DCSIMG

Open Government Partnership: First High Level Meeting



“We pledge to be more transparent at every level – because more information on government activity should be open, timely, and freely available to the people. We pledge to engage more of our citizens in decision-making – because it makes government more effective and responsive. We pledge to implement the highest standards of integrity – because those in power must serve the people, not themselves. And we pledge to increase access to technology – because in this digital century, access to information is a right that is universal.”

—President Barack Obama, September 20, 2011

… there is an undeniable connection between how a government operates and whether its people flourish. When a government invites its people to participate, when it is open as to how it makes decisions and allocates resources, when it administers justice equally and transparently, and when it takes a firm stance against corruption of all kinds, that government is, in the modern world, far more likely to succeed…”

—Secretary Hillary Clinton, July 12, 2011

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) holds its first annual high-level meeting on April 17-18, 2012 in Brasilia, Brazil. Launched in September 2011 by President Obama and Brazilian President Rousseff, OGP has grown in the last eight months to become a global community of government reformers, civil society leaders, and business innovators, who together are advancing a new standard of good governance in the 21st Century. Through concrete commitments announced via OGP action plans, over fifty governments are taking important steps towards greater transparency, accountability and participation that will ultimately improve the lives of people around the world.

Era of Open

A quarter of the world’s population – 1.8 billion people – will benefit from government pledges announced today in Brasilia, Brazil at a meeting co-chaired by President Rousseff and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

More than 1,000 representatives – from more than 60 countries and over 200 civil society organizations – have convened to share experiences from their respective countries, providing real examples of how openness can save lives, drive economic growth, and reduce widespread corruption. Delegates at the meeting include President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri of Georgia, UK Cabinet Minister Frances Maude, and dozens of senior government leaders from around the world. Ushahidi co-founder Juliana Rotich, Yemeni anti-censorship activist Walid al-Saqaf, and Indian education activist and TED-Fellow Guatam John will also provide key note perspectives on this new ‘era of open.’

Country-led, Action-Oriented

The high-level meeting brings attention to the shared challenge of improving governance at local levels, and demonstrates member countries’ strong political commitment to reforms that will enhance transparency, fight corruption, and strengthen accountability and communication between governments and citizens.

Governments participating in OGP endorse the Open Government Declaration, which lays out a vision of good governance grounded in openness. The Brasilia meeting will feature an ‘Innovation Village’ of businesses and organizations specializing in open government services, as well as a venue for engineers, developers, and policy leaders to generate lessons, develop applications, and create visualizations from government data and OGP action plans. Governments participating in OGP are:

Brazil*

Colombia

Italy

Peru

Indonesia*

Costa Rica

Jordan

Romania

Mexico*

Croatia

Kenya

Russia

Norway*

Czech Republic

Latvia

Serbia

Philippines*

Denmark

Liberia

Slovak Republic

South Africa*

Dominican Republic

Lithuania

South Korea

United Kingdom*

El Salvador

Macedonia

Spain

United States*

Estonia

Malta

Sweden

Albania

Georgia

Moldova

Tanzania

Armenia

Ghana

Mongolia

Trinidad and Tobago

Azerbaijan

Greece

Montenegro

Turkey

Bulgaria

Guatemala

Netherlands

Ukraine

Canada

Honduras

Panama

Uruguay

Chile

Israel

Paraguay

*Indicates OGP Steering Committee members.

The United States National Action Plan

President Obama unveiled the U.S. National Action Plan in September 2011, as part of the United States’ commitment as a founding member of the Open Government Partnership. The Administration committed to undertake 26 individual Open Government initiatives in its ambitious National Action Plan – initiatives designed to increase public integrity, promote public participation, manage public resources more effectively, and improve public services.

Several months later, the United States, working closely with civil society, has made important progress on many initiatives. For example, the White House successfully launched “We the People,” an online petition platform through which Americans make their voices heard on a range of issues. The United States has continued its leadership in the global effort against corruption by working closely with civil society and industry to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. And we have made great progress in our efforts to institutionalize government-wide reporting requirements on foreign aid, improve records management processes, expand public participation in the development of regulations, disclose information that consumers need to help them make informed decisions, work to build an Open Government Platform for countries around the world to use, and expand the number of Data.gov “communities” available to the public.

For more information on OGP, please visit www.opengovpartnership.org or follow @opengovpart on Twitter.

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