The Government of Georgia and Mr. Mukelani Dimba of the International School for Transparency, took over co-chairmanship of the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on October 1, 2017, expressing their “vision to get things done with the people, for the people.”
The Government of Georgia and Mr. Dimba took over the global OGP chairmanship from the Government of France and Mr. Manish Bapna of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and will lead the multi-lateral initiative as lead co-chairs until October 1, 2018.
The incoming co-chairs are the Government of Canada and Mr. Nathaniel Heller from Results for Development (R4D), who will serve as support co-chairs until their lead co-chairmanship term begins on October 1, 2018.
As they took over the Co-chairmanship of the OGP on October 1, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and Mr. Dimba, issued a joint vision statement titled “Vision to get things done with the people, for the people”.
In their joint vision statement, they noted that “in these modern times, when innovation and technology have become leading pathways to success in the global economy, the definition of open governance has expanded.”
They therefore expressed their intention to dedicate their tenure to strengthening the basics of open government, to ensure peoples’ opportunity to influence governmental decisions that affect their daily lives.
Listing some of the successes of the OGP, they observed that since its inception, participating countries have translated many challenges into success stories with the result that more open data is now available for the public, access to information and traditionally closed archives are now more accessible, and beneficial ownership falls under the transparency regime.
The Co-chairs said: “we aim to remind OGP governments that they are pursuing a simple but powerful goal; to better serve and empower their citizens. Hence, closing the feedback loop in designing and implementing OGP reforms will be high in our Co-chairs’ agenda.’
They identified four strategic goals that they would pursue as Strengthening co-creation and citizen engagement; advancing transparency and the fight against corruption; generating innovation in public service delivery; and building a better partnership.
According to them, “The well-being of every citizen is the core value that led to launching the OGP more than five years ago. Civic engagement, in most cases, is key to successful identification and implementation of reforms that address the needs of the public. We will encourage the deepening of citizen-centered governance with the ultimate goal of securing life and dignity, through effective realization of socio-economic rights.’
The Co-chairs said they planned to propose concrete ways to advance reforms at the global, national and sub-national levels in transparency and anti-Corruption.
They said they will use their co-chair term to introduce innovative approaches and methodologies to OGP countries to take the public service delivery to a new level and ensure its efficiency; share a unique practice of joining government and private sector efforts in delivering various services; introduce innovative solutions to closing the feedback loop and hearing each citizen’s voice to improve public service delivery; and encourage OGP participating countries to link the OGP to the SDG Agenda by encouraging the development of national action plan commitments that relate to realization of better outcomes in governance, access to justice and socio-economic rights.
The Co-chairs pledged to “prioritize inviting new civil society organization and multilateral partners to our community to ensure that OGP becomes an indivisible part of the global CSO agenda. Our priorities include to establish a deeper partnership with the European Union, as well as agencies of the African Union. We aim to join our efforts to assist governments and civil society, especially from the countries that might not have sufficient resources to take and then implement ambitious commitments.”