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.
Between March 27th and 31st, OGP’s first ever Global Co-Creation Week stirred up awareness and enthusiasm for the new OGP Participation and Co-Creation Standards. Much in line with the week’s theme, OGP’s press coverage followed the progress of several OGP countries assessing their past and future #opengov commitments.
Germany is one the 30 OGP countries currently developing a National Action Plan (NAP) to be presented before the OGP Steering Committee in June. As Manfred Klein, chief editor of German online IT journal egovernment-computing.de pointed out, “At the heart of the OGP’s participation are national action plans, which are developed together with civil society in the individual states.” In the true spirit of co-creation, Heise Online reported that a group of German civil society organizations presented the federal government with a 100-page list of 270 commitment recommendations, running the gamut of themes from competence building to open culture and open science.
Meanwhile, Côte d’Ivoire has begun the process of reviewing the fifteen commitments contained in its 2016-2018 NAP after one year of implementation. Abidjan.net ran an article about a two-day OGP workshop held in Abidjan and attended by some 50 participants, who collaborated to draft the country’s first OGP self-assessment report.
In other news, does joining OGP pay off… literally? A recent meeting covered by Pakistani news outlets The Express Tribune and The Nation between Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Benedetto Della Vedova and Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would suggest yes! While discussing economic cooperation between the countries, Dar assured Italian Minister that Pakistan is “fully committed to ensuring transparency and adoption of international standards of governance.” Vedova, in turn, commended Pakistan’s commitment both to OGP and to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
Furthermore, at the OECD Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum in Paris, AllAfrica.com reported that Nigerian Vice President called OGP a critical tool for eradicating corruption and abiding by international standards:
Responsible government authorities ought to have information about which companies won what contracts, and what they have paid as taxes to governments in host and home countries. This is especially important for the extractive industry. Nigeria is committed to these standards having joined the Open Government Partnership in 2016.
On the other side of the world, Grupo Milenio documented how Mexico, with the support of the OGP Legislative Openness working group, is harnessing new technology to further Open Parliament initiatives. The piece’s author, Adriana Gonzalez, cited the creation of e-parliament portals at both the national and local level as signs of progress, while encouraging the use of additional communication tools to “bring legislative power to the homes of all citizens.”
Finally, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or rather his controversial portrayal in the film The Social Network, has inspired an OGP youth reformer in South Africa. National newspaper The Times profiled Matriculant Moses Mhlwana, a highschool student from Pretoria who, after watching The Social Network, became interested in IT and went on to participate in the Hack4Water competition run by the Department of Water and Sanitation and OGP South Africa. Mhlwana and three friends wowed the judges with their high-tech water tank prototype which saves water by allowing “water users to digitally select the amount of water they need” and recycling any water that may be spilled.
And last but not least, the #opengovgram photo contest results are in! Check out the first, second, and third place submissions on the OGP Instagram account.
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.