A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.
This week, as OGP continued to receive National Action Plans from around the world, numerous OGP news items discussed the reception of the newly-minted and forthcoming plans in the countries where they were developed.
This was the case in Kenya, where there was a good deal of coverage of the country’s second National Action Plan, including an op-ed in the leading Daily Nation that spoke of the significance of OGP and the country’s new action plan. Highlighting commitments on extractive industries, anti-corruption, beneficial ownership and open contracting, the piece affirmed:
The National Action Plan outlines clear time-bound milestones that need to be achieved in two years, inspiring new or catalysing ongoing processes of Kenya’s transformation agenda…. In order for these commitments to ultimately benefit the ordinary citizen, the plan’s implementation must become the business of all Kenyans.
In addition, Kenya’s The Star featured an article on the plan’s commitment to “develop a technology-driven project monitoring portal,” which aims to combat corruption and “help citizens to participate in project identification, evaluation and report, and provide feedback for better accountability.” And while not directly related to the new plan, Foreign Policy published a piece entitled “How Kenya Cleaned Up Its Courts” – an in-depth look (based on an OGP-funded case study) at the nation’s progress in bringing about much-needed judicial reform.
In Guatemala, as ideas for the country’s upcoming National Action Plan were reported in outlets such as República.gt, the successes of the last plan made headlines. Fox News Latino and Panamá América, featured pieces on the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies‘s praise for Guatemala’s advances achieved through the OGP framework for financial transparency.
A forthcoming plan was also the subject of press coverage in Sri Lanka, where The Daily Financial Times of Colombo ran an article which described the three-month process of multi-sectoral consultation, listed the areas of focus, and invited public feedback for the country’s first National Action Plan. The island nation also put OGP in the headlines with a visit by US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, whose praise and encouragement of steps taken toward greater transparency and economic development were covered in both The Daily Mirror and The Daily Financial Times. In her remarks from a meeting on July 13, featured in full on the US State Department website, she noted:
This fair and transparent playing field will make Sri Lanka a global leader and example for other countries working to overcome periods of adversity. Here I have to say Sri Lanka’s decision to join the Open Government Partnership is a prime example of the country’s leadership. This partnership will give Sri Lanka access to the expertise of other countries striving for more transparent, accountable, responsive government, and a platform to highlight Sri Lanka’s experiences in open government and reform on a global level.
There was plenty of OGP news elsewhere in the world as well. In the Philippines, an op-ed in Inquirer.net spoke of continuing to bolster “constructive” dialogue between businesses and government, citing public-private consultation as a commitment in the country’s current National Action Plan. A joint statement from a recent meeting between French President François Hollande and South African President Jacob Zuma, highlighting December’s Global OGP Summit in Paris, ran on AllAfrica.com and Polity.org.za. Diario Popular of Buenos Aires featured a story on Argentina‘s national telecommunications company’s recent signature of a transparency agreement that, it was reported, was developed based on standards of and practices of openness organizations like OGP. The Russian-language Caucasian Knot reported on May’s decision to designate OGP-member Azerbaijan as “inactive” within the Partnership, discussing Azerbaijani civil society’s call for the government to remedy the country’s situation within OGP, and to create a dialogue mechanism between civil society and government.
On the international organizations front, pieces from the ONE Campaign, Devex and SciDev.Net on open data and development referenced OGP as a potent instrument for moving forward in these areas. Devex also ran an article on “President Obama and his development legacy” that spoke of his administration’s “important strides on transparency and [its contribution in driving] the Open Government Partnership to impressive levels of participation.” Moreover, FreedomInfo.org featured articles from Global Integrity and Open Data Study that cited OGP on the World Bank’s governance agenda and the future of open government efforts in the United Kingdom following the recent “Brexit” vote.
And last but not least, we hope you are ‘ready for your close-up,’ because OGP is making a #5yearsOGP movie… starring you!
Of course, we can’t catch everything in our news round-ups, so if you see we’ve missed something or think a particular story ought to be featured, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.