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CSC Newsletter March 2013 No. 3

CSC Newsletter March 2013 No. 3

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Published by emilenemartinez17
OGP CSC Newsletter March 2013
OGP CSC Newsletter March 2013

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Civil Society Coordination Newsletter
- supporting independent engagement with the OGP 
Highlights
Calls with Steer-ing CommitteeCivil Societymembers sched-uled for nextweek.
InformationCommissionersnamed in El Sal-vador after a 15-month delay.
IRM ResearchGuide Open forComments
OGP SteeringCommittee willnot interfere incountry-specificissues.
2013 No. 3March 2013 (#3)
Inside this issue:
Upcoming Events andWebinars
1
News from Latin Amer-ica
2
IRM Research GuideOpen for Comments
2
Catch-Up on OGP Webi-nars
3
OGP SC Will Not Inter- vene in National Issues
3
In Case You Missed It...
3
Consultation ProcessUnderway in Costa Rica
4
New Tool for CSOsEngaging in LegalReform
4
Open GovernmentBlogoshphere
4
Upcoming Events and Webinars
March 5-7
Conference calls with the OGP civil society SC members. A perfect opportunity foreveryone to ask questions, share ideas and concerns or bring up concrete suggestions.
Three
calls will be organized, they will have a geographic focus but are open to all for whom the timeand language works.English, focus on Africa+Asia,
Tuesday 5 March
. Lead: Rakesh Rajani.9am Brussels/11 am Nairobi/15 pm JakartaEnglish, focus on Europe and North America,
Wednesday 6 March
. Lead: Warren Krafchik.9 am EST/15 pm BrusselsSpanish, focus on Latin America,
Thursday 7 March
. Lead: Juan Pardinas.
11 am Mexico/15 pm Brasilia time/18 pm
BrusselsEveryone interested to join can sign up here. Dial in number is
+31 (0)20 717 68 68
with Partici-pant PIN Code
49982757#
. More international dial in numbers will be shared with the peoplethat signed up!
March 19
at 10:00-11:00 AM EST:
Webinar on E-petitions: Giving Voice to Citizens
. With Jenni-fer Shkabatur (World Bank) Peter Herlihy (UK Government Digital Service) and Ruth Fox(Hansard Society).There seems to be a mini epidemic going on in Europe
 –
and spreading to Africa
 –
of civil soci-ety forming coalitions that seek to work together and persuade governments to join OGP. Imentioned Ireland before, where a group calledActive Citizen took the lead and might be able to cry victory soon. In IndiaMKSS (the organization of Steering Committee member Nikhil Dey) is still actively pushing for membership. And by now we also have active coalitions in Poland,Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Uganda eager to see their countries join and work on anambitious action plan.The points of discussion I most often hear from actors in aspiring OGP countries are focusedon how to make the case for membership and on the mildness of the eligibility criteria.What can we do to support these coalitions? One thing we will do the coming weeks as theCivil Society Coordination is to try and bring these groups together in a call to share experi-ences and tactics. Who do you need to involve and how do you get access to these actors?How can we involve the media? What arguments for joining OGP were most convincing? Whatinternational support is out there? If you have smart insights, especially on the arguments thatworked with your government, do drop me a line (maassenpaul at gmail.com). For those of you already active this will be a busy week with plenty of opportunity to makeyour voice heard internationally. There are two calls planned to discuss theIRM reportingmethodand three to get anupdate from the Steering Committee membersabout what is go- ing on and for them to hear your questions, suggestions and worries.Kind regardsPaul
 
News from Latin AmericaIRM Draft Research Guide Open for Comments
March 2013 (#3)
Page 2
In the past weeks there have been important developments re-lated to open government topics in Latin America, below aresome of the highlights:
Mexican
launched a Twitter campaign under the hashtag#IFAI-nosenegocia urging legislators to preserve the independence of theFederal Access to Information and Data Protection Institute(IFAI).In the aftermath of an institutional crisis sparked by the
election of IFAI’s new president in January, legislators have pro-posed removing IFAI’s five commissioners by adding a transitory
article in a constitutional reform that seeks to strengthen the
country’s transparency and access to information regime.
From
Brazil
:Greg Michener published ablog post with a brief 
update on Brazil’s FOI law. Greg shares interesting examples: FOI
audits have produced results that cast doubt of governmentcompliance figures that are reported to be at 95%. After sixmonths and a half of operation the government has received51,400 requests -
with four of Brazil’s 27 states receiving ap-
proximately 60% of all requests (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mi-nas Gerais, and the Federal District).From
El Salvador
: after a 15 month delay, President Funes finallyelected the first 5 commissioners that will serve 6-year or 4-
year terms in the country’s Access to Information Commission.
Candidates were elected based on shortlists made by 5 groupsof stakeholders: unions; professional, business and journalistassociations and representatives from universities. CarminaCastro fromFusades pointed out that the real challenge now is to install the Comission which has not been assigned a budgetyet. More information can be found at
site. The members of the
Advisory Board of OGP’s Latin American
Regional Civil Society Coordination
were announced last week,they are: Asociación Civil para la Libertad y la Justicia from Ar-gentina; Cultura Ecológica from Mexico and the Access Initiative;Article 19 and GPOPAI from Brazil; Proética from Peru; CostaRica Integra; Ciudadano Inteligente and Chile Transparente fromChile; representing Alianza Regional, Asociación por los Dere-chos Civiles based in Argentina; representing Transparency Inter-
national’s chapters in the region, Transparencia por Colombia;and the global archivist’s coalition Archiveros sin Fronteras.
check out this paper fromDatosAbiertos, Transparencia y Acceso a la Información(DATA) whichshowcases the results of an initial dialogue on the Open Govern-ment Partnership that was organized as a follow-up to the re-gional hackathonDesarrollando América Latina. The
Independent Reporting Mechanism
(IRM) invites OGPstakeholders to comment on the
Draft Research Guide for Na-tional Level Researchers
. The IRM is the part of OGP chargedwith reviewing the development and implementation of countryaction plans on an annual basis.The first 8 countries to be evaluated are Brazil, Indonesia, Mex-ico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, andUnited States, to be followed shortly by the 38 participatingcountries that joined OGP in Brasilia in 2012.The Research Guide will form the basis for investigation for na-tional-level researchers as they carry out reviews, stakeholdermeetings, and interviews with key players in the OGP process.For more information on the background for the research guideand public consultation you can visit theOGP blog. 
How to Make Yourself Heard
There are 4 ways to submit comments on the draftguidance:
1.
Join the conversation and comment directly on thedraft athttp://ogpirm.digress.it/ (preferred)
2.
Comment in the comments section of the
IRM’s
3.
Take part in one of two phone conversations (one inSpanish and one in English) with members of the Inter-national Panel of Experts in the coming weeks.
4.
Send direct to IRM Manager Joseph Foti: joseph.foti(at) opengovpartnership.org
 
Catch-Up on OGP Webinars
with EdwardAndersson, Urmo Kübar and Paul Maassen (22 January).
with Helen Darbishire andKevin Dunion (19 February).
with Edu-ardo Bohórquez and Irina Tisacova (25 February).
 
 
Page 3
Civil Society Coordination Newsletter
In Case you Missed It...
After months of intensive work and lobbying, a
new Free-dom of Information law
was adopted in
Croatia
on Febru-ary 15
th
. Vanja Škorić, Senior Legal Advisor of GONG, a Croa-
tian non-
partisan citizens’ organization is very delighted
about the achievement and says having the commitment inthe OGP action plan helped. For more information clickhere. In
Hungary
, Sandor Lederer wrote a
 about theOGP process in his country. He specifically highlights theextent to which NGO suggestions were taken up in the draftaction plan, and doubts the sincerity of the Hungarian gov-ernment
 –
through OGP
 –
to truly get to work with the per-vasive corruption challenge in the country.Last month, the Policy Association for an Open Society(PASOS) launched aproject focusing on the OGP in southeast Europe, covering 6 countries:
Albania, Bosnia and Her-zegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia
.The aim of this project is to monitor governments' commit-ments, existing policies and praxis; and either to work withthe countries on shaping action Ppans or to produceshadow action plans to build up momentum for the govern-ments to sign up to the OGP.The
Sunlight Foundation
is setting up a research project toevaluate the impact of technology-driven transparency poli-cies around the world. Read more about it on theirblog.  TheOpen Knowledge Foundation is well-known for its hard work on opening up governments and societies. Recently, ithas been further elaborating an
Open Data Census
, track-ing the state of open data globally. Released when the OGPHigh Level Meeting was taking place in Brasilia in April 2012,the census now covers more than 40 countries providingvarious open data sets.Have a look
at what’s in it for you!
 
 
OGP Steering Committee Will Not Intervene inNational Issues
The OGP Steering Committee’s will not interfere in country
specific issues and will only comment on national contro-
versies in several defined “exceptional circumstances”. This
statement was part of an official response to theCentre forLaw and Democracy and theInstitute for Freedom of Infor-
 open letter,in which they denounced the failure of the Philippine government to adopt FOI legislature.
The Steering Committee stated that: “OGP views govern-
ments as primarily accountable to their own citizens. There-fore concerns with respect to a particular country are firstand foremost a matter to be addressed through nationalprocesses, empowering local actors to pursue these de-
bates and necessary actions”. Have a look at the
chronologyand full documentation. If you are interested in learning more about the PhilippineFOI bill click the image below:If you have any information or materials that you wouldwant for us to include in our next newsletter please sendthem to Nout van der Vaart (n.van.der.vaart@hivos.nl)or Emilene Martínez (emilene17@gmail.com).
 
Don’t forget to send us
your nominations for the SteeringCommittee, deadline has been extended to March 8th.Have a look at current candidates and their endorse-mentshere. 

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