As the secretariat of the Civil Society Organisations of Open Government Partnership (CSO OGP), I have the privilege of seeing the whole process of OGP implementation in Indonesia, particularly from the CSO side. Allow me to provide a brief background.
As one of the original eight OGP members, the Indonesian government has set a good start by “opening the door” for the Civil Society Organisations by having four CSOs (PATTIRO, FITRA, ICEL, and TI Indonesia) be in the CORE Team of OGP. A few months before the launching of the second action plan in London, the government then appointed three new CORE team members from the government. In parallel to that, they had an open recruitment for three CSOs to be appointed as the new CORE team members; to tip the balance. Three CSOs, JARI KalTeng, GerAk Aceh and KOPEL Makassar were subsequently selected. Some challenges have been faced in the last two years, both in the involvement process and in members’ knowledge of OGP itself and how best to use it in the context of the CSOs’ existing work.
This year, Indonesia becomes the chairman of this new initiative. All eyes are on the next action plan and how all parties will be engaged. After the Annual Meeting in London, the spirit of this new voluntary-based initiative has been growing rapidly within CSOs. The understanding that OGP is a great instrument to accelerate the existing good work, while at the same time reduce the challenges for the work of CSOs, has grown not only within the CSO Core team but also amongst their fellow CSOs. Every stakeholder agrees that we have to deepen our work in the next OGP action plan and that we have to broaden the public consultation process to make OGP a national concern and ensure that participation is from the beginning of the process. In order to do that, a strategic plan should be created; to synchronize the agenda from the government and CSOs, to highlight the priority sectors together with inputs from both sides, that can continue through to the monitoring and evaluation process. Horizontally, that’s the plan. Vertically, the challenges will be slightly different.
Indonesia has 220 million citizens with more than 400 languages spread accross 17,550 islands. This is where the next question should be. The selection of the three new OGP members from three different islands could be and should be part of the “enforcement from within”, and demonstrate that participation must not stop at the national level, but also be adapted at the sub-national level. This will be discussed further at another time.
In the third week of November 2013, eleven representatives (CSOs and individuals), including the CSO Core team members, sat together to discuss the first step of the strategic plan from their end, to take everything into consideration and to think beyond the OGP Chairmanship. This whole process from the CSOs side is in line with the government’s plan and it was shared in the most recent CORE Team bimonthly meeting in November. It has come to every stakeholder’s understanding that we should listen to each others’ plans and challenges and that we should use the momentum of chairmanship to make ambitious yet realistic goals for the next two years in order to achieve a meaningful impact with this initiative. The outcome of this meeting is to prepare the platform for the whole process of the next OGP Action Plan in Indonesia. The next meeting will be to discuss the engagement of the sub-national level CSOs in this movement.