Albanian OGP coalition announced at IDM conference

December 6, 2013

News Source: Institute for Democracy and Mediation, Albania

A group of Albanian civil society groups working to support the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Albania announced at a December 5 Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) conference the creation of a new coalition to support open government.

The Albanian CSO Coalition on OGP is committed to improve the OGP Albania Process by upholding the value of openness in governments’ engagement with citizens to improve services, manage public resources, promote innovation, and create safer communities, according to IDM.

This coalition is open for organizations that share the same values, IDM said.

The announcement came at a one-day IDM conference held in Tirana that brought together representatives of NGOs and officials to discuss the status of open government in Albania.

The conference was held in connection with Advocacy for Open Government: Civil society agenda-setting and monitoring of country action plan,  an EU-funded PASOS project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.

Present at the conference were Milena Harito, Albanian Minister of State for Innovation and Public Administration, Paul Maassen, OGP Civil Society Coordinator, and other representatives of civil society organizations and public administration institutions.

This conference came at a key moment within the framework of political changes in the country and within the technical engagement of Albania to prepare and deliver a second OGP action plan for 2014-2015, IDM said.

OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. To become a member of the OGP, participating countries must embrace a high level Open Government Declaration; deliver a country Action Plan developed with public consultation; and commit to independent reporting on their progress. Currently, 60 countries have joined the OGP, including Albania.

Other PASOS members who are working on “Advocacy for Open Government: Civil society agenda-setting and monitoring of country action plans” in their respective countries are the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (Serbia), the Analitika Center for Social Research (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Riinvest Institute for Development Research (Kosovo), the Center for Research and Policy Making (Macedonia), the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (Montenegro), and the Monitoring Center CEMI (Montenegro).

Through a common methodology addressing a common framework for open government, the project also includes expert training of civil society in the methodology for shaping Open GovernmentPartnership commitments country by country, training of civil society organisations based in advocacy, monitoring, and policy analysis. Project partners are monitoring the impact of government polices, and developing commitments for governments to make under the OGP Initiative.

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