The Open Government Partnership  is a global effort to make governments better. We all want more transparent, effective and accountable governments — with institutions that empower citizens and are responsive to their aspirations. But this work is never easy.
In an interview with Maria Otero, formerly the CEO of ACCION International and now the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Rahim Kanani from Forbes discusses the Open Government Partnership:

Rahim Kanani: How would you describe the objective and vision of the Open Government Partnership?

Under Secretary Otero: The Open Government Partnership is a global effort to make governments more transparent, effective and accountable. It is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee of governments and leading civil society organizations.

Rahim Kanani: What do you foresee as some of the biggest challenges to achieving this vision?

Under Secretary Otero: I think the biggest challenge to this effort is getting countries to understand the vision of this initiative. This is not like other mechanisms that seek to promote transparency and accountability.

First, it’s voluntary. Any government that is interested and willing to commit to the high standards set forth by OGP is welcome to join. This is not for the faint of heart and free-riders need not apply. The Partnership has ambitious expectations of participants in terms of developing serious new commitments to open government through a national participatory process, and submitting themselves to independent scrutiny on progress.

Second, this is about partnership. This was really evident in the July meeting. We are partnering with governments around the world — you see that in the makeup of the Steering Committee. You also see that with civil society and having them as equal members of the Steering Committee. This collaboration is critical. Civil society keeps governments and elected officials accountable. Also, many civil society organizations are driving best practices and innovation in the space, so governments have much to learn from them…. [See the rest of the interview here]

About Jerry Ostradicky

I work in Advertising Operations at Zillow, but LOVE microfinance. I'm always interested in startups, especially non-profits, reach out to me if you're working on anything cool!