News 18th April 2018

Announcement: Scotland Network’s OGP Representatives

by Paul Bradley

Scotland's 2018/20 Open Government Action Plan

We received eight nominations to represent the Network on Scotland’s new OGP Multi-stakeholder Forum. Having received the same number of nominations as allocated places, the nominees are automatically selected for the eight places on the Steering Group with an election.

The successful nominees will join eight delegates from the Scottish Government to form Scotland’s new OGP Steering Group.

Your representatives on Scotland’s OGP Steering Group for 2018-20 are:

  • Eddy Borges-Rey, University of Stirling
  • Lucy McTernan, SCVO until May 31st
  • Shaben Begum, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
  • Alex Stobart, N/A
  • Kaela Scott, Involve
  • Elric Honoré, Fife Centre for Equalities
  • Niamh Webster, The Democratic Society (Stepped down from Steering Group as a result of moving organisations)
  • Catherine Gee, Keep Scotland Beautiful
  • Benjamin McElwee, See Me Scotland (selected Monday 23rd July 2018)

Steering Group

These representatives provide a fantastic cross-section of Scotland’s Network, ranging from academia and advocacy to democratic innovation, equalities and the environment. The breadth and depth of experience they bring will no doubt help our network as we work together with the Scottish Government on the next action plan.

You can find out all about your new OGP representatives by viewing their nomination entries below.


Nomination entries

Name: Eddy Borges-Rey

Organisation: University of Stirling

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I have been doing research on open data, data journalism and data literacy over the last 7 years, and I truly believe in the ability of data to empower citizens and communities. As co-director of the research network Life in Data (which includes stakeholders such as The Scottish Cities Alliance, SCVO, SQA, GTCS, the Data Lab, Wikimedia UK, Young Scot, etc.) that seeks to explore ways of embedding data literacy in policy making and curriculum design, I believe being part of Scotland’s OGP Steering Groups is the right avenue to action these ideas and to enhance overall data literacy in Scotland. This way, citizens will be not only able to access open data freely available, but to make better sense of it.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? As an academic I have consolidated a body on knowledge on open data, data journalism and data literacy recognised internationally. I have also good links with a range of national and international data institutions and communities. As a former journalist I know well how to gather, clean, analyse and present data, and the frequent misrepresentations associated with a lack of engagement with context. I am also the Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Stirling and have the strategic vision and understanding of the current innovation landscape. More recently I am researching on issues of automation, algorithmic regulation and accountability, really helpful for future discussions around AI, automation and the ethical and legal frameworks associated with them.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Lucy McTernan

Organisation: SCVO until May 31st

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? To continue to contribute to growing the movement from my new role in academia

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? Extensive third sector leadership, public affairs.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Shaben Begum

Organisation: SIAA

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I think the Open Government agenda is becoming increasingly more important and it is crucial the 3rd sector is involved in ensuring Government systems and structures are as open and transparent as possible.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I would bring a sound understanding of equality, human rights and the barriers people face when trying to engage with organisations and complex structures.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Alex Stobart

Organisation: N/A

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? To explore open government and an inclusive society in Scotland, and learn with others

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? Previously involved with the network and I have attended some meetings. I am also interested in transparency, governance and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Kaela Scott

Organisation: Involve

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I was a founding member of the Scottish OGP Network and have been involved throughout its development. I am excited to see the network have a more formal role in the development of the next action plan and would be keen to play an active part.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I am personally committed to the principles and practice of Open Government, and they are qualities that I try to embody in all aspects of my work. I am an experienced participation practitioner with a critical understanding of what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to embedding a focus on participation into government and decision making. Further, through my work at Involve I have a grounded understanding of the role and expectations of the Open Government Partnership internationally, and have contributed to workshops and guidance papers for the OGP, OECD and the Council of Europe on this basis.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Elric Honore

Organisation: Fife Centre for Equalities

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I would like to help develop Scotland OGP’s network by demonstrating best practice in inclusion and also assist in building synergy with like-minded networks and/or areas of practice.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I have a fair knowledge of the open movement across public sector (academia), third sector and grassroots organisations as well as in the creative commons; the key skills & knowledge I would bring to the group in this respect are research and development; equalities policy and practice.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Benjamin McElwee

Organisation: See Me Scotland

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I see the Scottish Government’s Pioneer status within the Open Government Programme as representing a key opportunity for delivering on the outcomes that matter to people by engaging with them and increasing their participation in democratic processes. This could be through delivering subsidiarity or through innovative methods that enable this, such as Participatory Budgeting and Citizens’ Assemblies.

I am also keenly interested in how the movement towards open governance meaningfully links to the recently refreshed National Performance Framework and other performance frameworks through which we measure success, such as the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes. Given the drive towards community empowerment more generally within Scotland, it appears a pivotal time to be involved in supporting this change and ensuring that the principles stemming from the Christie Commission can align and deliver transformational change through public service reform.

There are clear links between Open Government and Health and Social Care Integration – if we move care towards the communities, then it’s essential that communities are empowered, cohesive, have social capital and trust in institutions in order to enable self management and positive wellbeing. I believe Open Government is one mechanism for ensuring that citizens are engaged and empowered, yet so far, see little evidence of the movement moving beyond the traditional spheres of influence. Therefore I would be keen to help create a compelling narrative that people can buy into so that they understand how inclusive and participative societies can enhance population health. Furthermore, I believe my skills and experiences would be useful in ensuring meaningful and diversified engagement, whilst using a human rights-based approach so that people can participate as active citizens within a Fairer Scotland.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I have a range of skills and experiences that I believe would be useful in the context of the steering group. These include public speaking skills and the ability to use stories and examples to ensure complex topics are understood. I am also well versed in public engagement, and through my experience in the third sector, have had opportunities to facilitate numerous pieces of important public engagement, such as the National Conversation on a Healthier Scotland – including leading on the seldom heard engagement – and gathering views from diverse voices to feed into the formation of the Social Security Bill.

As part of the Scottish Lived Experience Research Collective, I have recently been involved in capturing the aspirations of people with mental health problems to participate in civic and public life, as well as the facilitators and barriers to doing so. During the next 10 months, I will be participating in the Scottish Improvement Leader Programme to enhance my Quality Improvement skills, and I feel confident that any skills developed throughout this would be transferable to my involvement in the Open Government steering group. I have been a member of the What Matters to You? Steering Group since its formation and have been instrumental in this group in terms of providing direction and ensuring the challenges of such an approach have been captured, whilst helping formulate recommendations for future implementation. Furthermore, I have an in-depth knowledge of policy and legislation related to public service reform and to health and social care; purposeful networks through which to influence; and the communication and interpersonal skills to enable me to do so.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None


Name: Catherine Gee

Organisation: Keep Scotland Beautiful, a Scottish environmental charity.

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? Through my personal and professional networks, I feel I can raise awareness of the OGP and its purpose. Since becoming involved in the OGP, particularly the SDGs Scotland Network, I believe much more needs to be done to make civil society aware if its work and how the people of Scotland can become involved in and connected to the Scottish Government’s plans, policies and ambitions. I would like to be involved in this and help further the purpose and ambitions of the OGP.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I have worked within the third sector for over 15 years and understand governance, planning, communications, finance, strategy and a range of other core organisational functions. I am particularly interested in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have actively led the integration of these into the objectives of the charity that I work for. I am also involved in policy research and have reasonable awareness of Scottish Government policy, particularly relating to the environment and wider national and international policy. I have been involved in the current consultation process to contribute to the review of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework, alignment with the SDGs and SNAP.

Please declare any interests that may influence your representation of the Network on the OGP Steering Group (or answer, ‘none’): None

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