Workshop with participation of experts from OGP Countries is being hosted by Netherlands, in Hague. The workshop for Open Government Partnership (OGP) countries opened on September 2nd, and will continue for 2 more days. Within the frames of the meeting the experts will discuss future plans of OGP, as well as enhancing the role and encouraging further participation of civil society.
The peer exchange meeting is organized by the OGP Civil Society Engagement team together with Involve. Approximately 20 civil society representatives from past, current, and future OGP Steering Committee member countries gathered to share experiences, knowledge and learning, and to strategize together.
A director of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and the co-Chairman of the OGP Georgia’s Forum Giorgi Kldiashvili is representing civil society of Georgia through the workshop.
The purpose of the Hague workshop is to strengthen participation of civil sector in the monitoring process of state reforms and encourage the right delivery of OGP Action Plan commitments. Participants of the meeting are discussing options of developing and maintaining an ongoing partnership and cooperation with governments in OGP countries. Furthermore, discussion topics concern efficient mechanisms that can be implemented and used by civil society for improving open governance.
Discussions are covering various models of government-civil society engagement, including the merits of formalised versus informal, organic networks, what a formalised network should look like, and who is best placed to create and maintain those networks.
Discussion centred around the best way to safeguard OGP’s reputation and integrity whilst providing an inclusive, supportive network that encourages a “race to the top”.
Participants agreed that OGP is a very different form of multilateral structure; crucially, it is not a traditional multilateral organisation, but a platform. Its role is to enable and facilitate countries who join the OGP to share in a network with a common set of principles and values pertaining to open government and transparency, but without a rigid set of rules dictating how government and civil society should move forward with this agenda. As such, rather than being something OGP member organisations work on, it was agreed that the OGP needs to work and deliver for member organisations.
Georgia was elected as a member of steering committee in 2014. Open Government Georgia’s action plan 2014-2015 has already been established. It constists of 26 commitments to be implemented by 16 responsible agencies.