The Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network
Every two years, Canada and 68 other countries create action plans as members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Canada’s first two plans each contained twelve commitments aimed at improving access to information, civic participation and public accountability.
Canada is required by the OGP to engage in public consultation in preparing and implementing its plan. There have been issues with the scope and nature of this consultation over the last two action plans. So, this year, we established a Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network to coordinate civil society input and make sure our voices are heard.
Our vision for the network is to establish a permanent dialogue mechanism through which the government first co-develops commitments for its action plan with civil society representatives, and later co-implements those commitments and then co-assesses its performance.
During the consultation on the action plan, dozens of civil society organizations signed our letter of intent. We are pleased to see that the final plan includes our proposal. Our next step is to negotiate the details of this ongoing dialogue mechanism with the government.
To join the network as a civil society organization or an individual and receive updates about our progress, contact email@example.com.
Once the dialogue mechanism is established, it will be a powerful tool for network members to push for commitments that are specific to their areas of activity — whether it’s health, education, homelessness, environment, or any other area.
We are still in the early stages of determining the structure of the network and growing our membership. We have created an interim steering committee to take the work forward for now:
- Gail Davidson, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada
- David Fewer, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
- Jean-Noé Landry, Open North
- Michael Lenczner, Powered by Data
- James McKinney
- Toby Mendel, Centre for Law and Democracy
- Sukanya Pillay, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
We will in due course adopt proper terms of reference (read our draft) and elect a new steering committee.