These are the phrases that stuck with us a few days after the first annual Open Government Partnership (OGP) meeting in Brasilia, in which new OGP governments presented their Action Plans and members of civil society discussed their role in ensuring government commitments are met.
“Efficiency and integrity, efficiency and sound use of public resources, efficiency and combating corruption are two sides of same coin and must go together.”
- Dilma Rousseff, President, Brazil
"Transparency is difficult, it's risky, it's uncomfortable at times – but it sticks, once you start you cannot go back."
- Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister, U.K.
“Some say media is too free to a fault in my country.”
- Jakaya Kikwete, President, Tanzania
"A quarter of the world's people now live in OGP countries.”
- Hilary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S.
(In response to the question, ‘What does Open Government mean to you?’): “It means I can take control of my life.”
- Tim Kelsey (Incoming OGP Co-Chair), Director of Transparency, U.K.
“We used to say ‘be careful, the walls have ears.’ That was the environment of secrecy that we have stepped away from.”
- Ben Abbes, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tunisia
“Technology is neither necessary nor sufficient.”
- Samantha Power, Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, U.S.
“What motivates us to pursue participatory budgeting? It promotes a philosophy of depoliticization and a much needed culture of participation.”
- Florencio Butch Abad, Secretary of Budget and Management, Philippines
“It is difficult to present after South Korea. My government decided not to be here today. In South Korea, I can probably not only file an e-petition, but also do it in my own language, Mongolian.”
- Namkhaijantsan Dorjdari, Open Society Forum, Manager, Mongolia
“We need to ask ourselves if we are creating spaces for ordinary citizens to have practical ways in which they can interface with their governments.”
- Rakesh Rajani, (member of the OGP Steering Committee), Twaweza, Founder, Tanzania
“The Right to Information (RTI) is a necessary piece of legislation as it was demanded for by the people. Its success has been an ability to change the culture of bureaucracy.”
- Nikhil Dey, (member of the OGP Steering Committee), MKSS, India
“It is the interplay of technology and citizens that starts creating opportunities, many of which we have not yet realized.”
- Warren Krafchik (incoming civil society co-chair), International Budget Partnership, Director
— Nicole Anand
— Image Credit: Nicole Anand