On 24 September 2014, the Open Government Partnership High-Level Event was held at the United Nations and centred around the theme of “Citizen Action, Responsive Government.” It featured, amongst others, the 2014 Open Government Awards honouring citizen engagement initiatives from around the world and an introduction to new OGP Steering Committee members.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an ambitious multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Hivos has been hosting OGP’s Civil Society Engagement Team since 2012 and is a member of the international network of donor organisations united in the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI) which supports OGP.
The Open Government Partnership initiative was launched in September 2011 by US President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, 6 other governments and 9 founding civil society organisations (CSOs). Since then the partnership has grown to include a total of 65 countries.
In October 2014, the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee rotates both the government and civil society members simultaneously for the first time since OGP was launched.
Rakesh Rajani, head of the Hivos-supported Twaweza initiative, completes his one-year term as lead chair and moves to represent civil society in the OGP Steering Committee, which oversees the strategic direction of the initiative. (Update Oct. 20: The Ford Foundation announced the appointment of Rakesh Rajani as director of Democratic Participation and Governance. He will begin his new position on January 5, 2015.)
In his remarks at the OGP High Level event, Rakesh spoke of open government as a struggle, but as one that offers huge possibility. Watch his inspiring speech.
Newly committed financial support from Hivos ($3.4m) and the Hewlett Foundation ($3.5) will help continue to advance the OGP around the world.
Photo: Barack Obama offers praise for Rakesh Rajani and civil society organisations working on OGP, courtesy of www.transparency-initiative.org