OGP in the News – September 2016

This monthly news roundup recaps the OGP stories that generated the most media buzz across the globe for the weeks of September 5, September 12, September 19, and September 26.

The biggest source of OGP news for the month of September was, of course, OGP’s Five-Year Anniversary event, which was held on September 20 on the margins of the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. The event welcomed Heads of States from seven different countries, leading civil society members including Manish Bapna, Winnie Byanyima, and Gayle Smith as well as other key members of the open government movement. In case you missed the live coverage, video footage of the entire ceremony can be found in the United Nations video archives.

The event was covered in nearly 30 countries with many articles recording reach of over 1 million. OGP’s five-year celebratory hashtag #5YearsOGP also became the top trending hashtag in New York on September 20 during the two-hour event. An overview of all speakers was published in over 40, largely Indian news sources with articles appearing in India’s Business Standard and Webindia123.com. All of the represented Heads of State received additional media in their respective nations. Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos spoke first and coverage appeared in a dozen different Romanian news platforms, including  Romania TV and Agerpres. Highlights from Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s speech were published in Indonesian outlets Metro TV News, Antara, Kabar24 among others. President of South Africa Jacob Zuma’s presence was reported on by several African publications, including two articles in AllAfrica.com. French President François Hollande received coverage in French outlet Next INpact  and on the website of French television channel France 3, while  incoming OGP co-chair President Giorgi Kvirikashvili of Georgia was featured in two articles from the multilingual Georgian news source Agenda.ge. President of Slovakia Andrej Krista’s attendance was mentioned by top Slovakian news agencies Cas, Topky, and Aktuality. Finally, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto contributed thoughts about OGP’s anniversary in an op-ed published by Spain’s prestigious daily El Pais.

In other UNGA news, CNN and Time magazine, along with more than 30 other news sources, distributed the transcript and/or video coverage of Barack Obama’s final UNGA address as President of United States during which he highlighted the importance of OGP:

Together, we established an Open Government Partnership so that, increasingly, transparency empowers more and more people around the globe.  

Speaking at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari stressed the importance of Nigeria joining OGP. His remarks made it into some of Nigeria’s largest news sources, such as Vanguard, The Nation, Sahara Reporters, and the pan-African AllAfrica.com,

Earlier this year we signed up to the Open Government Partnership, a clear demonstration of our commitment to a radical departure from a past characterized by large-scale state-enabled corruption.

Outside of UNGA, September saw a good deal of coverage about the expanding movement around open data, which is a pillar of open government. An article published by multiple Chinese news outlets about the Smart City Forum held in Yinchuan, China between September 7 and 9 discussed OGP’s role in the founding of the open data movement, particularly with its emphasis on open data as outlined in the Open Government Declaration. Meanwhile, a Huffington Post blog featured Executive Director of Ecuador’s Laboratory of Innovation Quito Carolina Pozo who described a correlation between the “visionary” open data sub-culture and the “open government movement” that OGP has helped engender. France has been particularly active in pushing the use of digital technology to improve government services. French television channel France 3 reported that Secretary of Public Administration Anna Yannick is to accompany Secretary of State Jean-Vincent Placé to Dijon on September 29 where they will attend a regional workshop focused on fulfilling commitments laid out in France’s National Action Plan (NAP) around open data and transparency. On a more critical note, Quartz highlighted the problem of “open washing” common in African countries, which often times enact open data policies without following through on their implementation.

And looking toward the future, OGP’s Global Summit in Paris was listed in a BBC blog as one of the “big international events” still to come in 2016. Furthermore, numerous Spanish-speaking news platforms, including Argentina’s La Nacion, Spain’s El Diario, and the United States’ Terra, spread the word that Argentina will be hosting the 2017 OGP regional summit. On September 21, several local news publications in the United States – the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer – reported on the United Nations Second Annual Solutions Summit, which showcased projects advancing the objectives of five upcoming global summits, including that of OGP.

Moreover, two Chinese news sources published the G20 Anti-Corruption plan for 2017-2018 drafted earlier this month at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. This marks OGP’s first ever mention in an official G20 document:

We will strengthen the work of the [Anti-Corruption Working Group], including improving our co-operation and dialogue with current partner organizations and new dialogue partners such as the Open Government Partnership, the World Customs Organization and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

Close to 70 news outlets – Yahoo Finance USA and Business Wire among others – featured an article about the newly released African Infrastructure Tracker – Tanzania, which details the progressive steps Tanzania has taken toward improving its infrastructure and raising living standards, due in part to its membership in OGP and other multinational organizations. Finally, Yahoo Noticias and Terra of the United States outlined the OGP-inspired efforts undertaken by Mexico’s Federal District Electoral Institute (IEDF) to “open up a dialogue process with citizens in order to develop citizen participation.”

And last but not least, OGP now has its own dance to be performed flash mob style at Global Summit. Start practicing everyone!  

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
Tags: UNGA