Last week’s blog highlighted the discussion during the Open Nepal Week event held on 16 December 2015 around the opportunities that the Open Government Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative to promote greater government openness and public participation in policy, offers both government and civil society.
As Open Nepal Day 2015 dawned I was a bit nervous about whether the fuel crisis would deter participants from attending. We were set to welcome a range of representatives from civil society to discuss new themes on open development, share information and ideas, network and create synergies. But, despite the current difficulties in travelling around Kathmandu and in testament to the enthusiasm of Nepal’s open development community, by the time event began the room was filled.
Today, discussions about 'Open Government Data' are abuzz. Various development discourses, both global and local have positioned it as a means to achieve positive ends.
This week on 16 December representatives from civil society, academia, and media will convene for a series of events taking place as a part of Open Nepal Week 2015.
What is Open Nepal Week?
Speaker of the Parliament, Onsari Gharti Magar speaking during the inaugural session
It has been over two years since the Open Nepal initiative embarked on a journey to promote more effective development through the increased use of data and information in Nepal. Since June 2013 we have been working to catalyze progress towards data sharing and use through our efforts to build an inclusive information system supported by a dynamic community of stakeholders. Globally and in other countries our efforts are mirrored by an increased momentum around the so-called Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.
Five months after the earthquake have the needs of the people who were affected been met, and if not what are their current problems? To help us answer these questions, we can turn to data. Fortunately, data on citizen perceptions has been collected twice over the past few months by Ground Truth Solutions, Local Interventions Group and Accountability Labs. This data allows the humanitarian community to make basic analysis on citizens’ perceptions of their changing needs over time following the earthquake.
Last week, the 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) were formally adopted at a global summit convened by the United Nations Headquarters in New York. These are a new set of global development goals that aim to end extreme poverty in all its forms everywhere, narrow inequalities and injustice, and ensure environmental sustainability by 2030. The SDGs are the new avatar of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which promise to follow up on the incomplete targets of the MDGs and achieve other, more ambitious, goals.
This is the second in a series of blogs about the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the Asia Pacific Region- the central topic around which a multi-stakeholder discourse took place in Manila in early September. The first blog talked about how OGP can be a vehicle for transforming the way the government works and highlighted a few country cases where different segments of society have contributed in doing so for the shared prosperity of the nation.
"Open government is a listening government, listening and wanting to do what citizens are demanding". This was the opening line of the welcome remarks given by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) steering committee member, Sugen Bahagijo, at the OGP Asia Pacific Regional Meeting recently held in Manila, Philippines.
So what really enhances government's responsiveness to citizens?