OGP Leaders Set Priorities, Plan Future Activities

10 February 2016

The Open Government Partnership’s leaders have prioritized the development of an “implementation platform” for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and more participation of subnational governments in the OGP, according to the detailed minutes of the OGP Governance and Leadership subcommittee meeting held Jan. 20-21 in South Africa.

These and other priorities are described in the newly released minutes of the subcommittee meeting, which like other OGP leadership meetings is held in private. Scroll down to find the minutes on this page.

Ministers from Mexico and South Africa, the OGP government co-chairs, presented their joint proposed priorities for 2016. These are:

  • Providing an implementation platform for the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a means to link OGP with the most pressing challenges faced by society and the policy framework that is being put in place to address them globally and nationally.
  • The formalization of an option for subnational government participation, which would take OGP to the level of government that is often closer to citizens and a source of open government innovations.
  • Boosting performance and political leadership to foster ambition and a race to the top between OGP countries, including by involving parliaments more systematically in OGP at the national level.
  • Enhancing internal OGP processes, instruments and governance systems.
  • Broadening and deepening civil society engagement internationally and nationally in OGP.

The subcommittee gave “strong endorsement” to the priorities, according to the minutes, which also summarize, without names, other points made during the discussion.

The wide-ranging opening discussion covered priorities, OGP operations, membership, future leadership, and how to spread the OGP’s message, including at the next summit. The summit will be held in December of 2016 in France, with specific dates and details not yet announced. An event is being planned for the OGP’s fifth anniversary when the UN General Assembly meets in New York in September.

Subsequent topics covered in subsequent sessions and described in the minutes include:

– Broadening the base of civil society engagement in OGP through networks and coalitions

– Transition to the new Support Unit CEO

– Supporting OGP countries to improve performance

– OGP Governance

– The OGP Trust Fund

– Proposed incorporation

– The agenda for the May Steering Committee meeting

– OGP Research

The OGP Work Plan and Budget also was discussed. The minutes say only: The Support Unit will make any necessary updates to the work plan and budget following the GL discussion, and re-circulate a version to be considered final.”

Annual Report, Research Consortium

As a stream of new progress reports have been released in recent weeks, the 69-member OGP also issued an annual report and announced plans for a research effort.

The annual report “serves to capture a year of activities, and shine a spotlight on some of the most interesting examples of how OGP is being used in different countries.”

A range of public, academic, and advocacy organizations have established a research consortium, according to another announcement, which is light on details, but says the goal is “to improve our understanding of the effectiveness and impact of open government reforms.”

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