Promote open government globally - Commitment 21


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Lead implementing department(s)
Global Affairs
Treasury Board Secretariat
International Development Research Centre
Reporting period

Mid-term (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017)

Other actors involved: Open Government Partnership, Open Data Charter, La Francophonie

Commitment description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?

The world is witnessing a global transformation, fueled by citizens’ desire to better understand how their governments make decisions and develop policy. At the same time, there are growing global trends of citizen distrust, shrinking civic space, and elite capture. At the OGP Global Summit in Paris in December 2016, officials from around the world acknowledged that, recognizing these global trends, the future of democracy itself is at stake.
The global open government movement can be a countervailing force to these disturbing trends by promoting the rule of law, reducing corruption, promoting public access to information, and developing effective and accountable institutions. The Government is committed to working with international partners in government, civil society, private sector, and academia to support the principles of openness and transparency around the world.

What is the commitment?

The Government of Canada will work with international partners to promote the principles of open government around the world.

How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?

Canada is undertaking leadership roles in the global open government community, supporting the International Open Data Charter and the Open Government Partnership, and fostering new strategic partnerships through organizations like the International Organisation of La Francophonie. By working collaboratively with international partners to promote common, global principles of open government, Canada can cement its role as a world leader in openness and transparency.

Relevance to OGP values

This commitment relates to the OGP value of transparency.

Status update

Deliverables in Action Plan

  1. Participate in key forums internationally to learn from other countries and share our challenges and successes.
  2. Strengthen the capacity to deliver open data in Francophone Africa through support to locally-led, multi-stakeholder processes and international conferences.
  3. Promote the principles of the International Open Data Charter, participate in the development of enabling resources and tools for the Charter, and support the development of the World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer through the Open Data for Development network to measure the Charter’s implementation by governments around the world.

Expected result

Canada will be recognized as a global leader in openness and transparency. It will foster greater adoption and implementation of global principles of open data.

Description of results

  1. The Government of Canada has participated in several international forums over the past year to build capacity and advance understanding around open government, including numerous events with international partners and counterparts, including through the Open Government Partnership, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank.  Specific events include:
    • Officials in the International Development Research Centre, working as part of the Open Data for Development program, co-hosted the fourth International Open Data Conference in Madrid in October 2016. The conference convened over 1,700 participants from around the world.
    • At the most recent OGP Global Summit in Paris in December 2016, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, led Canada’s delegation and participated in a number of panel discussions to share Canada’s experiences, successes, and lessons learned in open government.
    • The Summit also provided a venue for OD4D to workshop the draft International Open Data Roadmap report. This report was then launched at the UN World Data Forum in Cape Town in January 2017.
    • On the margins of the OGP Summit in Paris, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat officials also participated in the Academic Days conference, which brought together students and professors from post-secondary institutions across Europe and around the world to discuss open government issues and reflect on the ways academic research can support greater accountability and openness.
    • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat officials have also participated in multilateral organizations and working groups focused on open government issues. This includes:
      • Work through the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its experts groups focused on open government data and open government principles and indicators. In November 2016, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat officials participated in an OECD-led peer learning mission, travelling to Costa Rica to share Canada’s experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of open government.
      • Participation in the Open Data Africa Conference in Accra, Ghana, which convened tech industries, small businesses, journalists, entrepreneurs, researchers, NGOs, and local and national governments to share advances in open data, share lessons, and form new partnerships and collaborations.
  2. The Open Data for Development program co-hosted the first “Conférence d’Afrique Francophone sur les Données Ouvertes” to convene open data stakeholders in the region, and to kick-start planning for a Francophone Africa open data hub.

    The Open Data Barometer was made available in French for the first time.

  3. The Open Data for Development program supported the 2016 Open Data Barometer. The Open Data Barometer is used by policy makers, as well as advocates worldwide, and in a continuously increasing number of countries. Several governments are already using it to benchmark their open data performance and set targets. The regional Open Data Barometer nodes helped to collect the data, and developed regional reports.

    Canada is a Lead Steward of the Open Data Charter, and Chair of the Charter’s Implementation Working Group. In this role, Canada has developed key resources to support more effective implementation of Charter principles among adopting governments. Canada has also worked with partners in government and civil society around the world to identify existing resources that can reinforce Charter implementation.

Next steps to June 2018

  1. Canada will chair the next International Aid Transparency Initiative Members’ Assembly where stakeholders will share their experience and discuss joint solutions to improve the availability and use of open aid data.

    Canada was recently elected to join the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee, and will officially become a member of the Steering Committee in fall 2017. Canada will leverage this new leadership role to support peer learning and exchange on key priorities, including the empowerment of women and girls, greater focus on citizen-centred governance, and strengthening diversity and inclusivity in the OGP.

  2. The Open Data for Development will be launching a call for a Francophone Africa host institution to be the hub for the region.

    Canada will seek opportunities to collaborate with partners to improve capacity for open data in Francophone Africa.

  3. Further dissemination in national and regional events, engaging governments in how to improve their open data policies and harness greater use and impact.

    Canada will continue to work with Charter Lead Stewards to launch newly-developed resources supporting the implementation of Charter principles, including annotated Charter text, key definitions, and a roadmap for adoption and early implementation. Canada will also formalize its adoption of the Open Data Charter, and will aim to reflect the principles in the Charter in the development of Canada’s next OGP National Action Plan (2018-2020).

Completion level

  1. Substantial
  2. Substantial
  3. Substantial
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