Are civil society advocates for OGP making a mistake?

“I worry that civil society advocates working on Open Government Partnership are making a tactical mistake,” says Martin Tisne on his most recent blog post: OGP Rules of the Game.

Tisne emphasizes that the OGP is not a group of well-governed nations. Instead the OGP sets a low bar for entry and incentivises improvements.
With this in mind, Tisne, who help to found the OGP, goes on to suggest some key pillars or rules of the game. He is particularly emphatic about civil society participation. OGP represents a new way of approaching governance specifically because the participation of civil society is seen as integral to the process with a seat at the same table as the government. According to Tisne, however, the guidance for civil society involvement is unreflective of this principle. The role of civil society is only articulated in the production of country action plans, whereas there are many other avenues to pursue, including in implementation of the plans.

Tisne also goes on to highlight the role of the Independent Reporting Mechanism , the need for a relevance check for the country action plan once it is complete and clarity on the definitions of the targets for OGP national plans – which should be innovative and stretch countries’ capabilities.

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Martin Tisne is a steering committee member of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative and the Open Government Partnership, as well as a board member of Publish What You Fund. He holds a BA from the University of Oxford and an MSc from the London School of Economics.Follow him on Twitter: @martintisne

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