The Open Government Partnership (OGP) works with governments of more than 70 countries to strengthen their commitment to transparency, anti-corruption, citizen empowerment and responsive governance. As part of the process, OGP utilizes the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) to evaluate each country’s progress towards their commitments on a regular basis. The IRM implements a public engagement mechanism, where each report is open for a two-week commenting period by the general public. Since the end of 2017, OGP has been using CiviComment to facilitate the commenting process. Some examples of reports include the OGP Scotland IRM Preliminary Review 2017 and the Serbia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018.
- Using the CiviComment App, OGP uploads relevant reports for each participating country or region for public commenting.
- The OGP sets a 2-week deadline for commentators to evaluate each document and publish their comments, ensuring enough time for thorough document analysis, but also reasonable turnaround times.
- Commentators have the choice to include their personal information or to comment on the documents anonymously, allowing for a broader range of participants.
- Users leave their comments directly on top of the text it relates to, cutting down on the time it takes OGP to track and process comments.
- To ensure international engagement, OGP publishes some of the reports with two available versions – one in English and one in the relevant local language.
CiviComment provides an easy-to-use platform, which has fostered higher public engagement with OGP and IRM reports. “The greatest advantage of CiviComment has been for commentators. We have seen more citizen uptake, because it is such an easy platform to use. Thus far, we have not received any questions or complaints from commentators and we have seen an increase in number of people engaged throughout the commenting process.” – Jessica Monaco, Website Manager at the Open Government Partnership.
The app allows OGP’s team to download comment reports in three different formats, in order to easily analyze the most pertinent information. CiviComment also provides the opportunity for the commenting process to be more inclusive, particularly due to language selection and the option to comment anywhere on the report.
Author: Chris Haller