2021-2022 OGP Co-Chair Agenda: Leading OGP into its second decade
Italian Government and Aidan Eyakuze
Data from the first ten years of OGP demonstrates that the OGP model works. Engaging civil society throughout the OGP process leads to ambitious reform commitments, better implementation and stronger results. However, despite a decade of progress and tangible results, democracy continues to be under threat following 15 years of decline in civil liberties, including in OGP member countries. As OGP enters a new decade and we continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing urgency to close the gap between commitment and action. We have the opportunity to build on the Partnership’s growth and lessons learned over the past ten years to transform OGP from a platform to a movement and to collectively work towards renewing democracy.
In 2022, as the OGP Co-Chairs, we will promote collective action on reforms that support a citizen-centric recovery from the pandemic and pave the way for longer-term democratic renewal. Together with our Steering Committee colleagues, we will provide strategic direction to shape a refreshed vision for the second decade of OGP. The strategy will promote open government approaches to address the major societal challenges we face and mobilize political leadership and the open government community in support of these objectives. Our three main areas of focus will be to:
- Mobilize political support to improve the enabling environment for civil society, strengthen inclusive participation, and undertake ambitious citizen-centric reforms at the country level
A robust enabling environment for civil society and inclusive participation of citizens in policy-making are important pre-conditions for open government reforms, including those that promote Open Response + Recovery + Renewal. To support OGP’s efforts in this area, we will help raise awareness and political leadership for this cross-cutting agenda in the following ways:
- 1.1 Strengthen coalitions of reformers advancing civic space reforms. Aidan Eyakuze will chair the OGP Civic Space Learning Network (announced at the 2021 Global Summit) and support its growth as the key coalition to discuss reforms on the enabling environment for civil society and protecting civic freedoms across the Partnership. The Government of Italy will lead by example through its own 5th OGP action plan.
- 1.2 Convene OGP members and civil society partners advancing reforms on these areas, including through their OGP action plans, to foster exchange of ideas, discuss common challenges, and inspire other reformers.
- 1.3 Support the execution of key standards and guidance that will promote more inclusive dialogue in OGP, including through deepening engagement with parliaments. As Co-Chairs we will encourage the Steering Committee – and the broader Partnership – to advance inclusive co-creation and the uptake of the new participation & co-creation standards endorsed by the Steering committee in late 2021.
- 1.4 Support new champions on inclusive participation and deliberation, especially at the local level. The growth and flexibility of OGP Local makes it an important space for increasing innovation and deepening participation of a diverse set of actors, including from under-represented groups, in the open government agenda.
2) Galvanize collective action, including across key global fora, to promote and advance open government reforms that directly benefit citizens lives
As Co-Chairs we will capitalize on the delivery of OGP action plans in 2021 and 2022, and leverage global and regional forums to advance country action. We will mobilize plans for the implementation of open government reforms, especially those focused on improving citizen-centric public services and the transparent spending of recovery and renewal funds. To achieve this goal, we will:
- 2.1 Create greater synergies between multilateral fora and OGP, and strengthen OGP’s positioning as a key domestic follow-up mechanism for commitments made at international summits. The Government of Italy will leverage its membership in the G20, G7, OECD, EU, and its participation in the Summit for Democracy to advocate for OGP and advance the goals of the Partnership.
- 2.2 Facilitate a caucus of representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs from OGP member countries to bolster coordination on open government priorities across key multilateral fora.
- 2.3 Convene regional action-forcing opportunities to strengthen political support for the open government agenda – The Government of Italy will convene an OGP European Regional Meeting in 2022, focusing on the implementation of reforms that advance inclusive participation for pandemic recovery. The Regional Meeting will also aim to develop political support for open government and strengthen European cooperation within the Partnership. Italy will also explore other strategic opportunities for collaboration across Europe (e.g. EUPAN, European Union Council Presidencies of France and Czech Republic).
Aidan Eyakuze, in partnership with government and civil society from the region, will lead a convening in Africa and the Middle East to promote leadership on key issues relevant to the regions, including public service delivery, citizens participation and the future of open government. We will explore and support similar regional meetings with other Steering Committee members in the other regions.
3) Lead OGP into its second decade and set up the Partnership for success through a strategy that responds to the most pressing global challenges
The 10 year mark of OGP is a natural moment for the Partnership to refresh its strategy and governance model, capitalizing on the lessons of the last decade and the recent evaluation, while making sure OGP’s approach and priorities are fit to meet the challenges and opportunities of the decade ahead. We will help shape the strategic direction for OGP in the following ways:
- 3.1 Leading the OGP strategy refresh 2023-27, by convening and chairing strategic conversations with the community, helping build political support and shepherding the strategy through the Steering Committee
- 3.2 Addressing governance implications arising from the 2023-27 strategy refresh process to ensure OGP’s governance model is fit for purpose and the Support Unit is adequately positioned to deliver on the strategy
- 3.3 Ensuring there is strong, diverse and sustainable strategic and political leadership for the partnership in the Steering Committee through building the pipeline of future open government champions
- 3.4 Recruiting new national and local members to join the Partnership, including as part of the OGP Local 2022 expansion
- 3.5 Working closely with the Support Unit to ensure quick action and the necessary diplomatic engagement for decisions that uphold the values, principles and reputation of the Partnership.