OGP in the News – August 2016

This monthly news round-up recaps the media coverage of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) that we think you should know about for the weeks of August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22 and August 29.

Mexico stole August’s OGP media spotlight for an article featuring the commissioner of Mexico’s chief transparency agency, Joel Salas Suárez, speaking to the importance of access to information in the fight against poverty. Highlighting Mexico’s OGP National Action Plan (NAP) for 2016-2018, the article was published in Spanish-speaking news outlets with huge readerships, such as Yahoo News en Español and Terra. Uruguay also made headlines when its OGP-awarded healthcare web portal ATuServicio.uy helped secure the country a first-place ranking in Latin America and the Caribbean in the United Nation’s 2016 E-Government Survey. Citing the web portal - also one of Uruguay’s OGP commitments - as proof of the country’s E-government innovation, the article’s coverage swept the continent from Argentina’s Taringa! to Uruguay’s own El Pais.   

An article from La Nacion garnered press attention for OGP in  Argentina, where the government is striving to become one of the top ten most transparent countries in the world. The article described Argentina’s updated 2015-2017 NAP as a means of achieving this goal with specific reference to a number of openness-related commitments it has inspired, including a new web portal that allows citizens to search government information.

In Europe, considerable media hype followed the publication of The Guardian’s “Apps for Democracy” article, which described the high-tech governance measures being adopted in the United Kingdom. Such innovations reflect the spirit of the commitments to open data and greater civic contribution to the political discourse made in the UK’s 2016 OGP NAP. Also in Europe, the European Commission’s collaborative online platform showcased two pieces about OGP commitments that were awarded “star” status by the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) to the countries of Ireland, Romania, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Georgia and Italy.   

Africa received widespread media attention this month as well. Following an OGP press briefing about Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s monumental passage of the Access of Information bill. The story was picked up by several major African news sources, including Nigeria’s Premium Times, web portal Uncova, and the pan-African AllAfrica.com, all of which included quotes by OGP’s Regional Civil Society Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East, Maureen Kariuki, and OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan.

And last week, United States Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech in Nigeria, “Remarks on Community Building and Countering Violent Extremism,” in which he saluted President Buhari’s decision to join OGP. Published first on the U.S. State Department website, it was then reproduced in nearly 30 other news sources, including Channels TV Nigeria, Human Rights Today, and Foreign Affairs New Zealand. Over in Nigeria, The Punch ran an article about United Kingdom and Nigerian governments signing a Memorandum of Understanding—an event during which UK Member of Parliament and Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Goodwill, like Kerry, applauded Nigeria’s membership in OGP.

Finally, in Indonesia, an article in the far-reaching Tribunnews.com discussed the regency of Bojonegoro’s participation in OGP’s recently launched subnational pilot program, and its plans for implementing reforms at the village-level. One such example appeared a few weeks later, again in Tribunnews.com, about banners being strategically placed in central areas of each village to illustrate budget allocations.  

While August was already an interesting month for OGP, September promises to be even more lively, packed with OGP events, including OGP’s fifth anniversary at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, an OGP hackathon run by Etalab and Civic Hall, and an invitation for all OGP social media users to share their thoughts and memories of OGP with us on Twitter using the hashtag #5YearsOGP.

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 jacqueline.mcgraw@opengovpartnership.org.

 

Filed Under: OGP News