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OGP in the News – Week of June 6, 2016

Alex Vedovi|

A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.

Following last week’s successful Americas Regional Meeting in Montevideo, press coverage of OGP turned to our next major international event: the 2016 Global Summit. This week, French President François Hollande made an appearance at Futur en Seine – a 10-day international festival in Paris for digital innovators. He spoke on the theme of digital technologies for open government with a workshop of advocates, reformers and members of Etalab, and commended the OGP Summit (#OGP16), which is set to take place in the French capital in December.

The visit was reported by a number of outlets, including Notre Temps, Acteurs Publics and the president’s official website, which included this video of his remarks. President Hollande announced a general call for proposals of innovative policies to transform the state and improve the relationship between citizens and officials.

OGP also received praise out of two other Western European capitals. In Lisbon, the important Portuguese weekly Visão ran an op-ed on the initiative which highlighted OGP’s principles of promoting transparency, increasing civic participation, fighting corruption and harnessing new technologies. Author and lawyer Rute Serra encouraged her OGP-eligible country to join, concluding: “We are no longer, in the end, alone. Taking part in initiatives of this caliber will demonstrate, irreversibly, the truth of this.” And in Rome, as consultations to develop Italy’s third National Action Plan took place between government officials and representatives from seventy civil society associazioni, articles on the event appeared in Il Velino, Roma Online, Key4Biz, Start Magazine and Corriere Comunicazioni.

In Africa, a speech by the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, listed participation in OGP among the country’s recent achievements, and News Ghana, Babsol and the Guardian of Nigeria published pieces related to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption and the country’s recent announcement of intent to join OGP. While in Latin America, Mexico’s La Silla Rota and Guatemala’s El Diario de Centro América spoke of the importance of open government and the OGP process in their countries, stating that the process promotes the innovation of public institutions through mechanisms such as access to public information laws. And after last week’s activities in Montevideo, OGP continued to make news in Uruguay, including features on online video programs from El País and El Observador.

Elsewhere in the world, Canada’s The Coast of Nova Scotia advocated for ‘getting serious about open government’ at the provincial level. The European Commission website and Open Knowledge International blog reported on Greece’s May 30 workshop to develop its next National Action Plan. Chinese-language site ‘Today’s Headlines’ included a piece that made reference to OGP regarding open data and smart cities. Indonesia’s highlighted the selection in April of the regency of Bojonegoro for OGP’s subnational pilot program. And Digi24 of Romania reported on U.S. diplomat Marisa Mac Isaac’s comments on using initiatives like OGP as a means to involve young people in discussions about the prevention of corruption and participation in civic life.

On the international multilateral front, – an influential digital publication and “global network of freedom of information advocates” – recently published an important analysis of the World Bank’s move to cut staff working on freedom of information issues and also uploaded an open letter from civil society organizations to World Bank President Jim Kim to reverse the decision. Moreover, ran round-ups that included the OGP Awards and quoted new OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan’s words at the Americas Meeting about “a genuine co-creation of actions between government and civil society.”

And last but not least, if this snippet of Sanjay’s speech simply isn’t enough, be sure to check out the video of his full remarks here!

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