This week, Simon, Kaela and I will be at #ogp16 – the Global Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris. The summit brings together 3,000 representatives from more than 70 countries, including Heads of State, government ministers, mayors, civil society representatives, public servants, members of parliament, developers, researchers, and journalists. This will be the fourth OGP Summit, following previous ones held in Mexico City (2015), London (2013) and Brasilia (2012).

There’s a packed schedule, with more than 300 panels, workshops and pitches spread over the three day Summit. That’s not to mention the hackathon, open parliament, subnational, and academic sessions taking place in parallel.

#ogp16: Open Government Partnership Global Summit Paris 2016

As coordinators of the UK Open Government Network and active members of the international open government community, we’re involved in organising, facilitating and speaking in several sessions. Here’s some of what we’ll be up to.

#ogp16 Civil Society Morning

When: Wednesday 7 December, from 8AM to 1PM

Where: Hotel du Collectionneur, 51-57 Rue de Courcelles, 75008 Paris

“CROISSANT TALKS  – thematic breakfast tables organized around themes central to the open government agenda, allowing participants to meet and greet, and start the conversation.”

“CHALLENGE CLINICS” – 45-minute thematic “deep dives” to crowdsource solutions on concrete challenges as well as plan collective action and advocacy on various issues.”

At Wednesday’s civil society morning, I’ll be leading a “croissant talk” on social accountability and two “challenge clinic” sessions on public service delivery.  These sessions will draw on work we’re doing with OGP to increase the number and quality of public service commitments in action plans. For a sneak peak of what we’ll be discussing, here you’ll find a draft guidance paper on developing robust and ambitious public service commitments.

From Open Government to Open State

When: Thursday 8 December, from 9am to 9.50am

Where: Ventejol room, Palais d’Iéna, 9, place d’Iéna, 75016 Paris

“As part of the Open Government Partnership Global Summit the OECD will launch the OECD Report on “Open Government: The Global Context and Way Forward”, covering more than 50 countries worldwide. The Report provides an in-depth analysis of open government strategies and initiatives and the challenges countries face in implementing and co-ordinating them. It explores new trends in OECD member countries as well as a selection of countries from Latin America, MENA and South East Asia regions. The Roundtable will discuss among others the future areas of open government identified in the Report, including the effort to mobilise and engage all branches, all levels of government and independent institutions to move from open government to open state, the importance of close co-operation with civil society as well as the growing importance of subnational governments to implement successful open government reforms.”

On Thursday morning, Simon will be speaking on a high-level panel organised by the OECD. The session will launch a new report – “Open Government: The Global Context and Way Forward” – to which we’ve contributed a chapter on the role of civil society in open government reform. Simon will be on the panel alongside:

  • Mr. Rolf ALTER, Director for Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD
  • Mr. Jean-Vincent Placé, Minister of State Reform and Simplification, French Republic
  • Ms. Ana Gabriel Zúñiga APONTE, Deputy Minister of the Presidency for Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue Costa Rica
  • Ms. Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman
  • Mr. Unai REMENTERIA, President, Provincial Council of Biscay, Spain

Making Public Services Responsive and Accountable to Citizens

When: Thursday 8 December, from 12pm to 12.50pm

Where: Amphitheâtre room, Palais d’Iéna, 9, place d’Iéna, 75016 Paris

“Good quality public services are critical to the lives of citizens, and ensuring their provision is an essential function of government. But governments are not alone in this; experience and evidence built up over a number of decades has shown that citizens and civil society also have important roles to play in improving and delivering public services, and achieving societal outcomes. Open government reforms have the potential to improve existing services, and unlock the ideas, knowledge and capacity for new solutions to societal challenges. This high level panel will set the challenge for OGP countries to get serious about improving public services through open government.”

At midday on Thursday, we’re organising a high-level panel on open government and public services. We have a fantastic line up of panellists ready to share their experiences, including from national and subnational governments and civil society organisations:

  • Rakesh Rajani, Ford Foundation (Chair);
  • Aruna Roy, MKSS;
  • Fernando Straface, Secretary-General and Foreign Affairs, Buenos Aires City;
  • Jamie Drummond, Executive Director and Global Strategy, ONE;
  • Marta Arsovska-Tomovska, Minister of Information Society and Administration, Macedonia;
  • Sanjay Pradhan, CEO, Open Government Partnership

The session will be split into two halves: In the first, the panelists will reflect on what they see as the importance of making public service commitments; In the second half, attendees will be asked to consider what public service commitments they think governments should make through National Action Plans.

Civic perspectives on OGP civil society and government collaboration mechanisms

When: Friday 9 December, from 12pm to 12.50pm

Where: Amphitheâtre room, Palais d’Iéna, 9, place d’Iéna, 75016 Paris

“The encouragement to institutionalize a mechanism for ongoing engagement dialogue between government and civil society within the OGP has led to a proliferation of collaboration models and approaches. Reflecting the strength of the OGP network, these mechanisms have unsurprisingly taken different forms, ranging from national and subnational networks, to issue-specific forums, and coalition arrangements. All aim to have a seat at the table with government stakeholders, strive to diversify civic engagement in the OGP process nationally and sub-nationally, and play a critical role in supporting action planning processes and the implementation of open government commitments. While the OGP Support Unit documents and analyzes collaborative mechanisms, and offers invaluable support to civic and government leaders seeking to establish collaborative mechanisms, there are few opportunities for civic leaders to critically discuss and compare their shared and singular experiences for the benefit of civic and government leaders.”

On Friday afternoon I’ll be joining a panel looking at different models of collaboration between government and civil society, organised by Jean-Noé Landry from Open North in Canada. Joining us will be:

Introduction to the basics and the best practices of OGP

When: Friday 9 December, from 12.45pm to 2.05pm

Where: Salle 1, Palais d’Iéna, 9, place d’Iéna, 75016 Paris

“Attendees will learn about the basic elements of OGP, guidelines and examples of the National Action Plan co-creation process, and both independent and civil society monitoring. This session is intended for everyone who wants to know more about the basics of OGP. During this 101 session we will touch upon all the core elements of OGP- such as the structure and governance of the partnership, OGP eligibility, the Action Plan co-creation process and its requirements, and independent and civil society monitoring.”

Immediately after I’ll be co-hosting with Shreya Basu from OGP a session introducing the basics and best practices of OGP. Specifically, I’ll be talking about the results of the OGP Review – a civil society assessment of how governments are performing on OGP. For a sneak peak, here you’ll find the results of the sixteen countries that have completed it so far this year.

So… an extremely busy, but very exciting week ahead. To keep up with what’s happening, check out the #ogp16 hashtag.

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