OGP ATI Working Group Plans Focus on 4 Countries

11 November 2015

The Open Government Partnership Access to Information Working Group will focus its attention on helping four countries, according to the group’s “co-anchors.”

While the working group will continue with a number of activities, including more general support to interested counties, particular attention will be paid to two pairs of countries: Liberia and Sierra Leone; Honduras and Guatemala.

The selection of these four “cohort countries” was announced to the more than 30 members of the working group during a meeting Oct. 29 in Mexico City during the OGP summit meeting. The meeting was led by Laura Neuman, Director of the Global Access to Information Program at the Carter Center, and María Jose Montiel Cuatlayo, Director of Open Government at the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information, and Data Protection, Mexico.

Following almost two years of experience with the working groups, the OGP Peer Learning Sub-committee identified a need to focus the efforts of the working groups.  They suggested to each of the five working groups that they should select fairly narrow tasks that focus on helping governments to make strong and far-reaching commitments, in collaboration with civil society, and to fulfill these commitments.

The goal of the two pairs strategy by the OGP ATI working group will be to help the governments to improve the implementation of their freedom of information laws, especially by encouraging peer-to-peer relationships among neighboring government officials and across the four countries. Several mentor countries have agreed to help, including the United States, Chile, Mexico, Scotland and others.

ATI Working Group Activities

The ATI working group has had a $25,000 budget since its creation about two years ago. A report on its activities so far, particularly the facilitation of government-to-government consultations and the award of four micro-grants for research and programming related to access to information and the fulfillment of other OGP commitments, is included in the materials prepared for the OGP Steering Committee meeting (see bottom of page under “Documents” here and ATI Working Group website).

The OGP ATI working group will be developing the 2016 action plan and is interested in inputs from OGP governments and civil society actors.

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