Civil society

How can civil society participate in the OGP?


The practice of civil society participation at the international and country level is enshrined in the OGP principles and structures. There are an equal number of civil society organizations (CSOs) and government members on the Steering Committee of the OGP. CSO members work together with governments on the Steering Committee and sub-committees to lead, manage, and guide the ongoing development and direction of OGP.

OGP participating governments commit to developing their country action plans through a multi-stakeholder process, with the active engagement of citizens and civil society. Taking account of relevant national laws and policies, OGP participants agree to develop their country commitments according to the following principles:

  • Countries will make the details of their public consultation process and timeline available (online at minimum) prior to the consultation.
  • Countries will consult widely with the national community, including civil society and the private sector; seek out a diverse range of views; and make a summary of the public consultation and all individual written comment submissions available online.
  • Countries will undertake OGP awareness raising activities to enhance public participation in the consultation.
  • Countries will consult the population with sufficient forewarning and through a variety of mechanisms -including online and through in-person meetings-to ensure the accessibility of opportunities for citizens to engage.
  • Countries will identify a forum to enable regular multi-stakeholder consultation on OGP implementation - this can be an existing entity or a new one.

The extent to which countries follow the above principles in practice is assessed by the Independent Reporting Mechanism (see below) in its annual reports.

The OGP Networking Mechanism is a further way for CSOs to be involved in the OGP. The mission of the networking mechanism is to introduce governments to peer governments, nongovernmental groups, and private companies with experience that can assist governments with conceptualizing and implementing action plans.

Civil society is also encouraged to participate via the OGP portal, by writing blog posts, using the OGP Support Unit to ask questions and raise issues, and sharing experiences and case studies. The OGP annual meeting and other OGP outreach events also provide opportunities for civil society to engage with the broader OGP network.

Finally, civil society is strongly encouraged to develop independent monitoring and advocacy programs at the country level around OGP action plan development and implementation. While its role is inherently informal, the OGP Steering Committee views independent civil society monitoring and activism as essential to the overall success and sustainability of the effort. 

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