Open Government Pioneers Project NI


The NI Open Government Network is working in partnership with networks in England, Scotland and Wales to build the capacity of citizens and civil society to use open government approaches to progress the Sustainable Development Goals.

It will aim to secure government actions and commitments at the devolved UK nation level by mobilising civil society and citizens using open government approaches. Project streams will include:

  • Developing the capacity of civil society
  • Engaging under-represented groups
  • Facilitating engagement between civil society and their UK devolved governments
  • Digital platforms for international learning
  • Promoting implementation of the SDG’s

The project is formally linked to the International Open Government Partnership, where governments and civil society have been given an equal say in the commitments made by 70 countries to be more open. It will use open government commitments to help people secure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund

Twitter: @OpenGovNI

Facebook: @OpenGovNI


Opportunity: Invitation to deliver the independent evaluation of the Open Government Pioneers Project

Grassroots Democracy Games & the UN Sustainable Development Goals – NI Special Schools having some serious fun!

ScopeNI: Making the Global Goals relevant for citizens

NI Open Government Network Blog – Sustainable Development Goals and Devolution


Taking Responsibility for Delivering the SDGs – Michael Ewing, Environmental Pillar

The Entrepreneurial Scientist and the Sustainable Development Goals

Together 2030 – Perceptions survey on civil society and stakeholder engagement in voluntary national reviews and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

“The unknown landscape of a post-Brexit UK: Implications for the transition from Unsustainability” by Professor John Barry

A Synopsis from “Open Government: The Global Context and the Way Forward” by the OECD

Education for Sustainable Development Goals – Learning Objectives

How Can the Open Government Partnership Accelerate Implementation of the 2030 Agenda


Webinar: The Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Better Retail, Better World – 12th November 2018

Webinar: Taking Responsibility for Delivering the SDGs – 31st May 2018

Webinar: The Sustainable Development Goals in the UK: priorities, processes, participation – 21st June 2017

Education toward Social Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4.7 through Inter-Sectoral Co-operation – 14th June 2017

Grassroots Democracy Games – 19th May 2017

Webinar: Open Government and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – 10th May 2017

UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) Annual Conference – 1st Mar 2017


Webinar – The Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Better Retail Better World

Webinar – The Sustainable Development Goals in the UK: priorities, processes, participation

Graham Long, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Newcastle University discusses the UK implementation process for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the role of citizen participation. See Graham’s co-authored report on the 2030 Agenda here.

The presentation slides from this event are available here.


Webinar – Education toward Social Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4.7 through Inter-Sectoral Co-operation

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are central to the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 SDGs and 169 related targets take as their starting point that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.”

A key aspect of achieving sustainable development is education and this is specifically mapped out in SDG 4.7 which states that by 2030 we should “ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles”. Achieving this ambitious target will require concerted action by all sectors of education committed to sustainability and this seminar aims to initiate that discussion at a local level.

This event invited representatives from education sectors with an active interest and involvement in achieving SDG 4.7 to debate how we can best work together to enhance global citizenship and positive social change.


Webinar – Open Government and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Craig Matasick from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) delivers a comprehensive and insightful webinar on the instrumental value of Open Government principles in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.


Open Policy-making: A new era for citizen engagement in NI

The Northern Ireland Executive committed in November 2016 to pilot an open-policy making process as part of their participation in the Open Government Partnership.

As part of Democracy Day at the MAC, a session hosted by the NI Open Government Network explored what open policy making is and what it could look like in Northern Ireland through the lens of international case studies and experiences in other parts of the UK.

Contributors included:

• Robert Bjarnason from the Iceland Citizens Foundation
• Hille Hinsberg from the Praxis Centre Estonia
• Tim Hughes from London-based public participation specialists Involve

Hille Hinsberg – Praxis

Hille works with the highly respected Estonian think tank Praxis; and advises the Estonian Government Office on policy for Social Innovation.

She serves on the research arm of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and carries out reviews of the implementation of national action plans in 70 countries.

She was among leaders of a unique deliberation process – People´s Assembly that crowdsourced grass root proposals to amend financing practices of political parties.

Hille has led several initiatives to promote Open Government and citizen-to government dialogue – such as introducing the code of public participation to civil servants and establishing offline and digital platforms for dialogue with civil society stakeholders.

Róbert Bjarnason – Iceland Citizens Foundation

Róbert is the CEO of the Citizens Foundation in Iceland.

The Citizens Foundation mission is to bring people together to debate and prioritize innovative ideas to improve their communities. They believe that without participation there is no democracy. And their main goal is to help citizens get their voices heard and to encourage citizen participation in governance.

Their ideas about new ways to connect people to participate in democracy, politics and civic life were born after Iceland’s economic and trust collapse in 2008.

Since then they’ve developed open source tools and methods to promote online, democratic debate and to increase citizens’ participation in Iceland and worldwide.

Tim Hughes – Involve

Tim is director of Involve – a charity that works across the UK and internationally to make politics, government and society more open, participatory and deliberative.

He has advised national governments, devolved governments and local authorities on designing and facilitating effective participatory processes.

He has worked with multilateral organisations – including the OECD, Open Government Partnership, and International Budget Partnership – to improve the practice of participation and open government globally.

Since 2012 Tim has led the development of the UK Open Government Network; and he has supported the establishment of the Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales Open Government Networks.