Open Government Champions in pursuing the 2030 Agenda* for sustainable development

Text and photos by Triin Ilves

For many Open Government Partnership (OGP) member states, one question stays relevant with all action plans: what activities would truly make a difference in order to make a difference, and consequently meet the objectives?

What is necessary to achieve those goals? A simple answer would be using various platforms to achieve the next big objectives that are set for 2030, said Arely Gomez, Mexican Minister of Public Administration.

However, a more detailed plan acquires discussions that go beyond indicators; national plans that would get transformed to instruments, as well as guaranteeing accountability and transparency, Gomez explained.

The role of the OGP in this processes may vary, although it is clear that it can’t do everything, said Manish Bapna, Managing Director of World Resources Institute.

Firstly, the commitment that is put to national action plans should be easily transferred to local matters as well; second, OGP has the capacity to translate sustainable development goals (SDGs) to concrete plans, he explained.

A good example comes from Georgia, the country that is currently on their third Action Plan. Setting up and building community centres, the state is moving closer to the people. In the area where many local villages are situated between mountains or other hardly reachable areas, these centres provide over 400 public services. Along computer rooms and free wifi areas that are important to connect the municipality to the world, the community centre can organise distributing pensions or function as council rooms for local governments, explained Tea Tsulukiani, Georgian Minister of Justice.

In other cases, connecting action plans with local matters requires only the simple knowing, that a person is reachable. In Bojonegoro region of Indonesia, many locals might not have a clue about the OGP, even less of its action plans or strategies. However, a simple practice – weekly town meetings have brought local people closer to their government, Suyuto, Regent of Bojonegoro noted.

As people don’t want to see the process rather than the result, a higher understanding of connectivity and the ability to express their concerns to local leaders is enough to raise trust, he explained. As a result, the region is now one of the fastest developing area in the country and stands out in many statistical reports.

Even though practical cases show that the implementation of the Goal 16 is successful in many areas, many countries still face pushbacks. As the targets and objectives of the mentioned SDG was already dividing the OGP member states, a lukewarm enthusiasm is no surprise, Bambang Brodjonegero, Indonesian Minister of Planning reminded.

That is also why the OGP needs more evidence-based policies in order to come up with better ones in the future. Then it is up to the state to translate and adjust the plans accordingly to both national and sub-national level, he added.

Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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