News 26th June 2018

On the Web and in the Pub: Open Government Week 2018

by Kat

Open Government Week in Australia

Thanks to everyone who attended our Open Government Week events in May 7-11. We hosted a webinar and Social Meetup in Sydney. If you missed the webinar, here’s a video and transcript

1- Open Government Week Webinar

Daniel Stewart Independent Reporter, Australian Open Government Civil Society Network Convenor Peter Timmins,  Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Damian Carmichael spoke for about 5 minutes each, tracing past, current directions, and future opportunities for Australia’s involvement in the Open Government Partnership, and additional comments from Open Government Forum Civil Society member, Ken Coghill 

Nook Studio’s Mel Flanagan chaired.[1]

Summary of Webinar Participation:

18 people participated outside of OGP presenter/organiser group. 28 people connected all together, and the webinar picked up 87 views on FB live. Among registered participants were a number of Commonwealth Government agency staff. Other participants joined without registering any affiliation.

Just 4 questions came from participants via email and twitter. No questions came through the webinar platform BlueJeans channel. The webinar received further attention on Twitter, Including a complaint about a problem with the Open Government Partnership Forum, and a lack of feedback to OGP contributors subsequent to their engagement. [2]


2 – Open Government Social Meetup

That evening, around 40, largely ‘open government curious’ people turned up at the pub for a social gathering. All up, 404 people aware of this event.[3] Participants included NSW Information Commissioner Elisabeth Tydd, Damian Carmichael, staff from Digital Transformation Agency, NSW’s Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Department of Finance Services and Innovation, and a couple of journalism students. Except those directly involved few had prior knowledge of Open the Government Partnership. Clearly there’s interest in opportunities for state Governments to get involved.


Feedback & Questions about Participation in the OGP Process

At the social event we learned that a representative from the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) had tried and failed to make a submission to the NAP, hearing nothing back about their registration. This was followed up in the last OGP meeting. It’s clear that the signup process was difficult  and there appear to have been a failure of tech or process for sign ups. At this point, we do not know how many people were not able to contribute to the second OGP NAP because of these failures.


Next Steps: Follow Up with Participants, have more webinars, provide reliable platform for engagement

 The webinar format seemed to work for participants, and with a few tweaks, and some funding, it seems like something we might be able to do monthly, perhaps focusing on different topics and their intersection with Open Government. We’d welcome Forum members, Ministers and others.

OGP Support Unit are happy to provide the BlueJeans platform for future webinars.

Thanks to all participants, the Australian Open Government Partnership Network, Mel Flanagan and Nook Studios who hosted, organised and spruiked both events, and to Shreya Basu from OGP support & OGP support unit for providing the webinar platform.


A debrief document with feedback suggested actions on Webinar from participants is here. If you took part we’d love your help too.

More Information and References

[1] Questions led the conversation:

Daniel Stewart
Q1 Can you tell us a bit about your report?
Q2 What are the lessons for the future we can take from your report?


Peter Timmins

Daniel has talked about the first 6 months of the nation action plan …
Q1 Almost a year later, where would you say we are now?
Q2 What was difficult or disappointing?
Q3 We’re moving towards a second plan what can you say about that so far? What good or what hope can come out of this?


Damien Carmichael
Q1 Can you tell us what work you’ve done on the public participation commitment?
Q2 From the research you’ve done – are there Governments doing this well?
Q3 How might it address some of the shortcomings identified in the first National Action Plan?


[2] Participants then asked these Questions

  • Which Country or jurisdiction is considered as leading the way with public engagement? Julian Singh (Open Data Connect)
  • How can you measure good citizen engagement? Is it the proportion of the population engaged? Is it the level of engagement or something else? -Julian Singh (Open Data Connect)


[3] Social Meetup stats

Direct Traffic 267 Page Views, 44 people signed up , 40 people came

The event was promoted through linkedin, email and hell we even phoned peop to invite them alongle. Event discovery platform 125 (that many people knew about it), Email promotion 10 people abandoned order before purchase

2 got from the events app. All up, 404 connected at a week’s notice

Thanks to Michelle Goff at Nook Studios and Shreya Basu, OGP Support Unit for those participation numbers