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OGP Selects 35 Civil Society Reps to Attend Brazil Meeting

Source: freedominfo.org

Date: 29 February 2012

By Toby McIntosh

The Open Government Partnership Feb. 22 announced the names of 35 persons from civil society organizations who will represent their countries at the April 17-18 OGP meeting in Brasilia, Brazil.

Their selection comes along with a few additional facts about the still-developing OGP governance plan.

The OGP expects to have about 100 CSOs attend the meeting in Brazil, along with government officials from the 52 OGP countries, and others from the private sector. Overall, some 400 persons might attend, according to the website. The OGP support unit is continuing to identify other CSO representatives “for a small number of additional countries.” In addition, the registration period is still open for other CSOs who want to attend and can pay their own way (registration page). Private sector participation is also being solicited (registration page).

CSO Voting Planned

Aiming to create a unique governing structure blending government and civil society representatives, the OGP is still working on the details of its governance plan. It may be finished next month, FreedomInfo.org was told.

What information has emerged so far indicates that civil society representatives will eventually select a CSO co-chairman who will help lead the multilateral group along with two co-chairs from the 52 participating governments. The CSOs will vote to select the nine CSO members to serve on the OGP Steering Committee, along with nine government representatives, who will be selected by a vote of member governments. These elements were described in the minutes of a December Steering Committee meeting. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

The 35 just chosen, and any additional ones picked, will be voting delegates representing their countries.

Also voting will be 52 other CSOs, who are now in the process of applying to attend on a pay-their-own–way basis and will be at-large voters. The first 52 qualified applicants will be chosen.

There will be an equal balance between the number of “local” CSO representatives and the “international/regional” representatives, for a potential total of 104 voting CSO representatives (while there are 52 OGP member countries).

Not much will be at stake in the voting in Brazil, where the only votes will be on “meeting outcomes.” The first annual conference is scheduled to endorse the OGP Declaration of Principles, to which OGP members have already agreed by joining, according to the OGP website, which has provided some general information about the meeting.

The election of CSO members to the Steering Committee will not occur at the Brazil meeting.

Rather, that process will occur after CSO delegates are selected to attend the second annual OGP meeting. That meeting will be hosted by the United Kingdom, which in April will assume a co-chairmanship along with Brazil. The United States is currently the second co-chair.

The Steering Committee will meet on April 16 in Brazil. Steering Committee meetings are closed. Minutes are issued. The OGP has not yet completed its disclosure policy. The names of OGP Steering Committee subcommittees and their members also will released soon, officials said. The OGP also has indicated it will diclose the names of all CSOs who applied to attend.

Selection Process Described

The OGP posting explained the process for selecting the 35 persons and reiterated the invitation for others to attend.

After reviewing over 57 applications, the OGP Support Unit and the Governance and Leadership Sub-Committee of the OGP Steering Committee made decisions based on the following criteria:

  • demonstrated experience/track record on transparency, accountability and civic participation work at country/regional/international level
  • strong commitment to ongoing engagement with OGP, including prior work on OGP where possible, and intent to conduct outreach with other stakeholders upon return home
  • meet the transparency and governance criteria established by the OGP application process (are up on website, requires submitting supporting documentation)
  • demonstrate support of additional local civil society organizations for their attendance
  • balance of issue areas (so that we don’t get all anti-corruption, or open data, or budgets, or extractives people but a diverse mix overall)

All applicants that were not selected to receive OGP funding are still welcome and encouraged to attend the OGP Annual Meeting 2012 if they are able to mobilize independent resources. Registration for the April 2012 meeting is open to all who are interested in attending. Please contact OGP with any questions at [email protected].

List of Organizations

  1. Galib Abbaszad – National Budget Group, Azerbaijan
  2. Paula Ligia Martins – Article 19, Brazil
  3. Daniela B. Silva and Pedro Markun – Transparência Hacker, Brazil
  4. Carina Costa de Oliveira – Program in Law and Environment PDMA, Brazil
  5. Gergana Jouleva – Access to Information Programme Foundation, Bulgaria
  6. Harvey Low – Canadian Council on Social Development, Canada
  7. José Manuel De Ferrari Fontecilla – Participa, Chile
  8. Elisabeth Ungar Bleier – Transparencia por Colombia, Colombia
  9. Michal Berg – Datablog.cz, Czech Republic
  10. Liia Hänni – e-Governance Academy, Estonia
  11. Eka Gigauri – TI Georgia, Georgia
  12. Vitus Azeem – Ghana Integrity Initiative, Ghana
  13. Carlos Hernandez – Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa, Honduras
  14. Mary Atti – PATTIRO, Indonesia
  15. Guido Romeo – “Diritto di Saper”, Italy
  16. George Kegoro – The Kenya Section of International Commission of Jurists, Kenya
  17. Karina Banfi – Alianza Regional por la Libre Expresion e Informacion, Latin America
  18. Linda Austere – Centre for Public Policy, Latvia
  19. Harlod Aidoo – Liberia Democratic Institute, Liberia
  20. Rūta Mrazauskaitė – Transparency International, Lithuania
  21. Dance Danilovska – Open Society Foundation, Macedonia
  22. Eduardo Bohorquez – Transparencia Mexicana, Mexico
  23. Serghei Ostaf, Moldova
  24. Dorjdari Namkhaijantsan – Open Society Forum, Mongolia
  25. Vuk Maras – MANS, Montenegro
  26. Marjan Delzenne – Budget Monitoring, Netherlands
  27. Samuel Rotta Castilla – Proética, Peru
  28. Vincent Lazatin – Transparency and Accountability Network, the Philippines
  29. Bucur Andra Teodora – Fundatia Soros Romania, Romania
  30. Alison Rachelle Tilly – The Open Democracy Advice Centre, South Africa
  31. Helen Darbishire – Access Info Europe, Spain
  32. John Ulanga – The Foundation for CivilSociety Ltd, Tanzania
  33. Khmara Oleskii – Civic Partnership for supporting in Ukraine Open Government Partnership implementation process, Ukraine
  34. Edison Lanza – CAInfo, Uruguay
  35. Patrice McDermott – Openthegovernment.org, United States