Open Government Partnership paper recommends aid transparency commitment

In a high level meeting taking place at the U.S. State Department today and launched by Secretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Patriota, ministers from nearly 60 countries join representatives from more than 40 civil society organisations to discuss best practices, tools, technologies and methodologies to enhance open government, including aid transparency.

The event is a precursor to the formal launch of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in September 2011, when the eight founding OGP governments will gather in New York to embrace an Open Government Declaration, announce their country action plans to promote open government principles, and welcome the commitment of additional countries to join the partnership. We look forward to finding out which governments will be making commitments on aid transparency, and hope these include Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The OGP has been working with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to reach out to leading experts in open government to gather their input on the best practical steps that can be taken to achieve it. This has resulted in the publication of ‘Opening Government: A guide to best practice in transparency, accountability and civic engagement across the public sector’.

The Declaration, to be signed in September, to which Publish What You Fund contributed, sets out recommendations for donor agencies and governments, and recipient governments, for improving aid transparency.

Publish What You Fund looks forward to seeing donors make commitments to the aid transparency recommendations set out in the ‘Opening Government’ paper. These aid transparency recommendations include:

1)   Initial steps: Assess, test and develop a publication schedule for aid information donor agencies already hold, with the emerging standard.

2)   More substantial steps: Publish all existing information already held by aid agencies, in line with best practice, and facilitate the dissemination and use of this information.

3)   More ambitious steps: Build systems to collect data that is not currently held, and invest in the accessibility and use of that information in donor countries.

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