Uncategorised 13th March 2016

Listen up: Tips from the OGP Support Unit on developing a national action plan

by Peter Timmins

The Webinar on 1 March on the National Action Plan process organised by the OGP Support Unit and the World BankĀ  is now available as an audio (go to bottom right corner to play) together with the slides used by the two presenters Abhinav Bahl and Shreya Basu.

The Webinar was live from 2 am AEDT on 2 March.

Ken Coghill from network member Accountability Roundtable (andĀ Associate Professor at Monash University) was the only one among us who sprang out of bed at the appointed hour.

However others can now tune in to the hour long conversation, highly relevant given the consultation underway on the development of Australia’s first National Action Plan.

Plenty of encouragement here from the presenters to those of us taking a serious interest to push the envelope in arguing for and proposing commitments to promote transparency, accountability and public participation.

Listeners will note the OGP strongly supports the establishment of a multi-stakeholder forum in each of the 51 countries preparing a first or subsequent national action plan this year-a forum for ongoing dialogue between government and civil society as they collaborate in co-creation of the plan and monitor its implementation.

Shreya Basu from the OGP Support Unit suggests the forum should be co-managed between the partners, that civil society should be able to chose its own representatives, and that the forum meet regularly during the development and implementation phases of the plan.

Network Chairman David Solomon in his submission to government in early February drew attention to the fact that regrettably such a mechanism is not part of the Australian government’s plans.

Why we chose to ignore recommended best practice has not been explained.

There is some discussion during the Webinar about the Independent Reporting Mechanism-the independent assessment in due course of each country’s plan development process, the quality of its commitments and performance in implementation.

In 2014 while the Abbott government sat uncomfortably on the fence following Labor’s announced (2013) intention to join, Daniel Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Law at Australian National University was selected as the national researcher to carry out this process. Presuming he still has the guernsey, I imagine he is watching with interest.