OGP in the News - Week of October 17, 2016

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

While OGP made news across the globe, this week’s OGP coverage was strongest in Argentina, Nigeria and Indonesia.

One of Argentina’s leading daily newspapers La Nacíon conducted an interview - republished in Venezuela’s Entorno Intelligente - with Argentinean Minister of Modernisation Andrés Ibarra. During the interview, Ibarra expressed his hopes for Argentina becoming one of the world’s most transparent countries  - it is currently ranked 54th on the Global Open Data Index - and commented on the potential significance of the planned 2017 OGP Americas Regional Meeting:

Next year, Argentina will host the Regional Americas Meeting of the Open Government Partnership; this represents a major achievement at the international level: we are no longer an opaque State who hides or manipulates information.

In El Salvador, La Prensa Gráfica noted increasing demands for democracy, transparency, efficiency and accountability by Salvadorans. The article stated that since joining OGP, El Salvador has shown progress, which will be showcased at OGP’s upcoming Global Summit.

Some of Nigeria’s most widely read news sources, including Vanguard, The Punch and This Day Live reported on the the role OGP can play in helping the Buhari administration recover billions of dollars of missing public funds. At an OGP media roundtable held on October 14, Attorney General Abubakar Malami spoke about the value of the OGP community in achieving such ends: “We will work with the network of OGP implementing countries for technical support, especially in repatriating stolen funds that are currently stashed away abroad.” Channelstv and AllAfrica.com also covered the event, and ran articles about the nation’s plans to draft its first ever National Action Plan (NAP). An op-ed in Nigeria’s Premium Times announced that an OGP delegation led by CEO Sanjay Pradhan will convene both the country’s government and civil society stakeholders in the coming days to discuss Nigeria’s NAP and OGP processes. According to the author, this “visit by the OGP team is significant, confirming Nigeria’s status as a priority target in the quest for citizens’ participation in governance and the fight against corruption in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In Indonesia, two articles in Tribunnews.com, along with the English-language daily The Jakarta Globe, covered open government progress in the Regency of Bojonegoro following a two-day OGP Festival on October 19-20. The event featured a number of panel discussions and exhibitions on open government practices to commemorate Bojonegoro’s selection as one of fifteen local governments around the world chosen to participate in OGP’s pioneer subnational pilot program. The regency has already demonstrated its commitment to increased transparency by publishing village budgets in various media, from billboards and posters to online platforms. Both the weekly Tempo and Detik.com ran articles featuring the Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform, Asman Abnur calling other regencies of Indonesia to follow Bojonegoro’s example.  

Global news site Mondaq published an article about anti-bribery in Turkey. The article did not paint a particularly promising picture of the country’s anti-corruption efforts, and cited the OGP Steering Committee’s recent decision to make Turkey inactive as evidence of the country’s regression in combatting corruption.

In other news, French daily La Gazette des Communes ran an op-ed about the symbolic significance of the OGP Global Summit in Paris. According to the author, the Summit represents an opportunity to send a message in favor of transparency and regain the trust of the French public. The Association for the Promotion of Free Software (APRIL) repeated this call for increased transparency in an article for Next INpact, following the signing of a security agreement between the Microsoft Corporation and the French government. The specific details of the agreement have been obscured for national security purposes. APRIL said that France’s co-chairmanship in OGP means that it is more important than ever that the “Department of Defense demonstrate transparency and lead by example.”

And last but not least, open data and coding are no longer subjects that belong exclusively to the realm of nerdom. TechCrunch interviewed Victoria’s Secret supermodel Karlie Kloss, who, aside from being an amateur coder herself, is launching a scholarship program to engage teenage girls in the art (science?) of coding.

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.

Topics: Subnational
Filed Under: OGP News