What happened at the 2016 Paris OGP Summit
Last week the Open Government Partnership Global Summit was held in Paris, bringing together 3,000 representatives from more than 70 countries, including Heads of State, government ministers, mayors, civil society representatives, public servants, members of parliament, developers, researchers, and journalists.
Two significant themes of the Summit – particularly showing up in the speeches of the OGP Support Unit and steering committee, as well as high level plenary discussions – were the need for open government and OGP to have more impact on the issues that citizens care about and how to broaden the open government movement. These are issues that we’re very keen to address in the UK, and we’ll be exploring different approaches the OGN can take in the new year.
It’s impossible to do the breadth and depth of the Summit justice in a few words. At the bottom of this post are links through to various outputs from the Summit which will give you a flavour of some of the content. But I wanted to cover a couple of the highlights and lowlights from a UK perspective:
+ Devolved national action plans
The Summit saw the launch of Scotland’s Open Government Action Plan as part of the new subnational pioneer programme, as well as the publication of new commitments from Northern Ireland and Wales for inclusion in the UK action plan. After two UK action plans with very limited involvement of the devolved nations, it’s fantastic to have got to this stage. Well done to the civil society networks in each of the nations for your role in making this happen.
Check out the commitments via the links below:
- Scotland Action Plan
- Northern Ireland commitments for UK action plan
- Scotland commitment for UK action plan
- Wales commitments for UK action plan
– No UK ministerial attendance
The Summit was marred by the fact no ministers attended from the UK government. Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office, had been due to attend on the first day, and had responded to the steering committee’s letter saying he was keen to meet, but in the end was prevented from travelling due to the vote on the “Brexit plan” in Parliament. While that may be a reasonable reason for having to change his plans, it is extremely disappointing that it meant there were no UK ministers at the Summit for any of the three days. On a more positive note, the UK was represented by Eric Pickles (Anti-Corruption Champion) and a number of government officials, as well as many members of the UK and the devolved civil society networks.
Below is a helpful list of outputs – borrowed from the OGP website – from the Summit. I would particularly recommend checking out the Paris Declaration, through which governments and civil society organisations made commitments to collective actions. The declaration is still open for you to add your own commitment.
If you attended the Summit, please add comments with your own takeaways or links to additional outputs.