Democracies take pride in the effective representation of the people and Open Government Partnership is providing such platforms for meaningful, modernized and impactful relationships between both parties.
As a matter of fact, modern democracies have transcended beyond electoral processes or citizen enfranchisement to more sophisticated forms where citizens and the governing class play major roles in the administration of the State with seamless working relationship between both parties. The role of civil societies, private sector, and other citizen groups becomes substantiated through the concept of Open Government Partnership.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral initiative for improving democracies and institutions, fostering human rights, was formally launched on September 20, 2011 at a United Nations General Assembly meeting where Heads of States from eight (8) founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration and announced their country action plans along with an equal number of civil society leaders.
The concept is built on four main principles namely:
- Citizen Participation
- Technology and Innovation.
Since its creation, OGP has resulted in over 2,500 commitments made by 75 participating countries, covering a third of the world’s population. Nigeria became the 70th member of the OGP initiative in July 2016. A national Action Plan was developed and provisions were made for sub-national voluntary membership.
Kaduna, Kano, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Enugu, and Abia States have indicated interest in official membership of the OGP initiative and some have commenced implementing the principles. Today, Ekiti State has become the first in the Southwest Region of Nigeria to indicate membership of this initiative. In October 2019, the state indicated interest when a letter of intent was sent through the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Matters, to the OGP national headquarters.
Having received authorization from the OGP national secretariat in Abuja, the state will now commence to set up a steering committee which would consist of equal membership from both state and non-state actors coming together to develop a state action plan by which the OGP would be implemented in the State.
This membership affords member-states of a myriad of opportunities that better position them for improved governance ratings. Some of which include:
- earning citizens’ trust
- Attracting foreign donor credibility–
- improvement in public service delivery
- Promoting transparency and Accountability