OGP Subcommittee Plans Guidance for Reviewers

12 October 2012

The Open Government Partnership is moving toward providing some basic guidance for countries and independent experts on how to do their evaluations of the national action plans, according to recently released minutes of the Criteria and Standards Subcommittee meeting of Sept. 25.

The OGP is expected to soon announce the membership of the International Expert Panel that will guide the process.  

In addition, the subcommittee agreed to write a “concept note” on the OGP eligibility standards. This followed a discussion of various criticisms of the standards, including that “human rights does not feature prominently,” according to the minutes.

Both initiatives respond to concerns by civil society organizations. The results of the ongoing drafting efforts are to be discussed at the next working level Steering Committee meeting, the date for which has not been announced.

The minutes note that in establishing guidance for the evaluators, the subcommittee does not want to preempt the independence or expertise of the Independent Expert Panel. The guidance would provide advice on what basic elements should be part of all evaluations.

The independent evaluations should include an assessment of the process used to develop actions plans. This is something strongly desired by civil society organizations on the OGP Steering Committee. Many CSOs felt excluded from the creation of the action plans, most of which were announced this April.

Other suggestions are for “targeted recommendations for improvement” and an executive summary, among other things.

Similar guidance is planned for the government assessments. Topics under discussion include whether to recommend a process for public comment.

The OGP recently celebrated its one year anniversary. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

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