Within the Open Government Partnership, government and civil society are
intended to be partners and co-creators of the National Action Plan.
To achieve this, over 30 OGP countries use multi-stakeholder forums. The
forums provide a permanent dialogue mechanism between government and civil
society, participating as equal partners in agreeing the National Action Plan
and planning and monitoring in its implementation. For additional context, we
are sending via email an OGP draft document describing these forums.
To date, the Government of Canada has been going through each stage of the
OGP process unilaterally, without the active participation and collaboration
of civil society.
To remedy this, on March 29, we launched the Canadian Open Government Civil
Society Network (http://www.opengovdialogue.ca). Our purpose is to establish
a permanent dialogue mechanism and to engage more civil society organizations
in the OGP. Since then, 26 organizations have signed the letter of intent
(attached with signatories).
To lead the network, an interim steering committee was formed. Its members
Gail Davidson, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada
David Fewer, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
Jean-Noé Landry, Open North
Michael Lenczner, Powered by Data
Toby Mendel, Centre for Law and Democracy
Sukanya Pillay, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
After discussions and meetings with civil servants in the Treasury Board
Secretariat, we are submitting a proposal for a multi-stakeholder forum
In preparing this proposal, we spoke with civil society representatives in
countries with permanent dialogue mechanisms, we spoke with the OGP Support
Unit to learn about other countries’ experiences, we built on the resources
they provided, and we integrated their feedback to our proposal.
Many OGP countries have formed multi-stakeholder forums through executive
decrees and similar instruments. Canada’s forum should be formed through an
Order-in-Council, to protect it from easily becoming inactive through, for
example, the neglect of a new government after an election. We can provide
sample orders from other countries.
We look forward to further refining this proposal in the next phase of the
consultation on the OGP National Action Plan in June.
James McKinney, on behalf of the Interim Steering Committee of the Canadian
Open Government Civil Society Network
Letter of intent with signatories:
Proposal for a multi-stakeholder forum: