OpenGov: It’s Better Together

19 December 2012
Andalucia Beach Hotel
Official Site | Register

So… when a country joins the Open Government Partnership, they agree to create a National Action Plan about how they will make their government more open. They also agree to work with local civil society to develop this plan.

Now, just hypothetically, let’s pretend that you are one of the few (sarcasm) countries in the world whose government does not have experience being collaborative with their harshest critics  — civil society, the people who are always monitoring and critiquing government activities, the same people who seem to think that they know best how to run a country!

What to do? What to do?!?

This event is intended to give Tunisia a boost towards overcoming this dilemma. Specifically, we are bringing together government champions, civil society idealists, and private sector innovators for the following reasons:

  1. Develop common Tunisian language and understanding around open government.
  2. Develop working relationships between all three sectors.

The format of this event (available on the agenda page from the Official Site link above) is specifically designed to accomplish all of this in one long day. It starts with Tunisia’s Minister of Governance and Anti-Corruption, and fills out most of the morning with perspectives from all three sectors on what open government means, and what activities are already under way in Tunisia. There is also time set aside for the participants to get to know each other while brainstorming open government project ideas that will improve Tunisia.

The afternoon begins with some impressive international speakers and quickly moves into participant-driven, small group discussions that focus on clarifying the projects that were brainstormed earlier in the day. This is the most interesting and important part of the event, for it is during these sessions that the participants will get to know each other, not as government bureaucrats or civil society critics, but as individuals with a passion for improving Tunisia. As these conversations evolve, cross sector relationships – even nascent friendships will form. If everything goes well (these things can’t be forced, you know – you just have to make room for the magic to happen!!), the foundations will be built upon which collaboration between civil society and the government may happen.

It’s going to be a lot of fun!