On April 12, 2017, a Civil Society Consultation Workshop on Open Government Partnership was organized for the first time in Afghanistan. Facilitated by Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) in close coordination with APPRO, EPD, ACBAR and AWN, the workshop sought to 1) to raise the awareness of civil society actors about the OGP initiative and process; and 2) to facilitate discussion and proactive participation of civil society in the development of commitments as part of OGP. The ultimate objective is to ensure the OGP initiative and process are inclusive of, and owned by, both Government and Civil Society.
Over 40 civil society organizations participated in the workshop, which was attended by Government representatives. Opening statements by IWA, a representative of the Administrative Office of the President, and ANCB were followed by presentations on the principles of OGP (IWA), the process of OGP in the context of Afghanistan (APPRO), and lessons learned from the experience of OGP in Mongolia (ACBAR). A consultation workshop was then organized, engaging participants on the preparation of draft commitments as part of the Multi-Stakeholder Platform in charge of developing Afghanistan’s National Action Plan for OGP. Suggestions for commitments were organized along the core OGP principles of Access to Information, Fiscal Transparency and Public Officials Asset Disclosure, Government Accountability, and the Use of E-Governance to promote Transparency.
About Open Government Partnership
Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative which aims to provide a platform for global reformers to make their governments more responsive, transparent and fiscally sustainable. This initiative was established on the sidelines of UN generally assembly in 2011 by eight participating countries. Since then, participation in OGP has grown from 8 to more than 75 countries worldwide. In all of these countries, government and civil society are working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms. To become a member of OGP, participating countries must endorse a high-level Open Government Declaration, deliver a country action plan developed through public consultation, and commit to independent reporting on their progress toward open government.
In December 2016 and following advocacy by Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) to join the OGP initiative, President Ghani submitted a Letter of Intent for Afghanistan’s membership to OGP. This was followed by joint meetings between the government and civil society to consolidate the process and strengthen collaboration for the development of a National Action Plan. Spearheaded by IWA, Civil Society Organizations facilitating OGP implementation in Afghanistan include Afghanistan Body for Relief and Rehabilitation (ACBAR), Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO), Afghanistan Women’s Network (AWN) and Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD).
A detailed overview of the event is available here.