 20, 2016
A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) throughout the world.
This week, as countries across the globe held consultations for developing their next National Action Plans, press coverage of OGP emerged from all corners of the world. With the OGP Awards process gaining momentum and the deadline for registration only days away, one of the most interesting articles related to OGP’s endeavors was one in the Huffington Post (reproduced from Apolitical) on the first-ever recipient of the Integrity Idol award. Profiling winner Gyan Mani Nepal – a Nepalese District Education Officer – and his efforts at curbing poor teacher-attendance rates, the piece concludes by speaking on a larger movement of recognizing good transparency and accountability practices:
Nor is Integrity Idol the only prize in this field. As part of a wider trend, another organisation, the Open Government Partnership, which works with 69 countries across all inhabited continents, has started running awards for transparency in government. Focussing on projects rather than individuals, the award last year was given to a Uruguayan scheme giving citizens unprecedentedly detailed information about the performance of the health service. Nominations are presently open for this year’s prize.
International appraisals of openness practices also made headlines in Nigeria, which was this week encouraged by Transparency International to continue strengthening its anti-corruption bodies. Articles on the call appeared in the country’s important dailies THISDAY and Business Day, as well as in TODAY.ng and Newstime Africa.
These articles made reference to Nigeria’s long-anticipated process of becoming a member of OGP, which this week saw a major development as the government submitted a formal letter of intent to join. Furthermore, both THISDAY and The Guardian of Nigeria also cited OGP in similarly-themed pieces related to civil society input in government reform.
In French-speaking Africa, articles from La Presse de Tunisie (which was reproduced in AllAfrica.com) and the Natural Resource Development Institute spoke of OGP in reference to Tunisia’s ongoing efforts to promote transparency in its extractive industries. And in Côte d’Ivoire, Financial Afrik, Africatime and Abidjan.net all ran pieces titled “Good governance: Ivory Coast finalizes the draft implementation project of the Open Government Partnership” on the consultations for the country’s next National Action Plan, which will likewise focus on extractive industries.
In France itself, a number of outlets profiled President François Hollande’s meeting this week with a committee of ministers for the continued planning of the OGP Global Summit this December in Paris. The daily L’Opinion ran an article on the gathering with the title “France is at the forefront of open data,” and it was also featured on the French financial website Zonebourse.com, and the news site Acteurs Publics.
In Asia, in-depth articles on open government and OGP came out of both Sri Lanka and the Philippines. From the former, OGP civil society organization coordinator Pushpi Weerakoon wrote a piece for the Daily Financial Times of Colombo called “Open Government for all” in which she outlined concrete benefits of participation in the OGP platform for citizens. In the latter, the Business Mirror ran a piece on combating corruption and the virtues of open government – the piece highlighted Integrity Initiative’s recent hosting of a forum on OGP and its inclusion in the Philippines’ third National Action Plan.
Elsewhere in the world, following the recent decision by the World Bank to reduce staff working on freedom of information issues, FreedomInfo.org ran a follow-up piece on an official’s assertion that the Bank ““remains fully committed to the implementation of access to information” endeavors. And in a round-up on global freedom of information developments, FreedomInfo.org also documented the recent announcement by OGP that, after an official review of the situation in Hungary, actions for the government to take have been outlined “to restore a positive operating environment for civil society” – an announcement that was also picked up in Hungary itself.
And last but not least, what do you call fifty independent researchers coming together this weekend to discuss how to best assess open government reforms? A Jamboree!