Open Government Partnership - OGP
Open Government Partnership is an international forum for dialogue between governments, civic society organisations and the private sector that was launched in autumn 2011. The partnership was created to promote and facilitate a more open, efficient and responsive governance. The Open Government Partnership has two distinct dimensions – promoting good governance practice and sharing experience between countries at international level and developing and enlivening cooperation between government, civil society and the private sector.
Countries that have joined the Open Government Partnership prepare the OGP country action plans, through them endorsing open governance strategies and programmes in order to commit to certain obligations and achieve the set goals. The government has to constantly ensure a wider civic engagement to effect responsible, innovative and efficient governance. Every year, the country’s OGP coordination group prepares the progress report of the action plan, which is also assessed by an independent IRM International Experts Panel.
Estonia’s participation in the partnership
Through its participation in the Open Government Partnership, Estonia wishes to direct the attention of the government and the whole of society to the quality of governance, share experience with other participating countries and learn from the experience of other countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Government Office, is the initiator of joining and the coordinator of participating in this partnership.
Estonia’s main goals in participating in the Open Government Partnership are:
- to give new impetus to the development and application of new technologies, promotion of public services and civic participation in the country’s governance process;
- to uphold and enhance Estonia’s e-government image at international level;
- to help Estonia’s IT companies find new export markets and cooperation partners.
The Government Office developed Estonia’s action plan (PDF) by consulting with the ministries and the Civil Society Roundtable and using the public consultation engagement web portal osale.ee. The Government Office also prepares the progress report. Estonia’s action plan combines the activities of the Estonian government in two key areas of the partnership: the development of public services and promotion of ethics of public officials.
The steps already taken in Estonia that incorporate open government principles and harnessing of technology include:
- paper free government sessions;
- e-Tax Board;
- e-Business Register;
- nationwide elections via e-voting.
The activity of the Estonian Open Government Partnership roundtable is coordinated by the e-Governance Academy with assistance from the Open Estonian Foundation. Currently, the roundtable comprises 18 representatives and is chaired by Liia Hänni (http://avatudvalitsemine.ee/liikmed/). The roundtable is open for all non-governmental organisations and experts that wish to contribute to open governance.
Open Government Partnership
Founded: 20/09/2011, New York
Founding members: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States
Coordinators of the Steering Committee: Maria Ottero (USA), Jorge Hage (Brazil)
Estonia joined: April 2012
Members to date: 50 countries + 8 founding countries
Countries joining in 2014: Australia, Ireland, Malawi, Mongolia, Trinidad, Tobago
Objectives: the promotion of good governance in the world and harnessing the new opportunities that arise from technological development. Open governance means exercising power transparently and with integrity, taking into account the opinions of citizens, focusing on early civic engagement and equally shared responsibility between partners.
How it works: the OGP Annual Conference is held once a year to make summaries and set goals for the future. The previous summit was held in Brazil on 16-18 April 2012 at which Estonia was represented by government and roundtable representatives. IRM (Independent Reporting Mechanism) is the main tool for the stakeholders to monitor progress and the OGP effect in the participating countries. One expert from every country belongs to the IRM International Experts Panel. Estonia’s expert is Hille Hinsberg.
Chairmanship: the OGP is led at international level by the Steering Committee, which comprises 18 members, representatives of nine countries and nine civic society organisations. The work of the Steering Committee is managed by a three-member rotating management body comprising of a representative of the chairing country, a representative of the next lead chair country and a representative of non-governmental organisations. A permanent secretariat provides assistance to the Steering Committee.
Read more: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/