The Open Government Partnerships Call to Action: Every two years, Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) creates a great opportunity for civil society to shape their national OGP process further. True to OGP’s founding principles of transparency, accountability and participation, the IRM team releases in-depth progress reports that assess both how well OGP governments are collaborating with civil society and how countries are delivering on their open government commitments (on key issues such as SDGs, among others), as outlined in their National Action Plans. These progress reports are released a year into the action plan cycle and developed by national researchers and international experts with inputs from civil society and government.
How You Can Comment: Today (February 2), the IRM team releases 15 (of 39) new progress reports for public comment. Later in the month the others will follow.
February 2, 2016: Chile, Ireland, Macedonia, Paraguay, Serbia, Canada, Albania, Georgia, Greece, South Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands (End of Term Report), Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine.
February 8, 2016: Czech Republic, Italy, Mongolia, Spain, Bulgaria, Finland (End of Term Report), Tanzania.
The following reports will be released shortly thereafter: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Croatia, Ghana (End of Term Report), Jordan, New Zealand, Sierra Leone. Uruguay, Armenia, Romania
The progress reports will be released in both English and the primary administrative language of the country and can be viewed here. The comment period is open for at least two weeks. To comment, you can visit the IRM page and click on the ‘Comment’ button to the right of the relevant national flag, as shown in the graphic below. Alternatively, if you prefer to leave a confidential comment, you can send your comments in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the country name in the subject line.
All comments will be collated and published, except where the requester submits their comments in confidence. Where relevant, comments will be integrated into a final version of the report.
Advocacy Opportunities Tied to the Reports: The IRM progress reports allow civil society to check in and comment on countries’ progress in keeping to their commitments. They give us the opportunity to make sure that the findings are accurate and capture a wide variety of views including yours. There are a number of concrete civil society advocacy opportunities around the IRM reports:
- By commenting in public you can make a clear statement on what you agree with or not in the draft report. These comments might trigger changes in the final report. In any case they will be posted alongside the final version of the report. You may also add additional information that you find important but that was not included in the report.
- You can use the draft conclusions on the consultation process to push your government for an improved process this time. For this you can also use the country experiences captured here, as well as the OGP consultation guidance. You can use the draft conclusions on commitment delivery and priority setting to influence the draft new action plan. For this you can also use the Open Government Guide.
- You can use the draft report to start preparing your response for when the report is launched - press release, campaign etc. Note that the IRM researchers have asked all their IRM researchers to promote the progress reports through launch events, government testimony, press conferences, media outreach, etc. It might be smart to reach out and/or team up with them in your advocacy efforts.
Please remember that the OGP Civil Society Engagement team is always available to discuss opportunities to use the Progress Reports, share experiences from other countries, participate in launch events and/or broker connections to other actors (including the IRM team). You can reach the team through email@example.com.
Commenting on the report is important. OGP is about participation and the IRM team takes their mandate to listen and to capture diverse voices very seriously. Whether it is on a specific theme or commitment, the OGP process, or the national context for open government, this is your chance to go on record and to influence the final report but, far more importantly, to take part of the discussion leading up to the next national action plan.