Insights from the 2023 OGP Global Summit

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The Executive Directress of CRPM, Marija Risteska, took part in the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2023, held in Tallinn, Estonia from September 6th to 7th. The summit, a gathering of global leaders and practitioners in the realm of open government, was a forum for discussing crucial issues and sharing insights.

On the first day of the summit, the focus was on addressing the issue of trust in government and exploring how digital governance can enhance transparency and foster trust. The Estonian Digital Charter, a transformative tool, offered valuable lessons that governments in the Western Balkans could learn from.

During the summit, representatives from Western Balkan civil society met with Azir Aliu, the Macedonian Minister of Information Society and Administration.

Later that day, we joined the World Resource Institute to discuss Open Government approaches aimed at expanding country coalitions for climate action. When climate action is inadequately planned without the inclusion of those left behind, it fails to produce socially equitable results and, in fact, contributes to greater inequality.
It is crucial that the major financing institutions supporting the green transition ensure fairness. Therefore, the Open Government, anticorruption, and climate action communities must collaborate to address corruption in the context of climate change.

The second day delved into the importance of participation at various levels – local, regional, national, and international. The first panel highlighted the ongoing challenge of defenders of environmental rights struggling to engage in mainstream processes and connect with policy-making. There is an opportunity, an entry point for organizations that work on the nexus of policy and advocacy, and watchdog government activities, to engage more than ever in environmental democracy.

Later, we joined the Regional School of Public Administration, in a discussion on Open Data in the Western Balkans. Lessons were drawn from both successful and challenging experiences in the region, setting the stage for further improvement. European practices were also examined, and Larisa Barac, Senior Advisor in the Secretariat-General of the Romanian government, presenting the Romanian case study.

Marija Risteska, as the GBWN regional director and the CRPM executive director, participated in the event titled “From Inclusion to Impact: Harnessing the Power of People to Make Public Budgets More Responsive.” This event, organized by the International Budget Partnership and GIFT – Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, centered on gender equality outcomes resulting from civil-society participation in public budgeting.

Marija emphasized the pivotal role of budgeting effectiveness and inclusivity in adapting participatory budgeting methodologies. This adaptation should focus on maximizing women’s participation by adjusting elements such as timing, location, and discussion topics. Furthermore, she highlighted the approach employed by the Gender Budget Watchdog Network, which aims to gather evidence regarding the needs of both women and men, provide cost-related information, and advocate for gender-specific requirements in funded priorities.

GBWN offers a valuable platform for such capacity building through its e-platform, accessible at GBWN Website.

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