The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Regional Dialogue provides an important opportunity for reformers to come together on annual basis to exchange open government experiences, and share best practices and latest news with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Like 2015, IDFI Director Giorgi Kldiashvili also participated at 2016 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue hosted by the Asian Development Bank (July 21-22) at their headquarters in Manila, Philippines. Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Nina Khatiskatsi, Deputy Director of Transparancy International in Georgia Giorgi Oniani and representatives of the Ministry of Justice (Secretariat of Open Government Geogia) also participated in the Dialogue. The workshop co-organized by ADB, OGP, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and IBM Philippines brought together over 100 participants from across the region, including civil society partners, OGP Steering Committee representatives and OGP’s multilateral supporters in the region.
The dialogue aimed to raise the ambition level of individual countries’ commitments to open governance, while promoting and deepening collaboration between government and civil society. “OGP member countries in the region can share experiences with one another and reinforce each other’s success in living out the principles of OGP. This dialogue brings together key stakeholders, such as government and civil society, from across OGP’s Asia-Pacific countries, in order to learn from one another and to identify new areas that they each need to work on in their countries. OGP is a journey, and regular meeting and sharing helps to support countries in the process of becoming more open and transparent, and in creating a more engaging government for their citizens,” Haidy Ear-Dupuy, OGP point of contact at the ADB.
The Asia-Pacific region currently has eleven OGP participating countries, including Georgia. Georgia was among the first countries to adhere to the principles of OGP by joining the initiative in September of 2011. This document represents the second Action Plan of Georgia. The Georgian Action Plan is the result of thorough consultation process with local and international NGOs, students and academia throughout the country. Commitments under the Action Plan respond to the following Grand Challenges of OGP: Improving Public Services, Increasing Public Integrity, More Effectively Managing Public Resources and Creating Safer Communities.
Many countries in the region have had a successful record of implementing open governance initiatives. For example, Georgia responded to concerns about government surveillance and wiretapping by following through on a commitment to make that data public.
At the workshop thematic round table discussions covering a range of diverse topics, including open data, fiscal openness, public service delivery, etc was held. On July 22, Giorgi Kldiashvili facilitated the discussion over the Legislative Openness that enabled participants from various countries to represent and talk over the types of reforms they are currently implementing and/or planning in their relevant countries, innovative projects being implemented outside OGP platforms and any commitments on which they wished for feedback.