Following a start-up phase of rapid growth (2011-2014), the OGP Steering Committee has agreed that in its next phase of consolidation (2015-2018), OGP's key objective is to make sure that real change is happening on the ground in a majority of OGP countries and that this change is benefitting citizens. This will require an increased focus on supporting and improving implementation in existing OGP countries. OGP also aspires to maintain the feeling of a dynamic movement, while at the same time building the credible organizational structure needed to ensure effective delivery.

The four strategic objectives outlined below focus on supporting the key sets of actors identified in OGP's theory of change ...

Source: 4-year Strategy FINAL ONLINE.pdf

Publication Date



Open Government Partnership
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens. OGP brings together government and civil society champions of reform who recognize that governments are much more likely to be effective and credible if they open their doors to public input and oversight.


Senior Political Leaders
As a voluntary initiative, OGP's first challenge is to get senior political leaders to commit their government to participate. Its second challenge is to ensure that this high-level political support serves to motivate and empower mid-level reformers. Members of OGP's Steering Committee play a crucial role in building the political and diplomatic relationships to sustain high-level engagement in OGP. This is particularly true when a new country is being encouraged to join OGP or when there is a change of administration in a member country.
Government Reformers
Mid-Level Government Reformers -- Committed support from senior political leaders gives civil servants the mandate to pursue politically difficult reforms. However, mid-level civil servants may have limited resources, capacity and/or incentives to deliver. OGP is therefore working to develop and build an active global network of government reformers who inform, support, and motivate each other to set and achieve more ambitious goals.
Civil Society Organizations
Ultimately, OGP will work only if citizens and civil society organizations in each participating country engage in the process and demand results. Therefore, OGP seeks to help civil society actors in OGP countries get more involved in using OGP at the national level to advance their advocacy efforts. OGP also works to inform and connect civil society actors from different countries, so that they can learn from each other about how to engage more effectively with their own governments.
Tides Center
The Open Government Partnership is a project of the Tides Center. This version of the OGP Strategy is current as of August 2014. All content is subject to further updates and revisions based on developments or changes that may occur subsequent to its publication.


OGP’s vision is that more governments become sustainably more transparent, more accountable, and more responsive to their own citizens, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of public policies and services, as well as the level and scope of public participation. This will require a shift in norms and culture to ensure open and honest dialogue between governments and civil society.


To help governments work better and renew public trust in institutions by making government more open and responsive to citizens... OGP provides an international platform to connect, empower and encourage domestic reformers committed to transforming government and society through openness. It also introduces a domestic policy mechanism -- the action planning process -- through which government and civil society are encouraged to establish an ongoing dialogue on the design, implementation and monitoring of open government reforms.


Public Input
GUIDING PRINCIPLES -- OGP governments and civil society participants share the belief that governments perform better when they invite and facilitate public input and oversight. Each government that joins OGP commits to uphold the guiding principles outlined in the Open Government Declaration, including (among others):
Public Oversight
We uphold the value of openness in our engagement with citizens, in order to improve services, more effectively manage public resources, promote innovation, and create safer communities.
We commit to increase the availability of information about governmental activities, support civic participation, implement the highest standards of professional integrity throughout our administrations, and increase access to new technologies for openness and accountability.
Civic Participation
Professional Integrity
We will report publicly on actions undertaken to realize these principles, consult with the public on their implementation, and update our commitments in light of new challenges and opportunities.
Leadership by Example
We pledge to lead by example and contribute to advancing open government in other countries by sharing best practices and expertise.
Best Practices
Our goal is to foster innovation and spur progress, and not to define standards to be used as a precondition for cooperation or assistance.
AN APPROACH SHAPED BY GLOBAL TRENDS -- OGP brings a diverse group of countries together to implement reforms using a shared global framework that offers sufficient space and flexibility for country-driven national commitments. It recognizes that countries come from different starting places and need to apply and interpret universal values within their own national context, and it encourages the spread of good practices and innovations across countries. OGP's design responds to the trends described above by incorporating the following core elements:
Action-Oriented: OGP encourages its members to implement meaningful reforms by developing and implementing national action plans. OGP's action planning process is a practical approach to mobilize country-level progress by those who are actually responsible for implementing open government reforms. OGP national action plans are what make the initiative concrete and progress measureable, setting OGP apart from so-called 'diplomatic talk shops.' In addition, OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism produces progress reports to help hold countries accountable for progress in meeting the commitments included in their national action plans.
Flexible, but Ambitious: Countries have different starting points, but all commit to stretching beyond current practice and striving for continuous improvement. To ensure OGP action plans are relevant in the local context and that local officials are committed to implementation, OGP gives country stakeholders flexibility to design a plan that works for them. It does not require countries to meet any particular standard or complete a rigid template in developing their action plans. However, it does require all countries to demonstrate improvement in successive action plan cycles through addressing recommendations made by the Independent Reporting Mechanism. OGP sees its role as helping to drive a race to the top among participating countries. This explains our preference for constructive engagement with a diverse group of countries, rather than exclusively engaging with a small group of top performers
Genuine Partnership: OGP is a shared and co-led endeavor of government and civil society working in partnership. OGP will only work if citizens demand ambitious reforms and hold their governments accountable for real progress. Civil society experts therefore must be equal partners in leading and promoting OGP. OGP carves out space for civil society participation at the national level by mandating their inclusion in the design, implementation, and monitoring of OGP action plans. At the international level, OGP is led by a Steering Committee comprised of an equal number of government and civil society representatives. This principle of parity is reflected at all levels in the organization.
Country Ownership: As a global initiative, OGP aims to strengthen, not distort, the accountability of governments to their own citizens. The strength of the compact between a government and its citizens is one of the most important factors in promoting government effectiveness and stability. OGP believes that the role of the international community is not to supplant the accountability of governments to their own citizens, but to strengthen that accountability by providing a framework for dialogue without trying to shape the outcome.
Innovation and Exchange: No country or region has a monopoly on best practices in open government; we all have something to share and something to learn. Geopolitics have shifted, emerging economies are increasingly influential, and innovations to promote more transparent and accountable government truly do come from everywhere (North, South, East, West). OGP is committed to maintaining a geographically diverse Steering Committee and promoting equal participation and equal stature among all members.
THEORY OF CHANGE -- The OGP model brings together three critical elements for catalyzing and sustaining progress on open government reforms: building high-level political commitment, empowering government reformers, and supporting effective engagement by civil society organizations within participating countries. In addition to these three elements, OGP provides independent reporting on progress to promote accountability for delivery.
Political Commitment
OGP's theory of change also recognizes the need to provide different types of incentives, both carrots and sticks, to promote accountability for results. One of OGP's founding principles is that the most important accountability mechanisms to strengthen are those that operate within a country, e.g. directives from political leadership; oversight by other branches of government; and monitoring by civil society organizations. However, OGP aims to help shore up these accountability mechanisms by bringing in information (e.g. IRM reports) and incentives (e.g. Open Government Awards) from outside. OGP's efforts to promote accountability for results are described in more detail in Section V., Strategic Objectives.


Goal 1: Commitment



1.1: Personal Outreach & Convening

1.2: Diplomatic Outreach

1.3: Events & Achievements

1.4: Media Outreach & Communications

1.5: New Actors & Innovations

1.5.1: Subnational Commitments

1.5.2: Legislatures, Judiciary & Constitutional Bodies

1.5.3: Private Sector

Other Information:

OGP’s first challenge is to get senior political leaders to commit their government to participate. Once a government is part of OGP, it is critical to maintain high-level political support, thus ensuring the necessary space for mid-level reformers to take risks in pursuit of an ambitious reform agenda. OGP works to build and maintain senior-level political support through a combination of:

Objective 1.1: Personal Outreach & Convening

Personal outreach and convening power of influential OGP leaders.


OGP Leaders

Objective 1.2: Diplomatic Outreach

Diplomatic outreach through the foreign ministries of OGP Steering Committee members, particularly the government co-chairs.


Foreign Ministries

Objective 1.3: Events & Achievements

High-level global and regional events that give political leaders an opportunity to showcase domestic achievements on a global stage, for example, through the annual Open Government Awards.


Political Leaders

Other Information:

Performance Indicator 1.3.1 - Number of countries that send high level government officials (deputy minister or higher) to participate in regional meetings and/or biannual Summit. Performance Indicator 1.3.2 - Number of applications received for the Open Government Awards.

Objective 1.4: Media Outreach & Communications

Strategic media outreach and communications to raise the profile of open government reforms and OGP on the international stage.



Other Information:

Performance Indicator 1.4.1 - Number of OGP references made by heads of state, including in high-level international meetings, joint statements following state visits, and to the national or international press.

Objective 1.5: New Actors & Innovations

Bring new actors and new innovations into OGP.

Other Information:

In addition, to maintain high-level interest, OGP strives to stay forward-looking and relevant. Beginning in 2015, the OGP Steering Committee will explore several possible approaches to bringing new actors and new innovations into OGP, for example: (1) inviting more countries to pilot subnational (state, province, or municipal) OGP commitments; (2) encouraging more countries to involve the national legislature, the judiciary and other constitutional bodies in developing and/or overseeing OGP commitments; and (3) identifying a strategic approach to engage private sector leaders more actively in OGP, either as advocates and advisors at the country-level and/ or through making their own commitments to improve corporate accountability. High-level political commitment to OGP is critical to ensure progress on strategic objectives 2 and 3 below.

Objective 1.5.1: Subnational Commitments

Invite countries to pilot subnational (state, province, or municipal) OGP commitments.


OGP Nations

Objective 1.5.2: Legislatures, Judiciary & Constitutional Bodies

Involve national legislatures, judiciaries and other constitutional bodies in developing and/or overseeing OGP commitments.


Constitutional Bodies

Objective 1.5.3: Private Sector

Identify a strategic approach to engage private sector leaders more actively in OGP, either as advocates and advisors at the country-level and/or through making their own commitments to improve corporate accountability.


Private Sector Leaders

Goal 2: Government Reformers



Government Reformers
Civil Servants
For civil servants responsible for implementing open government reformers, OGP offers the following incentives to participate:


2.1: Awards & Other Recognition

2.2: Ideas, Examples & Expertise

2.3: Commitment, Continuity & Institutionalization

2.4: Platform & Framework

2.5: Credibility & Stature

Other Information:

OGP will succeed as an initiative to the extent that participating countries succeed in implementing meaningful open government reforms. Strengthening the ability of domestic reformers to design and implement more ambitious OGP commitments is a primary function of the Support Unit. Section VI, Core Program of Work, presents more detailed activities designed to provide tailored support to individual countries (Direct Country Support), as well as to promote peer exchange (Peer Exchange) and learning across countries (Learning and Impact). In sum, this is one of the most compelling arguments for a more robust and proactive OGP Secretariat... Added visibility brings an extra element of scrutiny and accountability, both from in-country civil society and peers. Recognition that a respected global peer network, in addition to a domestic audience, is watching and assessing performance can be a powerful motivator for civil servants.

Objective 2.1: Awards & Other Recognition

Provide opportunities to showcase domestic achievements on a global stage (e.g. through the Open Government Awards, regional meetings, OGP case studies, etc.).

Objective 2.2: Ideas, Examples & Expertise

Facilitate access to innovative ideas, practical examples, and technical expertise from other OGP participating countries and civil society partners.

Other Information:

Performance Indicator 2.2.1 - Number of requests from governments for referrals and support either through OGP working groups, one-on-one exchanges, or from OGP's multilateral partnerships. Performance Indicator 2.2.2 - Number of government presenters and participants at webinars. Performance Indicator 2.2.3 - Number of subscribers to the OGP newsletter, social media followers, and unique visitors to the OGP website.

Objective 2.3: Commitment, Continuity & Institutionalization

Provide a mechanism to secure high-level commitment from their political leaders and ensure continuity and institutionalization of reforms beyond the current administration.

Objective 2.4: Platform & Framework

Provide a useful platform to consolidate disparate reform initiatives under a common framework.

Other Information:

This allows government reformers to have (and showcase) a broader and more lasting impact across different government agencies. Performance Indicator 2.4.1 - Number of government members that participate actively in OGP working groups, including seeking peer review of action plans.

Objective 2.5: Credibility & Stature

Offer the potential to enhance domestic credibility and stature through demonstrated leadership of an internationally recognized initiative.

Goal 3: Engagement



Civil Society Actors
OGP Civil Society Engagement Team
Within the Support Unit, the Civil Society Engagement team provides targeted support to partner organizations in OGP countries where this support is likely to have the greatest impact in improving the quality and ambition of OGP commitments.


3.1: Dialogue

3.2: National Processes

3.3: Civil Society

Other Information:

In places where civil society has traditionally played an adversarial role, engaging in a constructive dialogue with government can be challenging because it requires compromises on both sides. Civil society organizations must learn how to play the 'inside game' without compromising their independence or integrity. OGP also works on the government side to ensure that there is adequate space for genuine public consultation. OGP's guidelines require both online and offline consultation, providing advance public notice of OGP meetings, and establishing a regular forum for ongoing dialogue with civil society.

Objective 3.1: Dialogue

Engage more civil society actors in OGP by working with both government and civil society to forge a constructive dialogue.


OGP Support Unit
The Support Unit seeks to engage more civil society actors in OGP by working with both government and civil society to forge a constructive dialogue.

Other Information:

Performance Indicator 3.1.1 - Size and diversity of the civil society community that is engaged with OGP (e.g. civil society mailing list, newsletter, events, social media).

Objective 3.2: National Processes

Establish permanent mechanisms for government dialogue with civil society.


OGP Governments
Civil Society

Other Information:

OGP encourages governments to establish a permanent mechanism for dialogue with civil society as part of their national OGP process. Performance Indicator 3.2.1 - Percentage of OGP countries that improve on in-person and/or online consultation during action planning process. Performance Indicator 3.2.2 - Percentage of OGP countries with a forum for ongoing dialogue on the OGP national action plan. Performance Indicator 3.2.3 - Number of governments that held awareness-raising activities and/or published an online summary of comments of the consultation process with civil society.

Objective 3.3: Civil Society

Support civil society organizations to advocate for government dialogue mechanisms and then to them to help shape OGP action plans.


Civil Society Organizations

Other Information:

It also supports civil society organizations to advocate for this space, and then to use it effectively to help shape ambitious OGP action plans. Performance Indicator 3.3.1 - Number and reach of civil society-organized events and reports on OGP, e.g. outreach meetings, monitoring reports, press releases, blogs, etc. Performance Indicator 3.3.2 - Extent to which the OGP civil society community feels better equipped and better informed to actively participate in and make use of OGP.

Goal 4: Accountability



4.1: Researchers

4.2: Reports

4.3: Guidance

4.4: Dissemination & Discussion

4.5: Results

4.5.1: Congratulations & Nudging

4.5.2: Events

4.2.3: Awards

Other Information:

OGP's Independent Reporting Mechanism ensures that there is an objective, public assessment of each participating government’s progress toward fulfilling its OGP commitments.

Objective 4.1: Researchers

Hire and oversee researchers in each country to prepare biannual reports.


OGP Country Researchers

Other Information:

The IRM hires and oversees independent local researchers in each country to prepare a biannual report on progress.

Objective 4.2: Reports

Promote dialogue, learning, and continuous improvement.

Other Information:

The primary aim of these reports is to promote dialogue, learning, and continuous improvement at the country-level. Performance Indicator 4.2.1 - Number of countries where the IRM report has stimulated a public dialogue on OGP (event, hearing, media coverage, etc.) IRM tracking.

Objective 4.3: Guidance

Use IRM findings to inform guidance provided to both government and civil society.


OGP Support Unit
OGP Governments
Civil Society

Other Information:

The IRM works closely with the OGP Support Unit to ensure that IRM findings are continuously used to inform the guidance provided to both government and civil society.

Objective 4.4: Dissemination & Discussion

Disseminate reports and engage discussion of IRM recommendations.

Other Information:

Going forward the IRM will also work closely with the external communications team to ensure the effective dissemination of its reports and broader discussion of IRM recommendations.

Objective 4.5: Results

Encourage accountability for results.

Other Information:

In addition to the IRM, OGP has several other ways to encourage accountability for results. OGP Steering Committee members use diplomatic outreach to congratulate or 'nudge countries as needed; OGP organizes action-forcing public events to ask countries to share examples of concrete results with their peers; and the Support Unit administers the annual Open Government Awards competition to reward success and innovation. Performance Indicator 4.5.1 - Number of countries that address at least half of the recommendations of the IRM reports in the following Action Plan cycle.

Objective 4.5.1: Congratulations & Nudging

Congratulate or 'nudge' countries as needed.

Objective 4.5.2: Events

Organizes action-forcing public events to ask countries to share examples of concrete results with their peers.


OGP Countries

Objective 4.2.3: Awards

Administer the annual Open Government Awards competition to reward success and innovation.


OGP Support Unit