(Editor's Note: This was first posted over at the Open Gov Blog.)
As we quickly approach this week’s high-level event in Brasilia, we wanted to take a minute to update readers on the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Networking Mechanism (NM). As some readers of this blog know, we at Global Integrity are managing the NM, a service provided to OGP governments through which we introduce governments to some of the world’s leading open government experts (from the public, private, and civic sectors) to help those governments develop more innovative, “stretch” OGP commitments.
This past January, we put the Government of Israel in touch with five different NM “suppliers” – three conversations focused on aspects of public participation, and two dealt with citizen feedback mechanisms for improved public service delivery and more general draft action plan feedback. In a number of cases, materials were exchanged between the Government and the suppliers after the initial calls to elaborate on particular discussion points.
In February, the NM made supplier suggestions to the Governments of Canada, Lithuania, Philippines, Moldova, and Croatia. February also marked the launch of the first three OGP Affinity Groups in the areas of Public Financial Management, Public Service Delivery, and Open Data Portals. These Affinity Groups are clusters of OGP governments that have indicated their intent to include in their Action Plans similar open government commitments in specific issue areas. To stimulate further interest, a webinar series was launched to provide the Affinity Groups with tailored presentations from various experts on their topics of focus – Global Voices/America Speaks kicked it off with a presentation on public participation. See the slide deck here. Subsequent webinars focused on Citizens Budgets (hosted by the International Budget Partnership), as well as ICT for Citizen Engagement and Open Budgets (hosted by the World Bank Institute). If you missed them, watch them here, here, and here.
March marked the launch of the searchable online NM supplier roster on the OGP website for quick and easy reference. If you haven’t already, check it out.
We are excited to see what comes out of Brasilia and look forward to next steps in working with many of the new governments that have recently joined OGP. For now, we plan to bulk up some of our activities that have gained traction and streamline those that have not. Feel free to send us your ideas for the NM going forward – we would love to hear from you!
— Nicole Anand
— Photo Credit: Nicole Anand