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Open Government Week – Jordan

Dr. Amer Bani Amer|

Hayat Center is a non-governmental organization established by a group of young Jordanian activists in 2006. Through its RASED for Open Government Partnership Monitoring Program, Hayat Center-RASED works on monitoring the Jordanian government’s performance in selected open government commitments through the lens of transparency, accountability, openness, and civic participation. Hayat Center-RASED worked as an Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) research organization for Jordan’s first and second national OGP action plans. In the last two years, Hayat Center-RASED has intensified its work with the government on building the capacity of staff and helping the government implement its commitments by developing communication channels between government entities and Civil Society/Civil Based Organizations (CSOs/CBOs). In 2016, Hayat Center-RASED established a coalition of CSOs/CBOs “TATWEER,” aiming to enhance government transparency and enhance cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC) – the responsible ministry for coordinating OGP in Jordan.

In May, Hayat-Rased and Tatweer ran an impactful series of events for Open Government Week, in cooperation with OECD and MOPIC. Open Government Week gathered donors, leaders, and thinkers from throughout Jordan to share ideas, discuss solutions, and commit to new levels of citizen participation with the government. This year, Open Government Week included a launch event, eleven open dialogue sessions, and four university open days.

The launch event at Amman’s Regency Palace Hotel on May 7 provided government and civil society with the opportunity to engage on efforts to enhance transparency and accountability. The event brought together 136 representatives of national and local government, civil society, international organizations, media, and academia to contribute to dialogue on the labor market and human rights data. At the event, the government coordinator for human rights spoke alongside panelists from the Department of Statistics, the Civil Service Bureau, the Phenix Center for Economics and Informatics Studies, the National Center for Human Rights, the Transparency and Human Rights Unit at the Public Security Directorate, Al-Balad Radio, and civil society. 

From May 8-16, open discussions were held in cooperation with OECD in eleven governorates, spanning the topics of gender mainstreaming in government services, transparent decision-making, and public accountability. 351 representatives from civil society, the Directorate of Public Works and Housing, the Directorate of Education, the Directorate of the Water Authority, and the Directorate of Health participated in these open discussions, which took place in Ajloun, Amman, Aqaba, Balqa, Irbid, Jerash, Karak, Madaba, Mafraq, Tafila, and Zarqa.

Meanwhile, at four universities, open days raised almost four thousand students’ awareness of Open Government Partnership (OGP) values and the legal right to access information and empowered students to become active participants in the decision-making process. The successes of the open days at Al-Bayt University, Tafila Technical University, and the University of Jordan inspired a community-based organization in Jerash to run an open day at Jerash Private University as well, expanding Open Government Week to a broader community of youth. 

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