Partnership for more open, accountable governments

By Claudia Buentjen on Wed, 09 July 2014

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.

OGP works to secure, support, and independently monitor concrete commitments from governments using the principle of a multi-stakeholder approach which emphasizes constructive engagements between state and non-state actors.

The good news is that there are 64 participating countries. The bad news is that only nine are in the Asia and Pacific region.

These include Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Philippines. Twelve of ADB’s nonregional members also participate in OGP: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States. Several more ADB member countries are interested in joining in the near future, suggesting there is room for expansion of OGP in the region.

OGP hopes that a new partnership with Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help in this regard—prompting an expansion of OGP's foothold in the Asia Pacific region.

ADB is now one of OGP’s five multilateral partners—the others being World Bank, OECD, Inter-American Development Bank and UNDP. The OGP Steering Committee sees these partnerships as critical for increasing the resources needed to support participating countries implementing their open government reform commitments. The multilateral partners are also working to expand OGP by helping countries that wish to become eligible to join.

We in ADB believe that there is great potential for a successful partnership given that our missions are well aligned.

In 1995, ADB became the first multilateral development bank to adopt a Governance Policy, the four elements of which are accountability, predictability, participation, and transparency. It recognizes that development is more successful in environments where decision making is transparent and the application of laws and policies is predictable within a culture of accountability among government officials.

In 1998, ADB adopted its Anticorruption Policy, affirming zero tolerance toward corruption and fraudulent and collusive practices in ADB operations.

So what can we achieve together? In coordination with governments interested in OGP, ADB can explore opportunities to provide technical and financial assistance to help countries meet OGP eligibility criteria and develop and implement OGP action plans. In addition, ADB can convene governments, civil society, and other actors to foster learning and innovation across countries.

For instance, on 14 July 2014, the Government of the Philippines, World Bank, and ADB are hosting a roundtable titled, "Constructive Engagement Processes between Governments and CSOs: Are we Getting Results? Experiences and Lessons from Asia."

The roundtable discussion will feature panelists from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Philippines. The panelists will present their experiences in engaging with government authorities at local, state, or national levels, and offer their views on good practices in sustaining citizen engagement with governments.
    
The OGP Steering Committee sees these partnerships as critical to increase the resources available to support participating countries to implement their open government reform commitments. The multilateral partners are also working to expand OGP, by helping countries that wish to become eligible to join.

Indonesia’s  Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Head Minister of the government’s delivery unit for development monitoring and oversight, and lead government chair of OGP, has called the partnership with ADB “another milestone.”

Both organizations are looking forward to a productive collaboration in achieving more responsive governments and promoting transparency, accountability and participation efforts in the Asia and Pacific region.

For more information on the OGP/ADB partnership, read this new OGP blog