This is a time of global convergence. Citizens, governments and businesses are increasingly inter-dependent. Society is experiencing economic, technological, environmental and social changes unprecedented in human history. Public level of trust in both business and government leadership are in decline.
Diverse uncertainty pressures of competing interests and global complexities have reached a magnitude and scale that is applying pressure for transformative adaptation. Governments are opening data and enlisting community consultation. Business strategies are incorporating big data and consumer engagement.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that aims to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, harness new technologies and strengthen governance with multi-stakeholder collaboration. The OGP launched in September 2011 with 8 founding governments including the UK, USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, and South Africa. Participation has since expanded to include 58 countries.
To become a member of OGP, participating countries promise to deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation; and commit to independent reporting on their progress. Countries may target efforts at the national, local and/or sub-national level, depending upon where t impact is greatest.
Commitments are structured around the following five pre-defined “grand challenges.”
- Improving Public Services: the full spectrum of citizen services including health, education, criminal justice, water, electricity, telecommunications and any other relevant service areas, by fostering public service improvement or private sector innovation
- Increasing Public Integrity: corruption and public ethics, access to information, campaign finance reform, media and civil society freedom
- More Effectively Managing Public Resources: budgets, procurement, natural resources and foreign assistance
- Creating Safer Communities: public safety, the security sector, disaster and crisis response, environmental threats
- Increasing Corporate Accountability: corporate responsibility on issues such as environment, anti-corruption, consumer protection and community engagement
The OGP steering committee is overseen by a multi-stakeholder International Steering Committee comprised of both governments and civil society representatives. The “civil society” representative for the US is listed on the OGP website as the National Security Archives.
The US commitments to the OGP impact everyone in Colorado. It is to the benefit of society when businesses serve the interests of the systems with which they operate. The recent economic crisis demonstrated the inter-dependencies of business, government and the public. It also demonstrated the lack of cohesive systems and structures to manage the scaling implications. Achieving equilibrium will require a multi-disciplinary effort to better align these systems. Open Government Partnerships may be one such structure bring multilateral stakeholder interests into more balance. But it will require active input and participation from all stakeholders.
We the People petition website platform giving Americans a direct line to voice their concerns to the Administration via online petitions.
Join the next Open Government Civil Society conference call on Wednesday, March 6th at 9 am EST.
Important additional resources:
The full text of the USA’s OGP Action Plan.
The Administration has launched a platform called ExpertNet to enable government officials to engage citizens who have expertise on a pertinent topic to foster greater collaboration within government and civil society.
Regulations.gov was set as the centralized portal for public access to regulatory content online. It includes innovative new search tools, social media connections and improves access to regulatory data.