SELECTED COUNTRY EXPERIENCES WITH THE OGP PROCESS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL : MEXICO

This is the second in a five part series of posts based on Q&As with selected countries and their experiences with the OGP process at the national level. This post is a Q&A with Emilene Morales Martinez, independent Regional Civil Society Coordinator for OGP in Mexico.

1.     Describe the process

The OGP consultation process in Mexico was led by three actors: the Federal Access to Information Institute (IFAI); the Ministry of Public Administration (SFP - Secretaría de la Función Pública); and a coalition of 8 civil society organizations specialized in access to information. Civil society organizations proposed 36 actions addressed to specific agencies that were included in Mexico’s “Reinforced Action Plan” (Plan de Acción Ampliado). This new plan built on the one presented by the Mexican government in September 2011. A Technical Secretariat was created in December 2011 where IFAI, SFP and a representative of civil society worked together on OGP related activities including: follow-up on commitments, creating an OGP Webpage tailored to a Mexican audience; and strategizing on how to engage the new administration in this initiative.

2.     Describe two things that were really good about the consultation, why it worked, and one thing that was not so good about it

In Mexico the consultation process was a result of a coordinated effort between government and civil society in which CSOs were treated as equals. In Mexico the action plan was driven by civil society demands with support from both IFAI and SFP and not the other way around. Through the Technical Secretariat, a formal process was created to conduct follow-up work on each commitment. For example, representatives from the three parties were required to be present in each meeting with the agencies addressed in the commitments. Both these and Technical Secretariat meetings were documented and minutes are available online. The three actors involved agree that the weakness of this consultation process was that only specialized civil society organizations in the fields of transparency, access to information and open data participated. Consultation was not open to a broader array of CSOs.

3.     What would your advice be for a new OGP member country- both for the government and for the civil society actors.

My advice for new countries is to start by working closely with CSOs to develop a consultation process that works within the local context and that includes mechanisms to follow-up on the commitments included in the national action plan.  Additionally, the process should ideally include clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each of the actors participating in both the consultation process and the follow-up work. 

Authors: Blog Editor
Filed Under: Champions