OGP Civil Society Reps Outline Future Priorities

24 March 2016

The civil society members of the OGP Steering Committee have stated their priorities following a February planning meeting in Washington DC stressing “co-creation” of national action plans as a key goal.

“After almost five years, the OGP honeymoon is over and this is no time for big innovations but for real consolidation,” according to a blog post by Alejandro Gonzalez Arreola, Executive Director of GESOC in Mexico and OGP Civil Society Co-Chair, summarizing the minutes of the meeting.

“A top priority,” he wrote, is to “make sure” that national action plans “are truly co-created, and implemented and monitored in a timely manner. “ He reported, “We agreed to push for a revision of the guidelines for civil society consultation, with the idea to raise the bar from “consultation” to “co-creation” in order to synergize meaningful civil society engagement in the OGP process.” Proposals will be presented to the broader OGP civil society community for input before they are tabled for Steering Committee approval, he said.

The civil society members also supporting “creation of a new working group that tackles one of the thorniest open government issues, the Anticorruption Working Group.”

Looking ahead to Steering Committee meeting in May, the civil society members said they would support a subcommittee recommendation that Azerbaijan be listed as inactive in OGP because of policies that restrict civil society activities. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The recommendation is excepted to face some resistance by OGP governments on the Steering Committee.

In addition, “We agreed on the need to revise and tighten the eligibility criteria, but also acknowledging this is an endeavor with huge technical and political implications for current and potential participating countries.”

The civil society representatives also discussed ways to make the Steering Committee “more transparent, accessible and responsive to the aspirations and concerns of the broader community.”

(Read almost 300 FreedomInfo.org articles about the OGP since its founding in 2011.)

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