OGP to Celebrate Fifth, Discuss Strategic Goals

14 September 2016

The Open Government Partnership Steering Committee faces a large agenda for its upcoming meeting in New York City on the occasion of the OGP’s fifth anniversary.

The Steering Committee is slated to continue its “strategic refresh” discussions, discuss a new trust fund and review “co-creation” guidance, among other things, according to a pre-meeting packet of materials disclosed on OGP website.

The committee also is expected to act on a subcommittee recommendation to declare Turkey an “inactive” member for failing to live up to membership obligations.

An anniversary event is being held Sept. 20 on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Trust Fund Planned

The World Bank would establish a multi-donor trust fund to support the Open Government Partnership and OGP-related activities, according to a document about the fund to be discussed at the meeting.

Besides funding the OGP support unit, the trust fund would be available for support for the development and implementation of action plans, providing stakeholders at the country level – government agencies and civil society organizations – with financial resources and technical assistance. In addition, support would be available for “knowledge sharing and learning activities, including through the nascent peer learning networks that are being set up by the OGP Working Groups.”

The description notes that one “risk” is that the trust fund “could undermine civil society participation since the World Bank traditionally works mainly with governments.” The document, however, says grant proposals “could be submitted and executed by governments, civil society organizations, or the Bank.”

No projected budget is mentioned, though Bank trust funds must have a minimum of $2 million.

Co-creation Guidelines

Also on the agenda is a draft policy from the Criteria & Standards subcommittee on the “co-creation” of national action plans, designed to strengthen the membership commitment to have a multi-stakeholder process for preparing national action plans.

The draft says:

In summary, the proposed new co-creation guidelines seek to make existing requirements more specific and easy to follow, introduce a focus on the quality of the consultation, and provide guidance on the ongoing dialogue between government and civil society in all three phases of the OGP National Action Plan Cycle: development, implementation and monitoring. Each proposed guideline specifies a set of general basic requirements. In line with OGP’s philosophy of incentivizing best practice and rewarding ambition, each proposed guideline also has a set of best practice stretch ‘requirements’. Countries are not obliged to meet these best practice ‘requirements’, but they will be supported and encouraged to do so. Countries that meet the best practice guidelines will be awarded a star for their quality of co-creation (comparable to the starred commitments).

The pre-meeting packet also contains draft policy guidance paper on legislative engagement.

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