The 5th Global Open Government Summit taking place this week (17-19 July) in Tbilisi, Georgia focusses on civic engagement, fighting corruption and public service delivery. UNDP has supported the Open Government Partnership (OGP) for the past seven years as a multilateral partner. For many countries, the Global Summit will be an opportunity to learn from the diverse experiences of partner countries and reflect on their own commitment to open government.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially Goal 16, emphasizes peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law. At UNDP we are constantly working towards translating this commitment into tangible improvements in people’s lives, measuring what matters at country level and using relevant data to help governments develop national plans, budgets, and discussions that drive implementation of this ambitious goal.
UNDP’s work spans a wide range of institutions, from national parliaments, supreme courts, and national civil services through regional and local administrations working towards open data, open parliaments, gender equality, innovation, anti-corruption, civic engagement and efficient public services in partnership with multiple stakeholders.
To seize on the opportunity presented by SDG 16, UNDP, with funding from USAID and in collaboration with OGP, has supported countries (El Salvador, Georgia, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia and Uruguay) in engaging actors throughout state and society. This pilot project, Monitoring to Implement Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, aims to strengthen inclusive national processes for monitoring the implementation of SDG 16 by:
- Developing and implementing an inclusive monitoring methodology that includes both government and civil society;
- Making the monitoring process open and transparent and ensuring that data is publicly accessible;
- Using an inclusive approach of engaging the stakeholders not only in monitoring but also in identifying solutions to the challenges revealed through reporting.
As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages Member States to "conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven.” These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) meeting under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council. HLPFs provide platforms for the countries to present their progress and articulate the challenges they face in implementing SDG 16 among other goals.
Looking to the future, UNDP is committed to hosting national and regional dialogues around OGP priorities, and promoting the development of and follow-up to commitments made in OGP countries. We can provide the required technical support for the development of open government mechanisms, open legislative processes, and access to information using efficient approaches and good practices.
Strengthening core government functions, through more openness to better manage and deliver public resources, is a key strategy to keep people out of poverty. We value our collaboration with the OGP and look forward to further expanding our strategic partnership, which helps to ensure transparency, accountability and inclusion in decision-making during the planning and budgeting phase. Open government helps to bolster the integrity and inclusiveness of government institutions - two essential prerequisites if we are to leave no one behind!