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Open Gov Week 2021: Co-Create, Implement, Renew

OGP Support Unit|

Open Gov Week (OGW) has always been about scaling up our efforts and advancing open government in our communities. But this year, OGW offered a unique opportunity to explore new bold, ambitious reforms. With more than 300 online events in nearly 60 countries – from peer exchanges to hackathons – these activities have the potential to inspire the commitments being implemented and co-created in 2021 in a record 100+ action plans, especially as we continue to confront the challenges posed by COVID-19.

This year’s Open Gov Week was themed around Open Renewal, the new phase of our Open Response + Open Recovery campaign. This new phase also coincides with OGP’s 10th anniversary and is intended to renew the spirit, optimism and energy that first launched OGP and to put it to use to address the challenges of today.

Let’s take a look at some of the events held during Open Gov Week. 

GLOBAL

To kickoff Open Gov Week, the Co-Chairs of the OGP Steering Committee – Maria Baron from Directorio Legislativo and the Republic of Korea – convened reformers in government and civil society and reiterated their call-to-action to advance reforms on civic space, anti-corruption and digital governance. OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan also called on reformers to use the co-creation of  more than 100 OGP action plans to imagine and implement ambitious reforms that can help to:

  • Advance government transparency and accountability like Latvia is doing by protecting whistleblowers and New Zealand with algorithmic transparency; 
  • Tackle systematic inequalities like Mexico is doing through its care services system reform ; 
  • Combat threats to democracy like Nigeria by increasing police oversight; and
  • Build more citizen-centric democracies.
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If each of us can advance concrete reforms across 78 countries, 76 local governments and thousands of civil society members, we will be able to (…) truly RENEW democracy – democracy that works for all.

Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership

To close off the Week, the CEO of The B Team, Halla Tomasdottir, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning of Nigeria, and other leaders in academia, civil society, and the public and private sectors shared how leadership in the 21st century needs to be values-based and reshaped to renew our democracies and create more inclusive societies. 

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We need to write new rules and a better world by serving for the greater good across sectors, doing it sincerely and humbly and help unlocking leadership in others.

Halla Tomasdottir, CEO of The B Team

AMERICAS 

More than 400 people joined the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Universidad Hemisferios and OGP to explore the ways countries in the region can leverage the OGP platform to implement provisions in the Escazu Agreement through their action plans and expand access to information, open up justice, and strengthen citizen participation in environmental issues. 

A number of countries in the region used the Week to start their co-creation processes like the Dominican Republic  or launched their new action plans like Chile. OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan commended the Chilean government and civil society on advancing these reforms and encouraged them to keep citizens at the heart of open government as they move towards implementation. 

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

OGP, EITI and Open Ownership brought leaders from government, civil society, and private sector together to discuss strategies to advance beneficial ownership transparency in Africa. OGP Ambassador and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark called on reformers to use EITI and OGP as complementary platforms to increase transparency in the extractives sector and combat illicit financial flows. The Head of the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Vice-President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) made similar remarks. 


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Being able to track ownership is the best weapon we have to equip government agencies and investigators to pursue the individuals behind illicit activities.

Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Meanwhile, the justice cluster in Kenya invited open government champions from Sierra Leone, South Africa and Indonesia to exchange experiences and best practices in using the OGP platform to improve access to justice in their countries. 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Indonesia was one of the first countries to celebrate Open Gov Week this year. Their kick-off event, which featured OGP Envoy Yanuar Nugroho, set the tone and emphasized the importance of collaboration and coordination among stakeholders to create a transparent and inclusive government especially during pandemic response and recovery. 

In the Philippines, local researchers, in consultation with investigative journalists, government officials and the private sector released an open COVID procurement dataset that’s publicly available for anyone who wants to know where funds are going. 

Reformers in countries like Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Australia also hosted events on topics ranging from civil society engagement to the role of governance in COVID-19 data and information sharing.

EUROPE

From Spain to Ukraine, open gov reformers in Europe held over 100 events on topics like opening up government at the local level and embedding open gov values in pandemic recovery. In Estonia, more than 1,200 people from 142 countries participated in the e-Governance Conference to discuss the benefits of digital maturity assessments and interoperability, as well as digital tools to combat corruption and protect democracies against digital threats.

The European Union, OECD, and OGP launched the EU for Integrity Programme for the Eastern Partnership, which seeks to advance open government reforms in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. You can hear from OGP Envoy Veronica Cretu and other reformers in government and civil society who participated in the event here


  

LOCAL

Open government champions at the local level in Aragón, Cataluña, and Basque Country in Spain; Tangier – Tetouan – Al-Hoceima in Morocco; Bogotá, Colombia; Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Ecuador also convened online gatherings during OGW to discuss how the values of open government are helping their local government respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and, importantly, renew trust. The Governor of Kaduna state in Nigeria Malam Nasir el-Rufai, shared how the state is using open government approaches to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

During Open Gov Week, we also announced the OGP Local Innovation Awards, which will recognize innovative and impactful initiatives, and provide targeted support for empowering reformers to drive results and share progress with the global community. Applications will open July 1 and close September 17.

We’d like to thank all who participated in Open Gov Week this year. We hope reformers in and outside of government leveraged the week to advance or create ambitious reforms we can showcase in this year’s OGP Global Summit in Seoul, South Korea and online. 

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