"What are the concerns raised about civic space in participating countries?"
One of the most significant decisions taken by the OGP steering committee at their September 24th, 2014 meeting in New York was to adopt a new policy to deal with concerns raised about civic space in participating countries. The Policy is titled “Upholding the Values and Principles of OGP, as articulated in the Open Government Declaration” and it has two tightly defined objectives: a) Assist a country in question to overcome difficulties and to help re-establish an environment for government and civil society collaboration, and b) Safeguard the Open government Declaration and mitigate reputational risks to OGP The new policy acknowledges that there may be issues outside the scope of National Action Plans that have a major impact on successful participation in OGP, and creates an opportunity to address them. This may include restrictions on basic freedoms, access to information and the overall enabling environment for civil society. To maintain the OGP’s credibility – and safeguard its long-term future – it is important that the participating countries uphold these values and principles, as expressed in the Open Government Declaration and in the Articles of Governance (all countries endorse the Open Government Declaration on joining OGP, albeit in a non-binding, voluntary manner). Together with this new policy, OGP also has response mechanisms in place for countries that for example do not meet the deadlines for delivering a new Action Plan or for not following up on recommendations from the Independent Progress Reports. This webinar will start with giving an overview of all OGP mechanisms before in depth introducing the new policy. The speakers will describe the background of the new policy, present the process and timeline and sketch possible responses by OGP. This webinar will also give an idea of the type of cases the new policy is supposed to deal with (and which not).