OGP Picks Five Persons as IRM Technical Experts

7 December 2012

Five persons, mostly academics, have been chosen as the five technical experts who will help guide the Open Government Partnership’s Independent Review Mechanism (IRM), along with three senior advisors named earlier.

The technical experts are:

 –      South African researcher Debbie Budlender,

–       U.S. professor Jonathan Fox,

–       Indian research fellow Yamini Aiyar,

–       U.K.  research fellow Rosemary McGee,

–       Brazilian professor Fernando Abrucio.

They join Mary Robinson, Mo Ibrahim and Graça Machel as the eight members of the International Expert Panel (IEP). (See related report on FreedomInfo.org.)

The panel will oversee the details of the review process.  OGP member governments will report on their progress to fulfill the commitments made in their national action plans.  Separate reviews will be conducted by independent experts the IEP will select and supervise. Panel members will serve two-year terms, with the possibility of one-year extensions.

The technical experts will oversee the quality control process for producing the reports for the IRM, including reviewing and approving final reports for publication.

IRM reports will be undertaken every 12 months for participating countries. Each IRM report will be published no later than four months following the implementation period being assessed. The first round of reports examining action plans from each of the eight founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States) will be concluded in May 2013.

The three senior advisors are: Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female President and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees;  Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born entrepreneur; and Graca Machel, a Mozambican politician and wife of Nelson Mandela.

Five Technical Experts Chosen

Debbie Budlender, Community Agency for Social Enquiry, South Africa

Budlender is an independent research consultant. She worked as a specialist researcher with the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) – a South African non-governmental organisation working in the area of social policy research – from 1998 to June 2012.  Between April 2002 and June 2012 she was on a long-term part-time secondment to the Centre for Actuarial Research at the University of Cape Town.  

Jonathan Fox, UCSC, United States

Fox is Professor and Chair in the Department of  Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has taught at UCSC since 1996 and previously served as chair when the LALS program became a department in 2001. He is also a research affiliate of UCSC’s Chicano-Latino Research Center, and the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. His research interests include transparency and accountability, democracy and governance, social and environmental policy, transnational civil society dynamics, immigration, and Latino youth civic and political participation. His current empirical research focuses on Mexico and central California. His teaching focuses on political participation and social change, including interdisciplinary courses on Mexico, social science concepts and methods, and transnational civil society.

Yamini Aiyar, Accountability Initiative, India

Aiyar  is a senior research fellow and director of the accountability initiative being set up at the Centre for Policy Research. The Accountability Initiative aims to promote research, innovations and tools to strengthen accountability and citizen’s engagement in India’s governance processes. Prior to joining CPR, he worked as an independent consultant providing research and policy support to government, international donors and civil society organizations on governance reform with a  focus on issues related to strengthening accountability in basic service delivery. Aiyar  has also worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program and Rural Development unit in New Delhi.

Rosemary McGee, Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom

McGee is a Fellow in the Participation, Power and Social Change team at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Trained in interdisciplinary Development Studies, she has alternated between her academic role at IDS and various development practitioner roles in the international NGO sector.  She joined IDS’s Participation, Power and Social Change team in 1999, working on promoting and supporting the participation of civil society organisations in policy processes. McGee works with UK charity Christian Aid, as well as holding positions with a number of international development NGOs including Christian Aid Trócaire, Plan International, Plan UK, CARE, World Vision, ActionAid and Amnesty International. In several projects with the International Budget Partnership she has explored and supported civil society advocacy on budget policy and practice. From 2012 she also convenes the MA Participation, Power and Social Change program at University of Sussex.  

Fernando Abrucio, Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil

Fernando holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo (1990), Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of São Paulo (1995) and Doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of São Paulo (2000). He has been professor and researcher of São Paulo’s Getúlio Vargas Foundation (SP) since 1995, and he is currently in the office of Coordinator of Master’s and Doctorate Programs in Public Administration and Government. He has worked as a columnist in politics for the newspaper “ValorEconômico” from 2000 to 2006 and is currently a columnist for the weekly magazine “Época”. He was coordinator of the GT Political Power and Democratic Controls of the Brazilian Association of Graduate Program and Research in Social Sciences (ANPOCS) from 2005 to 2006. He has published articles in academic journals in the US and France.

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