Open Government Partnership, and as the name implies, is basically about having an open government.
It was established on September 20th, 2011 by eight founding governments (i.e. Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States) and civil society organisations. They came together to create a working system to promote transparency and accountability, ensure proper public service delivery, and create an enabling environment for citizen participation in governance.
The OGP currently has over 78 countries and thousands of civil society organisations who are members. Nigeria became the 70th member signed on to the OGP on a national level in July 2016. A National Action Plan was developed, and provisions were made for sub-national voluntary membership.
Since then, a few states have bought into the vision and signed onto the platform on a sub-national level. Notable mention that Kaduna state was the first of these states.
In Nigeria, our primary commitment areas are:
- Fiscal Transparency
- Extractive Transparency
- Access to Information
- Citizens’ Engagement and Empowerment
- Inclusiveness and Service Delivery.
The OGP and what it means for the “common man”.
If you’ve ever wondered about participating in the happenings in Nigeria, then you should be a supporter and an advocate for the OGP.
If you’ve ever passed by any government project and thought that they were in a deplorable state and wondered what the government was doing about it, you should be an advocate of the OGP.
One of the primary things to note about the OGP is that any information that should be public about the runnings of the government should be accessible online.
This means, you should be able to get information about projects near you, this information should include contractors, the budget amount, specific location, a detailed description of projects and you as a concerned citizen can monitor/track the progress of said projects.
You can also request more information from the particular Ministry, Department or Agency responsible for executing the said project.
Thankfully, there already exists a community of interested young people who already demand transparency and accountability by “following the money.”
To be a part of them, please sign up on https://ifollowthemoney.mn.co/feed and drop a message with your state of residence, and someone who lives in the same state will respond to you.
For more information
Here are a few links to get more information about the OGP. You should also search on google your state of residence or origin to find out if it is signed on to the OGP on a subnational level.
If they’re not, you have your work cut out for you; gather interested young people like you and advocate for the government of your state to be a part of it.
If they are, you should look for your state’s commitment areas, and judge the amount of effort and work that has been done and is being done to fulfil them.
Social media (especially Twitter, is a great tool to create a buzz for such things)
You can also check them out on Twitter and follow for frequent updates. Don’t forget to check if your state has an OGP social media presence too!
To find out more about Nigeria’s action plan and commitments, visit the link below.https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Nigeria_Action-Plan_2019-2021.docx
Nsidibe-Abasi Joy Una is Program Officer at FollowTaxes