OGP Civil Society Leaders Urge Emphasis on Outcomes

27 October 2015

The Open Government Partnership needs to make sure that national commitments are more potentially transformative, according to key OGP leaders representing civil society organizations.

Future directions were addressed during Civil Society Day, Oct. 27, when more than 1,000 persons from 94 countries gathered in Mexico City in advance of the official two-day OGP meeting.

“How do we make that we close the gap between transparency and accountability?” asked Alejandro Gonzalez, the director of Gestion Social y Cooperacion and the incoming co-chairman of the civil society side of the 22-member OGP Steering Committee.

The main challenge, he said, “is how to make sure that OGP delivers something that really matters to people.”

Manish Bapna, executive vice president of the World Resources Institute and a steering committee member, spoke about “making the abstract more concrete.” The OGP can help make process on providing core services to all people,” he said.

The OGP has produced considerable data on its impact (see a new infographic), but several OGP leaders boiled it down to the idea that 20 percent of the 66-members are doing very well, 20 percent are doing very poorly and 60 percent are in the middle.

The focus on results has been buttressed by the experience of host Mexico, where virtually all 26 of the OGP commitments have been achieved, but, CSO representatives said, the country is in a human rights crisis. The commitments were not focused on human rights, said Haydee Perez Garrido, executive director of Fundar, who suggested a more focused agenda. “Lets go for five big structurals reforms that really impact things that hurting out countries.”

Another factor influencing OGP thinking is the recent creation at the United Nations of Sustainable Development Goals. One goal, 16, addresses access to information and freedom of expression, but the OGP is beginning to think about how it can support achievement of the broad development agenda.

Bapna suggested that the OGP could play a new role in monitoring progress on the SGDs by complementing the official indicators the UN is planning with more comprehensive information. Gonzalez said a key OGP contribution to SDG could be to focus on ensuring that transparency and participatory policy-making processes.

Read all FreedomInfo.org stories on the OGP here.


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