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Government Partnership (OGP) The Open Government Partnership (OGP, www.opengovpartnership.org) is an international, voluntary effort to improve government performance, encourage civic participation and enhance government responsiveness to people. OGP aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. To achieve these objectives, OGP brings together governments and civil society organizations as true partners. OGP is overseen by a Steering Committee composed of governments and civil society organizations in equal numbers, a unique model that embodies the goal of civic participation. Its chairs are also drawn from both sectors. OGP is already demonstrating the power of this approach – in its first year it has grown from 8 participating countries to 57, each of which embraces the OGP Declaration of Principles, and commits to developing and implementing country action plans, all jointly developed with civil society. Aim of the output: Strengthen the national consultation/engagement process around OGP by (1) Providing the civil society community working on OGP with a readable and ready-to-use product with inspiration, lessons, ideas and potential pitfalls around the consultation and participation process. (2) Providing the civil society members on the OGP Steering Committee with a condensed analysis of first-year experiences to inform (if needed) a discussion within the Steering Committee on this. Objective of the research assignment: (1) Describe the experiences – primarily but not only from civil society perspective - with the OGP consultation processes at national level during the Action Plan development phase of the Open Government Partnership (15-20 countries); (2) Describe the various models of on-going coordination and engagement between civil society and the government, as well as amongst civil society themselves at national level. Background One of the distinctive features of the Open Government Partnership is the role civil society organisation have at (inter)national level in governing, implementing and monitoring this multistakeholder mechanism. Civil Society is a formal part of the OGP process at the local level. The OGP guidelines require all participating governments to consult with civil society and the broader public as they develop their OGP action plans. The OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism will verify this consultation after the first year of implementation. OGP strongly encourages civil society to take advantage of these public consultations and play an active and informed role in the commitment development process in their country. Civil Society can continue the dialogue and partnership during the implementation phase of the national Action Plans. They can do so for example by actively contributing in the implementation of commitments, or by monitoring progress. As the national dynamic and context are leading, the ideal approach will differ per country. Next to a wide range of national civil society organisations, a range of regional and international NGOs, funders and multi-lateral actors are involved in OGP. There is an active mailinglist of almost 400 members.
The OGP guidelines on public consultation are at www.opengovpartnership.org/consultation. More on OGP and civil society can be found here: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/civil-society The independent civil society coordinator (CSC) and the civil society members of the Steering Committee (CSSC) have come across a range of different experiences – some positive, more negative - on the first round of consultation processes in the member countries. A community-wide survey on various topics including civil society engagement was held in July 2012. There is also some understanding on the coordination models governments and civil society organisations have developed at national level. Most of this information is however scattered and anecdotal. To be able to provide the OGP community with well-written, inspiring stories and useful lessons on successes and failures on consultation and on going engagement– and to inform the work of both the CSC and the CSSC this piece of investigative journalism is commissioned. The civil society coordinator will provide to the chosen candidate the detailed CSO survey answers (confidential), provide contact information for a range of actors at national level and supply other relevant documents. No travel is required, interviews will be done via phone/skype. Key deliverables Small publication on the experiences – primarily but not only from civil society perspective - with the OGP consultation processes at national level during the Action Plan development phase of the Open Government Partnership. (70% of the work) o Experiences from 15-20 countries; o Contains 1-2 page summary with overview/conclusions, small intro, country narratives (1 page each) and concluding piece with key experiences, lessons/mistakes and other suggestions o The summary, intro and concluding piece should be usable as a stand-alone small publication. o Based on interviews with a standardised set of questions to be asked to all interviewed actors across countries. Primarily from civil society perspective but at least the responsible government official for OGP/consultation also needs to be interviewed o Maximum 25 pages, country narratives need to be readable as stand-alone pieces as well Small publication on the models and initial experience of on-going coordination and engagement between civil society and the government, as well as amongst civil society themselves at national level. (30% of the work) o Contains 1-page summary with overview/conclusions, small intro, country narratives (1/2 page each) and concluding piece with key experiences, lessons/mistakes and other suggestions o Based on interviews with a standardised set of questions to be asked to each actor across countries o Primarily from civil society perspective but at least the responsible government official for OGP/consultation also needs to be interviewed o Maximum 15 pages. To be published as PDF, summary to be published as blog-posts. Paper-copies might be produced as well. Key data might be released as an open data set. Each interviewed actor should be asked if his answers can be published openly, only anonymous, or not at all. The style and approach desired are more of a journalistic nature (well researched, yet easy to read).
Production Timeline: Both pieces should be done by March 22, 2013.
Quote procedure The deadline for submitting a quote is 21 December 2012, 6 p.m. CET. Quotes to be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with copy to email@example.com. The quote should include Suggested approach to develop and deliver the products (including key sample questions) Expected timeline (including key moments for drafts and final products) Draft budget (including number of days/dayrate, travel cost etc) References and writing samples For further information about this Request for Quote, please contact the independent civil society coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org (or via skype at maassenpaul). Sketch of what we are looking for Excellent writing skills Native English speaking Fresh, crisp style of writing Good analytical skills Track record in interviewing people by phone Experience with writing on OGP and/or topics of open government, transparency, accountability a plus Experience with writing on government / civil society interaction a plus Experience in (investigative) journalism a plus
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