News 20th October 2020

Northern Ireland Joins Global Partnership to Promote Open Government

by Connor McLean

The government of Northern Ireland has been selected to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP), an organization that brings together governments and civil society leaders to create more transparent, inclusive, and participatory government. As a new member of OGP, Northern Ireland will work with local civil society organizations and other OGP members to advance the open government agenda locally and transform the way the government serves its citizens.

OGP is welcoming 55 other new local members composed of 64 local governments from 32 countries to join OGP Local. This expansion, the largest in OGP history, comes at a critical moment as cities and local communities are at the forefront of efforts to respond to COVID-19 while also facing strained budgets and climate insecurity. The 56 new members were selected out of a pool of 112 applications.

Members of OGP Local have been at the forefront of innovation, taking bold steps to address persistent challenges. For example, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, government and civil society partnered to ensure marginalized communities have access to reproductive health and, in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, citizens can digitally access information on applications for infrastructure projects empowering them to fight corruption and illegal construction activities. Following the success of the first 20 OGP local members, the OGP Steering Committee agreed to expand the cohort in 2020.

OGP’s Chief Executive Officer, Sanjay Pradhan, warmly welcomed the addition of the new members to the Partnership: “Local leaders – in government and civil society – are often closest to the people they serve. Open local government can deliver a transformative impact in people’s lives and build trust.

Assessed by OGP and chosen by a diverse Selection Committee composed members of the OGP Steering Committee, current OGP Local members and civil society representatives, Northern Ireland was selected based on the assessment of criteria outlined in the call for proposals, as well as other factors considered to ensure a regionally diverse group, with different types and size of entities, and unique strengths to complement the objectives of OGP Local.

OGP received more than 100 joint applications from governments and civil society organizations at the local level in 2020 expressing their interest in joining OGP Local. All applicants have been invited to join OGP Local’s Community of Practice and contribute to develop OGP’s knowledge base of local open government and participate in OGP peer exchange activities to scale up reforms at the national and local levels for all OGP members.


About OGP:

In 2011, government leaders and civil society advocates came together to create a unique partnership—one that combines these powerful forces to promote accountable, responsive and inclusive governance.

Seventy-eight countries and a growing number of local governments—representing more than two billion people—along with thousands of civil society organizations are members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

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