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Open Government Partnership has to improve its civil society participation mechanisms

Berlin/Buenos Aires, 12 July 2013 Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información (The Regional Partnership for Freedom of Expression and Information) and the Americas Regional Department of Transparency International (TI) published today their recommendations to strengthen the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

We support this initiative as a practical and concrete manifestation of the will of governments and civil society to strengthen the experience and practice of democracy in people’s lives around the world. Since the OGP’s launch nearly two years ago, we have witnessed that the principles enshrined in the Open Government Declaration are guiding concrete actions and commitments by several governments and their civil society partners. These actions and commitments can help make open government a reality. However, there is still a long way to go before OGP starts generating results that improve the daily lives of citizens in practice.

In order to ensure that the aspirations of the Open Government Declaration achieve this level of impact, we call upon the Open Government Partnership to publish and disseminate the criteria of success that guide the initiative. This is critical in order to prioritise and coordinate the work of all of the actors that participate in this global initiative more effectively. As a starting point, it is necessary to establish a set of core elements that are essential for genuine open government. As noted in earlier fora, TI and Alianza Regional propose the following basic “formula” for open government:

Access to information and participation as a right
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Transparency and accountability as a policy
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Open Data as a tool
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Open Government

We also highlight the need to generate clear and established rules regarding the functioning of OGP that define, facilitate and guarantee the authentic participation of civil society organizations. This includes organisations from both eligible and non-eligible countries (for instance Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua) as well as eligible countries that do not participate in the OGP as in the case of Ecuador. To secure effective participation mechanisms, it is also key to strengthen the role of civil society organisations and networks that already mobilise citizen engagement in their territories.

The Open Government Partnership has the potential to generate a new dynamic between the state and civil society by strengthening and revitalising the social contract between the citizen and the state. For this to be achieved, it is essential to foster a sense of mutual commitment between government and citizens demonstrating the positive impact that open government has on the everyday lives of citizens.

To that end, we state our commitment to promote national action plans that respond to the urgent needs in the region, with special emphasis on insecurity, poverty and inequality.

Executive Secretary Regional Partnership for Freedom of Expression and Information

Americas Department Transparency International

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Transparency International es la organización global de la sociedad civil que lidera la lucha contra la corrupción.

Note for editors: To look up the complete recommendations, go to the Transparency International website here. To access Transparency International overview of the state of the Open Government Partnership in Latin America click here.

The recommendations stem from meetings among members of TI and Alianza Regional in Santiago, Chile, 8-9 January 2013. Both networks participated in the Regional Open Government Partnership Meeting held in Santiago 10 - 11 January 2013, as well as in civil society activities before the meetings. On 8 January a Working and Coordination meeting for the regional networks was held and on 9 January a Plenary Meeting with organisations in the region was held.

These meetings were organised by both networks and coordinated by Chile Transparente (Transparency International National Chapter) and ProAcceso Chile (member of Alianza Regional). This document was developed by collating civil society proposals to further strengthen the processes and outcomes of the OGP by making them more participatory, open and efficient.

The participants of the OGP regional meeting were: ADC, Argentina (member of the Alianza Regional); Poder Ciudadano, Argentina (TI National Chapter); Artículo 19, Brasil (member of Alianza Regional);Transparencia por Colombia (TI National Chapter and member of Alianza Regional); IPLEX, Costa Rica (member of Alianza Regional); Costa Rica Integra (TI member); Fusades, El Salvador (Alianza Regional); Acción Ciudadana, Guatemala (TI National Chapter and member of Alianza Regional); Fundación Democracia Sin Fronteras, Honduras (member of Alianza Regional); Grupo Sociedad Civil - Coalición por la Transparencia, Honduras (local partner of TI National Chapter); Fundar, México (member of Alianza Regional); Transparencia Mexicana (TI National Chapter); IDEA, Paraguay (member of Alianza Regional); Participación Ciudadana, República Dominicana (TI National Chapter and member of Alianza Regional); CAInfo, Uruguay (member of Alianza Regional); y Proética, Perú (TI National Chapter).


For any press enquiries please contact

Transparency International
Natalie Baharav
E: press@transparency.org
T: +49 30 343820 666

Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresión e Información
Karina Banfi
E: correo@alianzaregional.net
T: +54 9 11 5315 7564

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