Krafchik Named Co-Chair; Tanzania Fills OGP Slot

16 April 2012

The Open Government Partnership Steering Committee April 16 approved the creation of a third co-chairman, to represent the nine civil society organizations on the committee.

Warren Krafchik, of the International Budget Partnership, who has been a Steering Committee member from the beginning, will serve in the new position.

In addition, the Steering Committee filled a slot for a government representative, giving Tanzania a seat at the table.

The committee meet during the afternoon with an agenda that also included approvals of the first articles of governance and discussion of other matters.

Tanzania will become the ninth government represented on the Steering Committee, which now has a complement of 18 members. The vacancy was created last summer when India, which had been involved in the early stages of OGP’s development decided not to join after all.

Tanzania joins South Africa as the other African member on the Steering Committee along with South Africa. Jakaya Kikwete, the president of the United Republic of Tanzania, is scheduled to speak at the opening session April 17.

Although the meeting was closed to the press and the public, and no official results have been announced, the Steering Committee rules permit those attending to use social media during the meeting. Marin Tisne, now of the Omidyar Network, an OGP financial backer was in the meeting and tweeted the news on #OGP2012.

Tisne also noted that official registration count has now climbed to 1,190, way above earlier expectations. He said half of the registrations are Brazilian, the rest international.

The Steering Committee now consists of:  Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States.

The nine civil society organizations involved are: Tom Blanton, National Security Archive (United States); Nikhil Dey and Aruna Roy, MKSS (India); Suneeta Kaimal, Revenue Watch Institute (Global); Warren Krafchik, International Budget Partnership (Global); Gladwell Otieno, Africa Center for Open Governance (Kenya); Juan Pardinas, IMCO (Mexico); Iara Pietricovsky de Oliveira, INESC (Brazil); and Rakesh Rajani, Twaweza (East Africa), and Anthony Richter , Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

According to the IBP website: “Krafchik is the director of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and has been involved with the IBP for over 10 years, assisting civil society organizations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia to monitor government budgets by providing financial assistance, training and technical support, and designing collaborative research programs. Krafchik joined the IBP in 2001 after nine years at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa), one of Africa’s strongest think-tanks, where he founded the Budget Information Service (BIS) in 1995 and directed it until moving to the IBP. The BIS was one of the first institutions to pioneer independent monitoring of government budgeting, with a particular emphasis on how these budgets affect disadvantaged groups. Krafchik has a MA in macroeconomics and is the author of numerous publications on the role of the civil society, legislatures, and Supreme Audit institutions in budget accountability.”

(For all Freedominfo.org coverage of the OGP see http://www.freedominfo.org/regions/global/ogp/

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