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
  • Catherine Gee, Keep Scotland Beautiful

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: Niamh Webster

Organisation: The Democratic Society

Why do you want to join Scotland’s OGP Steering Group? I have been actively contributing to the open government agenda as a member for the last 3 years, and through my day-to-day work on public engagement, bringing governments and institutions closer to citizens. I want to step up my participation in the network and play a formal role in helping the network be successful in the creation and delivery of the next Action Plan.

I genuinely believe that OGP could be the way in which we make significant progress on making Scotland a better place to live, and I am enthusiastic about what the network could achieve. To me, the network feels like a unique space for people across sectors working in more collaborative ways with government to deliver on common goals and there is no other space quite like it. Having some formal structures in place like this Steering Group should help us to make collaboration easier, and make real measurable progress building on the experience of the Pioneer programme of last year.

I’m keen to continue supporting the open government movement as I’ve found it rewarding to see progress over the last few years of being involved. My commitment to open government is evident through my work in supporting the Scottish Pioneer Programme in my role with the Democratic Society and leading on participatory budgeting work which contributes to making the Action Plan Commitments a reality.

I would like us to create stronger links with the OGP networks in the rest of the UK to share common challenges and ideas. I recently attended the first UK OGP Summit in Edinburgh and I have some existing good links with the wider OGP movement namely the Northern Irish, Welsh and UK government and civil society partners. I can see the potential benefit in continuing to support this collective action and building these connections.

In addition to being an active member of OGP for the last 3 years, my role in working with the Democratic Society is all about building and creating better participation, accountability and encouraging transparency. All of the projects that I deliver in my role as Programme Manager aim to help people have more of a say in the world around them. As an engagement specialist, I would ensure we are constantly seeking people’s views and would bring ideas for continuing to grow the network. I’m enthusiastic about this role and as a good facilitator, I would be a productive member of the Steering Group.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you bring to Scotland’s OGP Steering Group?

Collaboration and facilitation: Collaboration is key to my work and as a trained facilitator, I would prioritise working closely with existing members outwith the Steering Group to make sure we give everyone an opportunity to input. I understand the challenges of coordinating a civil society and government network like this, as both a member and a facilitator of other networks. I would explicitly look at how we create links between members and how we make taking part simple and easy, recognising that there are varying levels of commitment that members can make to the network. I have experience working with people from a range of different perspectives and backgrounds and would take a very open and collaborative approach to this role.

Outreach and engagement: I am enthusiastic about bringing other younger voices to the group and would be making this outreach a priority. As an engagement specialist, I could propose ideas for making this happen. Growing the network is important to me and part of this would be to look at the language we speak about open government in, and how we can find ways to make this of relevance to a wider range of people.

Representing the network: As a public affairs professional with public speaking experience, I am well-placed to speak for the Open Government Network when required and would enjoy the chance to develop as a member of the Steering Group.

Knowledge: Having been involved with OGP for over 3 years in the UK I have good understanding of the progress to date and the existing challenges we face here, and across the UK. The Democratic Society were the lead on the Civic Participation strand of the UK Governments commitments for the 2016 National Action Plan, and I continue to be well linked with the growing Northern Irish and Welsh open government networks. I lead the Democratic Society’s work in Northern Ireland and have collaborated with the Network in Northern Ireland on multiple occasions including the recent conference in Belfast.

I understand that OGP Scotland needs to be proactive and make visible change if it is to have impact and be worth our collective energy and efforts. I would play a collaborative and facilitative role on the Steering Group to help us achieve the vision we all share of more openness and transparency across Scotland.

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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