Speaking at the 2023 Open Government Partnership Global Summit, USAID Administrator Samantha Power credited this partnership with linking political freedom and democratic accountability on the one hand, with the delivery of practical material benefits on the other.
Open Government Partnership, or OGP, has created measurable benefits for communities through policies such as participatory budgeting. This would grant transparency over the extraction of minerals, for example, noted Administrator Power.
“And those same citizens would be better able to press for those proceeds, the proceeds of those mineral sales, to stay in local communities, so that more kids could go to school, or school classroom sizes could be expanded, or more textbooks could be bought.”
OGP is producing results. Indeed, after 17 long years and strong headwinds, the pace of democratic decline appears finally to be slowing, as seen in this year's Freedom House report, noted Administrator Power.
“We are right now living at a potential tipping point in the fight against authoritarianism. And the war in Ukraine, of course, has a huge amount to do with history's pendulum and which way it is going to swing. OGP can continue to model for the world, just how open governance can help leaders deliver for their people.”
Partnership nations have much knowledge to share that could be put to use across the world, including in the Nigerian state of Kaduna, said Administrator Power:
“Many expectant mothers are forced to give birth at home because they lack access to adequate health clinics – which were often left in disrepair due to poor oversight or mismanagement. The government wanted to fix these clinics, but they needed help. So, they launched an app called Eyes and Ears where citizens could upload photos and feedback on the state of health clinics in their own communities.”
Thanks to that information, government officials completed a record number of repairs and construction on health clinics.
USAID and Open Government Partnership signed a new memorandum of understanding. Over the next five years, this MOU commits USAID to help OGP open up new ways for governments and citizens to work together, and for citizens to hold their leaders accountable.
The United States is committed to helping everyday citizens motivate their governments to enact critical reforms and spend public money where it’s needed the most.