Afghan civil society ensures inclusive Open Government Partnership process in Afghanistan

Obaidullah Abdi, Advocacy Assistant

After Afghanistan gained membership Open Government Partnership (OGP) in December last year, important progress has been made. However, successful OGP process demands joint efforts of the Government and civil society. To keep track with the timeline and stay committed to OGP principles of access to information and dissemination of information – first ever workshop has been organized by Integrity Watch on OGP. Other civil society organizations such as ACBAR, APPRO, EPD and AWN have also joined the effort and have organized awareness raising events for civil society actors.

However, developing the first ever OGP National Action Plan (NAP) for Afghanistan demands extensive spread of information to all stakeholders to develop a package where the needs of citizens are considered and Government’s future commitments are also put under the spotlight. However, to keep pace with time and resources, civil society actors are focusing on Kabul and urban centers. For instance, Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) also held an awareness raising session in their monthly development meeting for its members. The members developed a set of commitments addressing issues faced by women. In addition, Integrity Watch held a session for representatives of Provincial Integrity Networks from Bamyan, Balkh, Herat, Kapisa, Kunduz, Nangarhar, and Paktia provinces. Civil society organizations are also working to establish OGP civil society forum and elect representatives to the OGP Steering Committee of in Afghanistan.

Open Government Partnership is a multilateral global partnership where government and civil society join hands to develop a set of commitments to make governments open and responsive to citizen needs as well as fiscally sustainable. This initiative addresses a wide range of government operations including fiscal, key decisions having an impact on citizens’ lives in general, and promoting the use of technology.