OGP in the News - Week of January 16, 2017

A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.

News coverage of OGP continued to span the globe with this week’s top hits coming out of Ghana, Nigeria, Honduras, Chile, Colombia, France, and Pakistan.  

While the Summit has prompted some governments to renew their commitment to transparency, it has also inspired reflection on member countries’ performance to date. Such was the case in Ghana. With the end of John Mahama’s presidential term and no Access to Information bill to show for it, Ghana Web and Modern Ghana circulated an opinion piece by Ugonna Ukaigwe, Ghana’s Coordinator for the Right to Information Coalition, expressing disappointment that “Ghana’s five year participation in the OGP process could not deliver the passage of the [Right To Information (RTI)] law unlike in Kenya and Tanzania.”

In Nigeria, a Sahara Reporters opinion piece by SKC Ogbonnia revealed mixed feelings about President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent whistleblower protection initiative that promises to compensate citizens who expose corruption. While the author called the initiative “revolutionary,” he criticized the Buhari administration for not publicizing cases currently under review, thereby breaking with the high standards of transparency assumed by Nigeria’s membership in OGP. In a similar vein, Thisday Live covered demands made by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) for increased socio-development efforts. The advocacy group cited Nigeria’s OGP National Action Plan as a “clear example” of a promise to the international community that Nigeria must fulfill in order to improve its development prospects.

On the other side of the world, El Heraldo reported on a “historic day for transparency” in Honduras as President Juan Orlando Hernández approved the Law on Financing of Political Parties, or the “Clean Policy Act,” which prevents political parties from receiving “bad” funding. As further evidence of the strides Honduras has taken to curb corruption, the article also noted Honduras’ strong showing at the 2016 Open Government Awards, during which the country was recognized for its Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST).

Less than two months after its close, an article on the widely-viewed website of the Colombian Senate revealed that work done at the OGP Global Summit is already bearing fruit. Inspired by the concept of Open Parliament championed at the Summit, the legislative chambers of Colombia and Chile are planning to sign an agreement of inter-institutional cooperation to encourage greater civic participation in the legislative process and create an accountability system for Senate officials in both countries. In Mexico, the government’s official website published a new bill that establishes regulation guidelines for the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), including open government processes and the coordination and participation in OGP.

And while the call for increased online citizen consultation has become a rallying cry within the world of French civic tech, an article by NextINpact revealed that the existence of consultation platforms may not be enough to placate the civic tech community. The Association for the Promotion of Open-Source Software (Association de promotion du logiciel libre, or April) is leading the charge of civic tech NGOs demanding that all consultation platforms use open-source software and denouncing a number of startups represented at the 2016 OGP Global Summit for not truly applying the principles of transparency and openness.

Rave reviews for OGP came out of one of OGP’s newest countries, Pakistan, in a Daily Times opinion piece authored by the Executive Director of Individualland Pakistan, Gulmina Bilal Ahmed. Highlighting a number of success stories that have already resulted from OGP initiatives, Ahmed called Pakistan’s participation in OGP a “great window of opportunity for [Pakistan] to include the opposition, the private sector, the civil society and citizens in the decision-making process.”

Last but not least, coverage of #OGP16 continues! A number of news stories spotlighting Tanzania at the OGP Global Summit can be found on OGP’s YouTube channel while a series of interviews conducted by France’s CFImedias is now available for your viewing pleasure.

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