The fundamental values of open government are under threat globally. Over 100 countries took steps to close civic space in 2015, press freedom has reached a twelve-year low with just 13% of the world’s population living in countries with a robust, independent media, and state responses to terrorist acts are increasingly infringing on civil liberties. Citizens’ growing distrust of public institutions coupled with widespread feelings of exclusion have fueled nationalism, populism and authoritarianism around the world.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) acts as a countervailing force to anti-democratic trends by securing concrete commitments from governments to increase civic participation, promote greater transparency, improve access to open data and strengthen accountability. On joining the Partnership, member countries co-create two-year National Action Plans (NAPs) with civil society and agree to public, independent reporting on their progress. OGP’s 74 participating nations and 15 pioneer subnational governments have made over 2,500 commitments to advance open government since the initiative launched in 2011.
Open government reforms have enormous potential to help countries achieve the Paris Agreement. As the former co-chair and current Steering Committee member of the Partnership, WRI has placed climate action squarely on the open government community’s agenda as a core priority by:
Encouraging OGP member countries to make ambitious climate commitments. WRI helps governments design and integrate climate commitments—like building user-friendly climate data platforms or increasing public participation in climate policymaking—into their NAPs.
Providing technical expertise and assistance to governments. WRI contributes the tools, data platforms and resources that countries need to successfully implement climate commitments; we also help build governments’ capacity to cultivate institutional buy-in and form strong cross-sector coalitions for climate action.
Facilitating climate-focused civil society engagement with OGP. WRI encourages civil society organizations with diverse constituencies to participate in OGP’s NAP process and help governments develop climate commitments.
Catalyzing open government, climate and natural resources innovations. WRI leads open climate and natural resources working groups, bringing formerly siloed experts together to share good practices, provide technical guidance and collaboratively design open government solutions to support climate action.