How to make an OGP National Action Plan commitment

Start Starting Line Americorps Cinema Service Night Wilcox Park May 20, 20117

Photo by stevendepolo on Flickr (cc by 2.0)

Australia has only 5 months to define ambitious open government reforms for its first Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan. In this time we must gather raw ideas, research, discuss and deliberate them into fully developed, budgeted, and agreed commitments. In July the government must announce the commitments it will implement over the next 18 months.

Defining concrete commitments, building support for them, and negotiating with our government is the most important work our Civil Society network can do right now. Unfortunately, it’s not very clear how to actually do this yet. Last week, Henare, Luke, and I got together to discuss what the OpenAustralia Foundation might do to make the process clearer. We soon realised we didn’t really know what the process was ourselves.

To demystify it, for ourselves and others in the network, we’ve decided to jump in and have a go. We’ll create one commitment in an area we care about and document the process for everyone. We invite you to collaborate with us. Join us on the journey, and together we’ll show how one group of citizens creates an action plan commitment towards reforms that make a big difference in our community.

At the OpenAustralia Foundation we work to make parliament more open through projects like They Vote For You. We see some clear gaps in Parliamentary openness that our first National Action Plan can address, so that’s the area we’ll focus a commitment on.

To start things off here’s the process we plan to go through to create our first OGP National Action Plan commitment:

  1. Define the problem – what is it? Who else cares about this?

  2. Work out what makes an effective commitment

  3. Develop the commitment according to the OGP’s  template

  4. Submit commitment somehow – how best to do this? By when?

I’m off to get started now. We’ll keep you posted about what we learn along the way. Drop in or lend a hand in this Open Parliament discussion.  Or find out more at our pub meet tonight in Surry Hills.

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