OGP in the News – Week of March 20, 2017
A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world. Want to receive OGP in the News directly in your email inbox every Monday morning? Subscribe here.
This week’s OGP coverage covered diverse topics and places from gender equality in Sri Lanka to the OGP Toolbox in Spain and #opengov optimism in Elgeyo Marakwet, Kenya.
Since achieving independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has worked hard to correct gender imbalances and even became the first country to boast a female head of government with Sirimavo Bandaranaike named Prime Minister during the 1960 elections. In an opinion piece for The Korea Times, Sri Lankan ambassador to South Korea Manisha Gunasekera outlined the country’s efforts around gender equality. The author noted, however, that women remain underrepresented (less than 6%) in Sri Lankan politics – an anomaly the government is striving to improve through several gender-based commitments in its OGP National Action Plan (NAP).
In the Philippines, The Manila Times reported that some 100 government, civil society, and business representatives gathered in Davao to take part in the “Philippines Open Government Dialogues”—a series of consultation workshops aimed at drafting the country’s fourth OGP NAP, which will be finalized in June 2017.
And in neighboring Indonesia, the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) hosted a seminar on “Innovation in Public Services through Open Data” with support from Open Data Labs, the World Wide Web Foundation, Open Government Indonesia (OGI), and the Ford Foundation. While the Jawa Pos National Network noted that OGI has already made considerable strides in instituting OGP values at both the local and national levels, PANRB Deputy Minister Diah Natalisa announced plans to capitalize on the open data movement to further improve the quality of public services throughout Indonesia.
Premiered at the 2016 OGP Global Summit, the OGP Toolbox contains a multitude of innovative open government tools that are starting to gain traction worldwide. In Ourense, Spain, for example, local news source La Región reported that the city’s government is planning to implement a social audit system using one of the Toolbox tools. Developed by civil society platform Dyntra, the tool combines social auditing and participatory transparency by allowing citizens to monitor in real time whether or not government institutions are fulfilling transparency and access to information commitments.
For the second time in a row, the Nigerian Senate rejected President Mahammadu Buhari’s nomination of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – the government agency charged with investigating financial crimes. In an opinion piece for The Nation, founder of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) David Ugolor voiced concerns over the “problem of coordination” between the executive and legislative branches of government highlighted by this decision. Furthermore, he emphasized the necessity of transparent and accountable asset recovery and anti-corruption measures for “[giving] Nigerians a sense of belonging and clarity in the spirit of the recently signed Open Governance Partnership (OGP).”
In Kenya, Elgeyo Marakwet County and one of OGP’s 15 subnational pioneers made headlines in The East African. The opinion piece was authored by Kenya country director for the International Budget Partnership Jason Lakin who both celebrated the county’s ambitious OGP commitments and called on all sectors of the open government community to “get involved in tracking the county’s performance and making sure that its triumphs and defeats are broadcast properly in the media.” As Lakin aptly pointed out, the “best way to ensure that concepts like OGP have an impact is to ensure that they are well publicised.”
Panafrican news aggregator Allafrica.com republished an interview with Congolese reformer Jean-Pierre Alumba Lukamba who is among the 28 candidates nominated to participate in the Civil Society Steering Committee Elections. Hoping to garner support among both civil society and government representatives, Lukamba said, “Once elected, I will be my country and Africa’s voice on the OGP Steering Committee.”
Finally, an open data training workshop, led by National Open Government Coordinator of the Ministry of Modernization Natalia Carfi, was held in the Mendoza, Argentina. According to an article on the province’s government website, the workshop was attended by several government officials, civil society representatives and university staff in order to draft an open data commitment for the Argentinian OGP National Action Plan (NAP) that will help Mendoza build an open data portal and accompanying regulatory framework.
And last but not least, Global Co-Creation week has officially begun! Learn what you can do to pave the way for greater openness here.
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.