OGP IN THE NEWS – JUNE 2016

¿Quieres leer este blog en español?

This month we are featuring a look back at press coverage of OGP for all of June, highlighting some of the main storylines from the month’s more-detailed news recaps (from the weeks of May 30, June 6, June 13, June 20 and June 27).

June kicked off in the midst of the OGP Americas Regional Meeting, where from May 31 to June 2, some 500 individuals gathered in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo to discuss open government issues in the region. Coverage of the event was strongest in Spanish- and Portuguese-language outlets, in which around one hundred pieces related to the event appeared in online sources – for example, in uy.press, El País and El Observador of Uruguay and El Sol of Colombia – and many more appeared in print and on radio and television. A number of articles made mention of OGP’s new Chief Executive Officer, Sanjay Pradhan, including this article in Terra (a multinational Spanish-language media company), which highlighted his remarks at the gathering.

Following the Montevideo gathering, press coverage turned to OGP’s next major international event: the 2016 Global Summit. On June 9, 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 and the president’s official website, which included this video of his remarks. Two weeks later, the French President held a meeting with a committee of ministers for the continued planning of the December Summit. The daily L’Opinion ran an article on the gathering with the title “France is at the forefront of open data,” and the meeting was also featured on the French financial website Zonebourse.com and the news site Acteurs Publics.

Another major development during the month of June was Nigeria’s formal announcement that it was becoming OGP’s seventieth and newest member. Following Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement of Nigeria’s intent to join OGP earlier in the year, pieces related to the decision appeared throughout June, with some including a focus on the wider “anti-graft” agenda. These articles were found in sources as diverse as News Ghana, Babsol, the Guardian of Nigeria, Transparency International, THISDAY, Business Day, TODAY.ng and Newstime Africa.

On June 20, the Nigerian government submitted a formal letter of intent to join OGP, and following that formal step, additional pieces related to the Partnership were published. An article in Abuja’s Daily Trust – reproduced on AllAfrica.com – spoke of the size of Nigeria’s challenges. After it was announced that more than $10 billion in looted cash and assets had been recovered, Transparency International’s Africa regional director urged the government to take further steps to improve public trust, and encouraged it to follow through on its pledge to participate in OGP. These sentiments were echoed in an article in Naija247News, which asserted that the battle could not be fought by the president alone and that a “public buy-in” was necessary.

OGP was also the subject of praise and some more in-depth analyses related to government openness, particularly in Asia. In Sri Lanka, 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. The country’s Daily Mirror and several other outlets also ran several stories in June that spoke of OGP while announcing that OGP Point of Contact Harim Peiris had been appointed as an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Likewise, in the Philippines, 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. And as Benigno Aquino III (who came to office in 2010 and helped the Philippines become a founding member of OGP in 2011) entered his final month as president, a vigorous analysis entitled “What happened to FOI under Aquino?” on Filipino news site Rappler took stock of the president’s accomplishments and disappointments in the area of transparency, and spoke favorably of OGP.

And last but not least, we present: OGP Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan’s words at the Americas Regional Meetingnew booklet offering a selection of “starred” OGP reformsa very popular open data messiah who joined us in Montevideo, proof that there is such a thing as a researcher jamboree, and North American leaders having a good time as they re-commit themselves to OGP values!

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 alex.vedovi@opengovpartnership.org.

Authors: Alex Vedovi
Topics: Anti-corruption
Filed Under: OGP News