Today the opening session of Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit will be livstreamed online. According to information shared on the event’ s website ‘The OGP summit will involve 3000 representatives from 70 countries: Heads of State and governments, ministers, public servants, members of parliament, local authorities, civil society representatives, start-ups and digital innovators, civic techs, developers, researchers, journalists will gather in Paris to share their experiences and push forward the open government agenda in light of the global challenges.’
We’ll publish the most interestig findings during the three days of the Summit on this website, but I’d like to share some very short preliminary observations on he main benefits and challenges of the OGP process.
- the share scale of the initiative – it has been introduced in 70 countries; which allows for unprecedented best practice sharing regarding best methods to open up government, combat corruption or engage people in decision-making.
- it serves as a good opportunity for civil society activists to cooperate and form networks both among themselves and with the government to press for change.
- Uncertainty about the relevance of OGP as a process -are there any good initiative that wouldn’t have been implemented had the OGP process not existed? Most countries tend to commit to activities that they would have engaged in anyway, whether OGP process existed or not.
- Low level of ambition in commitmments from governments in context of OGP and lack of capacity for civic society organiations to offer a long-term (not ad hoc) collaboration and/or monitoring of OGP commitmment implementation. OGP in some countries is just one transparency-promoting process among many; and may at times even divert attention from exploring other options/processes to push for more rapid change.