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Leading multilateral institutions join forces with the Open Government Partnership

The World Bank Group, IDB, OECD and UNDP offer their expertise and resources to support open government reforms in OGP participating countries 

Through its partnerships with four leading multilateral institutions the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is helping to mobilize new investments and technical support to strengthen open government reforms across the world, including 15 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean who have signed on to the initiative. 

OGP provides the Latin America and the Caribbean with the opportunity to work on concrete ways for governments to be better and more transparent. The countries from the region have have proposed 328 concrete commitments, in consultation with local civil society organizations. Of these, over half of the commitments included in the country action plans are aimed at strengthening public integrity while under a quarter look to improve public service delivery. Two out of every three commitments include the use of technology solutions, showing strong political will to modernize public management. 

The World Bank Group (WBG), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) pledged support to OGP member countries to promote open government and increase accountability, as more than 1,000 participants, from over 70 countries, are gathered in London for the OGP Summit on31 October and 1 November. 

The OGP Steering Committee sees these partnerships as critical to increase the resources available to support participating countries to implement their open government reform commitments. The multilateral partners are also working to expand OGP, by helping countries that wish to become eligible to join. 

Last spring, the OGP co-chairs invited each of these four institutions to establish a partnership with OGP to coordinate efforts more closely. The four partners have already made significant contributions to early OGP successes, including: 

  • The World Bank Groupis actively supporting more than 15 OGP member countries across regions, as well as countries seeking to join the Partnership, with financial and technical assistance for the drafting and implementation of OGP national action plans. In addition, the World Bank is also facilitating knowledge exchanges among participating countries so that successful experiences on open government practices can be more quickly adopted.
  • The IDB is supporting countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in implementing their commitments under the OGP initiative. For example, the IDB is helping Colombia improve its OGP Action Plan through a process of consultation and transparency in the use of mining royalties, with the implementation of a geo-referenced system to monitor public investments – “Mapa Inversiones”. The IDB is also partnering with other countries – such as Chile, El Salvador, México and Peru – in advancing the open government agenda.The total IDB funding for these OGP-related projects adds up to $9 million.Looking forward, the IDB is designing a regional facility and dialogue network on open government to provide targeted technical assistance, generate knowledge, and facilitate policy dialogue for its 26 borrowing member countries.
  • The OECD has been providing targeted technical support to countries that are aspiring to join OGP, by helping them implement reforms to meet the OGP Eligibility Criteria. It is also supporting OGP participating countries by improving their OGP Action Plans and the impact of their open government policies. For example, the OECD is providing technical guidance to Tunisia’s Ministry of Finance as it works with representatives of civil society to jointly produce a citizens' budget. This, together with the publication for the first time of the Executive's Budget Proposal, will allow Tunisia to join the OGP in 2014.
  • The UNDPis supporting the implementation of OGP commitments in numerous countries, including Montenegro and El Salvador, and in countries like Ukraine, it has also played a key role in helping to broaden the consultation process on the first OGP national action plan. 

Francis Maude, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office,said: “I am pleased to announce these four partnerships with leading multilateral institutions. Transparency is an idea whose time has come. As representatives from across the world gather in London for the OGP’s Summit it is heartening to know that these institutions will be leveraging their weight and influence to promote good governance and openness. 

“These organizations have the expertise, reach and experience to support members in implementing their OGP commitments, and in supporting other countries on their path to membership. I am grateful for the investments each is making.” 

Luis Alberto Moreno, President from the IDB,commented: “The Open Government Partnership is a key initiative driven by many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Fifteen countries of the region have voluntarily adhered to OGP. It is focused on improving government services to citizens, opening governments to public scrutiny and engaging citizens more pro-actively in the making of public policy and the delivery of public services. It is about taking advantage of new technologies in the way governments work and interact with citizens and improve people’s lives. The IDB shares and endorses this approach of OGP to enhance good governance.” 

"In 2012, UNDP spent 1.1 billion dollars on democratic governance across 130 countries”, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator,said. “Open government is an essential component of our work on inclusive governance. We aim to support citizens having a say on the decisions which affect their lives and help governments enhance transparency and accountability.” 

Sanjay Pradhan, the World Bank’s Vice President for Change, Knowledge and Learning,observed: "In a global context where citizens are increasingly demanding more openness from their governments, the OGP has emerged as an innovative platform to tackle key governance challenges”. He added “The principles of transparency, accountability, participation and collaboration that the OGP pursues are essential elements for the World Bank Group to achieve its mission of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.” 

Carlos Conde, Head of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme,said: “Governments can only regain the trust of their citizens by putting their concerns at the heart of policy-making. This will require innovative and participative public action. The OECD is committed to the Open Government Partnership and to the reforms that will materialise the potential benefits for our societies.”