21 Governments Tardy With Updates on OGP Activity

13 February 2012

 Twenty-one governments have yet to report on their progress toward developing Open Government Partnership action plans, according to a FreedomInfo.org tally.

In the action plans that have been submitted, however, it appears that governments are holding consultations and preparing draft plans, though few of those have emerged in full.

Three countries have already announced draft action plans – Israel, Moldova and Tanzania, according to the OGP website. A few other  government submissions indicate that their draft plans were to have been released in late January or early February.

There also are increasing signs that that civic groups are organizing to influence their government’s plans.  A new website by three Latin American groups have been launched.

A discussion of the OGP with several key players will be held event at the World Bank in Washington at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and streamed live. Presentations will be given by Caroline Mauldin, of the U.S Department of State and Juan Pardinas, General Director of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, civil society representative for Mexico at OGP Steering Committee. Nathaniel Heller, Executive Director of Global Integrity will serve as discussant.

To watch the event go to http://streaming7.worldbank.org/vvflash/extlive3  For liveblog instructions see here.

Update Submissions Late

A Jan. 31 due date was set for governments to describe briefly the status of their OGP efforts. About 20 were provided on time, but only a few have trickled in since then. (See previous FreedomInfo.org posting.)

Still missing are: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the Ukraine.

This represents half of those 42 governments pledges to submit national actions plans in April following public consulations.

The original eight OGP countries announced their action plans in September 2011 and the other governments are scheduled to present their plans at the April 17-18 OGP meeting n Brazil. The OGP co-chairs, the United States and Brazil, requested the updates.

(Notes: The OGP website entry for Ukraine appears to be from a civil society organization. Tanzania submitted a draft action plan but no update report.  No updates could be expected from very recent OGP joiners, Panama and Costa Rica.)

For a FreedomInfo.org spreadsheet linking to OGP country submissions, click here and see the “OGP Member Submissions” entry under “Links.”

Latin America Website Founded

Three Mexican groups – Fundar, IMCO and Citivox – have launched a site in Spanish for OGP-related info for a Latin American audience (http://gobabierto.tumblr.com/).

Efforts by donors to promote the OGP in Latin American have been under way recently and a meeting is being planned for March.

In late December, representatives of the Hewlett Foundation, Omidyar Network, World Bank Institute and the Open Society Foundations met to develop a common strategy to stimulate interest in OGP for Latin American. A consultant, along with Fundar, IMCO and CitiVox, have contacted six transparency and accountability networks operating in Latin America to plan a civil society event in Mexico on March 20-21. 

Deadline Extended 

In other OGP news, the application deadline for all self-financed civil society representatives to attend the April 17-18 OGP annual meeting has been extended until March 2. The OGP indicated that it has no cap on participation for self-financed civil society groups.

The application form: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/civil-society/application/international-april-2012

The deadline for civil society organizations to apply for funding to attend the annual meeting from OGP has already expired. Notifications to successful applicants are expected in about a week.

Ukraine OGP Group Organized

The Ukrainian Civic Partnership has been formed, consisting of 47 nongovernmental organizations and and 13 individual members. The activity of the Partnership is supported by 11 national experts from famous Ukrainian think tanks, according to the announcement.

The main priorities of the OGP Civic Partnership are:

1. To develop an agreed-upon, public version of a National Action Plan, and to advocate for the plan and its implementation at the level of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine,
2. To assist the organization of broad public consultations to discuss the draft National Action Plan for the OGP initiative,
3. To inform key target groups about the OGP initiative, including interested international organizations.

The group also said, “We plan to work closely with all interested stake-holders including the Steering Committee, embassies and international organizations, organizations specializing in OGP implementation, Ukrainian offices of international organizations and topical working groups.”

On Dec. 28, Partnership experts delivered their proposals on the OGP National Plan Draft to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Read all FreedomInfo.org articles about the OGP at http://www.freedominfo.org/regions/global/ogp/

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