Russian Foundation Launches Russian OGP Website

17 August 2012

By Nate Jones

Jones is the Freedom of Information Coordinator at the National Security Archive who is also currently working with the Freedom of Information Foundation in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The Freedom of Information Foundation, a Russian civil society group, has launched the website to provide Russians with Russian language information about the Open Government Partnership and to create a platform where Russians can tell their government which types of open government reforms they want to see included in their action plan. 

According to Tatyana A. Tolsteneva, the Freedom of Information Foundation’s Development Manager, the website was created for two primary reasons: to combat of the dearth of Russian language information about the Open Government Partnership, and as a means to allow the public to influence the reforms presented in the Russian government’s National Action Plan. 

“We decided to take the initiative and present this OGP information and platform to the public,” said Tolsteneva. 

The website serves as an invaluable tool to Russian speakers, providing them with translations of documents and information found only in English on the OGP website.  It provides users with original commentary and opinions about OGP, as well as links to articles from around the web.  It also serves as a collaborative platform where the public can weigh in, agree or disagree with different ideas, and propose their own ideas for Russia’s OGP Action Plan. 

The website could also serve as a platform for “broad public consultation” between the Russian government and its citizens, as it provides an interactive format for Russians for government officials and the public to debate and discuss possible Action Plan initiatives. 

Russia joined the OGP in April, 2012, two months after Russian President (now Prime Minister) Dmitry Medvedev suggested that Russia should “look into” joining the initiative.  Since joining, the Russian government has yet to provide either a formal or informal draft of its Open Government Partnership Action Plan.

The Freedom of Information Foundation also proposed reforms for the Russian OGP plan. (See related report.)

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