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Six Months, Fifteen Pioneers: How the Subnational Program is Changing the Lives of 62 Million People

Brittany Giroux Lane|

Six months into the implementation period for the OGP Subnational Pilot Program, Pioneers across the globe are advancing open local government reforms and pursuing more responsive policies and services for citizens where they are closer to government. In this newsletter, we hear from OGP Pioneers from nearly every continent –  Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia – and from varying scales of government – municipality, city, metropolitan area, state, regency, and devolved nation. This diverse crowd provides advice and insight on areas such as: engaging more diverse, typically marginalized communities (Jalisco and Bojonegoro), advancing trust in community and government by first identifying and measuring (Brazil), addressing large goals such as the SDGs through local, measurable progress (Scotland), and showing how OGP can be influential as a framework for change in government (Buenos Aires).

 

 

We’ve highlighted some of the actions local government and civil society reformers are taking in the recently published What’s in the OGP Subnational Action Plans? Publication, as well as in the new subnational program video. As a whole, these pioneers are working towards many essential reforms with a myriad of foci:  on public service delivery in sectors such as health, education, water, security, and transport; participatory budgeting and fiscal openness; and inclusion of marginalized communities.

 

This cohort of Pioneers has been working hard to engage citizens and civil society organizations in their local contexts, but peer learning between the Pioneers has been a blossoming success story of the program. Already, successful collaboration has taken place across the Pioneers, with six pioneers (Jalisco, Buenos Aires, Paris, Scotland, Tbilisi, and Madrid) meeting regularly to discuss their participatory budgeting progress and Madrid working with Buenos Aires to commit to participatory budgeting earlier this year. In July, the Pioneers will meet to discuss implementation successes, exchange ideas for solutions to implementation challenges, and will co-design the future for the pioneers. A reception on July 19th will highlight the Pioneer “OGP Stories to Watch” at the Open Gov Hub.

As the Pioneers continue on the road to successful implementation of their subnational action plans, the Steering Committee will be discussing the progress of the current program as well as the future trajectory of the pilot. In June, the working level steering committee met and the state of play of the current program and potential future options were discussed. Key takeaways from this discussion included recognition of the admirable progress and momentum of the current pilot, an agreement on moving ahead with the current pilot program after December 2017, a commitment to continuing capturing the momentum and interest in OGP at the subnational level, and an appetite for continued experimentation with the OGP model as the subnational program progresses. In September 2017, the ministerial level steering committee will meet around the UN General Assembly and will hopefully endorse the progress of the pilot, as well as a direction of travel forward for the pilot program.

 

In the meantime, the OGP Pioneers continue to implement and monitor progress on their commitments, advancing transformative change for citizens on the ground in those subnational governments. Continue to follow along with their progress via social media (#OGPLocalGov) and our OGP blog and newsletter.

 

Consider joining us at the Open Government Partnership Americas Regional Meeting taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 21st and 22nd, where subnational open government will be one of the seven priority themes for the meeting. Interested participants are being asked to cocreate the agenda and lend their voices to the success of this regional meeting.

 

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