MÉRIDA.- The municipal government of Mérida, Yucatán, has been selected to join the Alliance for Open Government (OGP), an organization that brings together governments and civil society leaders to create more transparent governments, inclusive and participatory.
As a new member of the OGP, the Mérida City Council will work with local civil society organizations and other OGP members to advance in the open government agenda at the local level and transform the way the government serves its citizens.
Mayor Renán Alberto Barrera Concha welcomed the incorporation of the Mérida City Council into OGP and hopes to learn from OGP members at the national and local levels to advance in the open government movement.
The municipal president of Merida affirmed that since the beginning of his administration he has had the clear objective of being an open government, working with transparency and hand in hand with the citizens.
“That is why it is a special satisfaction to join this alliance, which will undoubtedly strengthen our actions,” he added.
He recalled that Mérida had already signed the declaration of Municipal Open Government with the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) and with the State Institute of Transparency, Access to Public Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAIP ) Yucatan.
“That signing of this agreement formalized what we have done from the beginning, the constant search for innovative mechanisms and processes that allow us to be at the forefront in terms of citizen participation, transparency and the fight against corruption,” the mayor said.
He remarked that when there is more interaction between the government and society, significant goals are achieved for the city because things flow in a much better way.
The Civil Society Network for Open Government in Yucatán (REDGADY) pointed out the importance of collaboration between civil society and the government to create reforms that respond to the needs of citizens in Mérida, Yucatán and that OGP offers the appropriate platform to achieve this.
The Civil Society Network for Open Government in Yucatán (REDGADY), made up of: the Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Alternative Development (U Yich Lu’um A. C); the Collective Citizens for Transparent Municipalities (CIMTRA-Yucatan Peninsula); Participación Ciudadana, AC (Family Civic Front); Grupo Kerigma, AC; Jade Propuestas Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo, AC (JADE SOCIAL); Adolescents in Extreme Vulnerability (Red Colectivo AVE); Unit for Psychological, Sexological and Educational Attention for Personal Growth, AC (UNASSE) and Asociación Transgender Yucatán AC (Yucatrans.)
Civil society organizations and government reformers have carried out successful actions that incorporate some elements of the open government approach in Mérida, Yucatán, such as the participatory design of public spaces. As a new OGP member, the Mérida City Council looks forward to expanding these efforts in partnership with local stakeholders and incorporating the lessons learned from other OGP members.
OGP adds another 55 new local members today, made up of 64 local governments from 32 countries to join OGP Local. This expansion, the largest in OGP history, comes at a critical time when cities and local communities are at the forefront of efforts to respond to COVID-19 while facing strained budgets and uncertainty. The new members were selected from a pool of 112 applications.
OGP Local members have been at the forefront of innovation, taking bold steps to address persistent challenges. For example, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the government and civil society partnered to ensure that marginalized communities have access to reproductive health and, in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, citizens can digitally access information on applications for health projects. infrastructure that allows them to fight corruption and illegal construction. Following the success of the first 20 local OGP members, the OGP Steering Committee agreed to expand the cohort in 2020.
OGP Executive Director Sanjay Pradhan warmly welcomed the addition of new members to the Association: “Local leaders – in government and civil society: they tend to be closer to the people they serve. Open local government can have a transformative impact on people’s lives and build trust ”.
Evaluated by OGP and elected by a diverse Selection Committee made up of members of the OGP Steering Committee, current local OGP members, and representatives of civil society, the Mérida City Council was selected based on the evaluation of the criteria described in the call of proposals, as well as other factors considered to ensure a regionally diverse group, with different types and sizes of entities, and unique strengths to complement the objectives of OGP Local.
OGP received more than 100 joint applications from governments and civil society organizations at the local level in 2020 that expressed interest in joining OGP Local. All applicants have been invited to join the OGP Local Community of Practice and contribute to developing the OGP knowledge based on local open government and participate in OGP peer exchange activities to scale up reforms nationally and locally for all OGP members.
About OGP: In 2011, government leaders and civil society advocates came together to create a unique partnership, one that combines these powerful forces to promote accountable, responsive, and inclusive governance.
Seventy-eight countries and a growing number of local governments, representing more than two billion people, along with thousands of civil society organizations are members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
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