A guest post from Mélanie Brunet and Silvana Fumega on the Open Government Partnership panel at IODC15.
Open government and open data go hand in hand. The Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global platform for open government commitments, has helped implement many action plans(including over 200 open data commitments) since its inception in 2011, connecting allies in and outside government to bring about change, tackle problems, and deliver accountability and results through self-evaluation and independent reporting mechanisms. At the 3rd International Open Data Conference, OGP unveiled its new OGP Explorer, a visualization tool of governments’ commitments. Representatives from leading OGP member countries then discussed how to develop and implement effective national and multilateral open data commitments.
Speaking on the Romanian government’s experience, Radu Puchiu credited OGP with bringing together civil society and government in very open discussion, showing how either parties need to collaborate to solve problems. He emphasized the importance of involving higher political levels in these efforts and admitting that opening the door may lead to some criticism of the government for past mistakes. It is essential for countries to share what went well and what did not go so well since others may have a solution. Fabrizio Scrollini of the Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos added that it is the role of civil society to influence government’s open data agenda through engagement that offers value for citizens. In that sense, OGP has been a valuable forum in Uruguay to engage government and adjust expectations on both sides.
Natalia Carfi discussed the progress made by the Chilean government, which already implementing its second action plan that includes a national strategy for open data. She credited OGP with bringing all parties to the table and breaking down silos.
For her part, Laure Lucchesi of France’s Etalab described OGP as a very stimulating platform to test the alliance between government and civil society, and further support other French-speaking countries in their move to open data, whether for trade purposes or to foster a better mutual understanding.
Jay Bhalla of the Open Institute, spoke of the importance of OGP as a platform (as opposed to an initiative) in order to be applicable on a global scale, including in Africa, where the African Peer Review Mechanism would be a logical ally to assess good governance on that continent.
— Open Gov Partnership (@opengovpart) May 29, 2015