OGP in the News – Week of July 4, 2016

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

This week, a diverse array of open government articles surfaced across Europe. Following the “Brexit” vote of June 23, a significant piece came out of the United Kingdom, where this article in the Huffington Post connected the fallout of the consequential referendum with questions of transparency in extractive industries. In it, Elisa Peter of Publish What You Pay wrote that on the issue of transparency in global trade agreements, “it will be especially important that the UK upholds its Anti-Corruption Summit and Open Government Partnership commitments.”

In Germany, an article in Handelsblatt, one of the country’s leading business dailies, spoke of an accord for a new open data act – a continuation of the cornerstone open data policies that pique Germany’s interest in OGP. Reproduced in MSN Deutschland, the weekly Wirtschaftswoche and other sources, the piece mentioned Germany’s rumored continued interest in joining OGP, reporting that a government spokeswoman confirmed that the country intends to join in 2016. In neighboring Denmark, this blog post out of Roskilde University, by professor and IRM researcher Mads Kæmsgaard Eberholst, provided an overview of an IRM progress report from earlier in the year. And in Greece, pieces on the consultations to develop the country’s third National Action Plan, as well as a new “open education” effort, appeared in palo.gr, ICT plus, enikonomia.gr, Netweek and ioanna24.gr.

But while Europe may have been the source of the broadest coverage, the biggest OGP-related article this week came from across the pond. In the United States, an Associated Press piece entitled “Burnishing His Legacy, Obama to Host World Development Forum” reported on plans to bring together aid workers, diplomats, financiers and leaders in development for a conference at the White House on July 20. Picked up by around 200 outlets – including ABC News, The Daily Mail and the U.S. News and World Report – the article spoke generally of the U.S. President’s efforts to bring his term to a close on a strong note, particularly with regard to international collaboration. Stayed tuned for more on the conference later this month!

Elsewhere in Washington, this week an interview in the Huffington Post with a State Department spokesman on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and foreign relations in the Western Hemisphere ended with a mention of OGP as a way to boost transparency in the region. And a piece entitled “The White House must release guidance on open government plans” by Alex Howard of the Sunlight Foundation critically assessed the government’s performance on a number of open government fronts and questioned the potential impact on “the viability of the Open Government Partnership model.”

There was plenty of press coverage of OGP in other parts of the world as well. Op-eds in the Philippine The Daily Tribune and Phil Star spoke of new president Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to take executive action on freedom of information (FOI). The former piece advocated for a FOI law to be passed by the legislature, saying that the Philippines is the only OGP founding member without such a law on the books. Australia generated OGP news related to open data in the business technology outlet ZDNet and the Walkley Foundation website, as well as in connection with freedom of information and the emergent new government in the blog Open and Shut. In Mexico, open government and OGP were featured in pieces in Quatratín Michoacán, e-consulta.com and e-consulta.com Veracruz. And finally, in Africa, Article 19 welcomed the submission of Kenya's second National Action Plan, and the Africa Centre for Energy Policy praised the release of U.S. government rules which require American extractive companies to disclose payments made to host governments, which was reported in GhanaWeb, Modern Ghana and several other sources.

And last but not least, if you ever wondered where #OpenGov reforms come from, apparently they come from everywhere!

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
Filed Under: OGP News
Tags: Germany