Yesterday, 29 October 2015, ODAC were honoured to attend the Grand Opening of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at the exquisite Belles Artes, Mexico City. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the hundred in attendance with a focused and clear vision of how South Africa will hold the position of Chair of the OGP in the upcoming year (the full text of his talk is already available here).
There were very many interesting takeaways, However for ODAC in particular, it was the mention of the African Peer Review Mechanism that piqued our interest, given that today at the OGP Summit in Mexico at 3pm in Room Bernardo Quintana we will be presenting a panel (alongside Henry Maina of Article 19 and Thokozani Thusi of Public Services and Administration) entitled: "The OGP and Other Mechanisms: Competition or Partners?". Ramaphosa stated:
"We believe there is a lot we can learn from how the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) conducts its business and ensures open, collegial, and equal participation of countries that partake in it.
Through the African Peer Review Mechanism, the African continent contributed significantly to the formulation of the goals and targets of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. History calls upon all of us to respond to people’s basic needs such as food, water, sanitation, healthcare and education."
The happy co-existence of mechanisms has not always be 'given' by different critics. Yet, particularly as the incorporation of the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 has been such a focus of this Summit, considered insight needs to be provided. It was with this in mind that ODAC completed a comprehensive piece of research into the question. Our main takeaways were:
- The OGP has a particular - and necessary - focus on transparency and the forwarding of accountable government.
- Review mechanisms can be harmonised, but particularly if - when commitments under the OGP are drafted - there is adequate consultation and considered incorporation.
- The focus on the improvement of the provision of data through the OGP can directly contribute to the measurement of indicators in other systems.
- There is a systematic series of questions, revealed in the report, that can assist in determining how different mechanisms might complement and differ.
For more insights, join us today at 3pm in Room Bernard Quintana.