News 8th December 2015

OGP Now Recruiting Six Prominent Members of Civil Society to Join its Steering Committee

by Tim Hughes

Tim is coordinator of the UK Open Government Network.

The Open Government Partnership has announced that it will be recruiting six new members of civil society to join its steering committee:

As the Open Government Partnership (OGP) enters its fifth year, the international initiative seeks six new civil society steering committee members. This is a unique opportunity for talented and committed civil society leaders to further shape OGP, represent the interests of the civil society community and assure that ambitious open government reforms get delivered.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP), which currently includes 69 countries, half a dozen multilateral organizations and hundreds of civil society groups, is a multi stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens. OGP brings together government and civil society champions of reform who recognize that governments have much to learn from their citizens and that they are more likely to be effective and credible if they open their doors to public input and oversight.

The OGP Steering Committee (SC) is the executive, decision-making body of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Its main role is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP. The SC also establishes the core ideas, policies, and rules of the partnership, and oversees its functioning.

The SC consists of 22 members – 11 from government and 11 from civil society. The standard term of the SC members, whether civil society or government, is three years – with the possibility of a one term renewal. At present two civil society seats are vacant and a further four will open up in October 2016. Of the current SC, four members can run for a second term. If they re-apply they will go through the same process of nomination and selection as outside candidates.

Joining the OGP SC is a great opportunity for civil society leaders who feel passionately about the importance of citizen engagement in government. OGP SC members benefit from a global stage and significant political access. Members of the SC are regularly afforded opportunities to help shape the space for civil society to advocate for- and get delivery of – transformational open government reforms around the world. By sharing their skills, experience and networks SC members help further strengthen OGP at the global, regional and national level.

The two chief responsibilities of the Civil Society SC members are:

  • To perform the international governance role for OGP in the SC
  • To represent the concerns and interests of the international OGP Civil Society community in the SC

Civil society candidates for the SC must meet the following three key requirements:

  • Ability to engage strategically at the global level, exercising good judgement and engaging effectively with senior government officials and civil society members;
  • Read and represent the concerns and interests of the international civil society community;
  • Powerfully and clearly articulate core OGP issues.

The rotation process set out in this note will be a fully transparent process that seeks to attract capable candidates from a diversity of regions and backgrounds, with the goal of establishing a balanced team of civil society SC members who are well-positioned to provide strategic and effective leadership to the OGP.

Candidates from Africa, Asia/Oceania and Europe are especially encouraged to apply. There is also a strong desire to fill many of the open seats with female candidates.

Full details on the role of the SC and the responsibilities, qualifications and key attributes of the civil society members of the SC can be found below, as well as details on the application process. Nominations should be submitted to rotation@opengovpartnership.org(link sends e-mail) before midnight EST on January 31, 2016.

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