Strengthening citizens’ voice in public policymaking is key, says new OGP chief

By on 18/05/2016
Sanjay Pradhan, Open Government Partnership (OGP), executive director

Strengthening the “voice of the poor” and general citizen engagement in the design of public policies will be key to the Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) success over the next five years, the organisation’s new chief executive has said.

Sanjay Pradhan, who became CEO of the OGP last week, said while it has been impressive that the initiative has grown so fast from eight member states in 2011 to 69 today, its future success won’t be measured on volume, “but on whether it makes a transformational impact in the lives of citizens.”

He added that the “OGP’s unique platform of government-civil society collaboration provides unprecedented opportunities to make governments responsive to citizens – by deepening citizen feedback and amplifying the voices of the poor in the design of public policies and delivery of services.”

The OGP was launched by eight heads of state and nine civil society leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2011 with the objective of making governments more transparent, responsive and accountable through stronger civic participation.  

Within five years, 69 countries have joined the partnership, along with thousands of civil society groups and several multilateral organisations.

Among Pradhan’s first commitments as the initiative’s new chief was an appearance at the London anti-corruption summit last week which saw more than 40 countries participate.

“Over a third of the world’s countries are in OGP,” Pradhan said, “and more are looking to join this rapidly growing movement.

“This provides a powerful opportunity to translate global commitments at the summit into concrete country action plans with accountability.  

“There is huge potential to leverage the leadership of OGP countries in vital areas such as open contracting, beneficial ownership transparency and access to information to inspire and support ambitious reforms in peer countries to fight corruption.”

OGP member countries will be expected to embed their summit commitments in their “national action plans”, which are subject to independent monitoring every two years.

Scrutiny on these action plans has grown over recent years, particularly by NGOs.

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See also:

World Bank official to lead Open Government Partnership

New transparency rules to help tackle corruption

Robert Barrington, executive director of Transparency International UK: exclusive interview

Anti-corruption campaigner: “establishment corruption” threatens UK’s image overseas

Korea is world leader in R&D spending, China ahead of EU, OECD data shows

World Bank pledges to help collect poverty data in 78 nations

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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