May 28-June 1, 2019
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) selected Mahintana Foundation to represent the Philippines together with the Provincial Government of South Cotabato in the recently concluded OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada from May 28 to June 1, 2019. The organization, thru Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker, the RESOURCEGov 2 Project Manager, shared the project initiatives to a global audience at the city hall of Canada’s capital city. His presentation got featured in the Scottish Government Blog (https://blogs.gov.scot/open-government-partnership/2019/06/06/10-things-we-learned-in-canada-global-summit-of-open-government-partnership/) after captivating the audience with the project’s innovative and digital ways of doing project monitoring, legislative information tracking, and ensuring citizen participation in local governance. Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato represented by Ms. Jennifer Bretaña, its Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator also shared the province’s integrity initiatives with partner CSOs in summit sessions.
Brief Rationale of Participation
Mahintana thru the RESOURCEGov 2 Project has capacitated the Provincial Government of South Cotabato on the use Open Data Kit and Qlik systems to a better and efficient monitoring of government projects. Specifically, the provincial government has institutionalized the use of the system thru its Provincial Project Monitoring Committee (PPMC) to monitor and evaluate projects that have implementation issues together with CSOs and community affected by the projects. Moreover, Mahintana also helped the tracking of the legislations of the province’s Sanggunian Panlalawigan by providing a Legislative Information Tracking System (LITS) wherein legislative documents are digitally archived for easy access to public or interested parties, and performance of Sanggunian members and committees are evaluated. The systems provided by the project along with other integrity initiatives of the province promote transparency, accountability, and participation in local governance led to South Cotabato’s active participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). OGP is an organization of reformers inside and outside of government, working to transform how government serves its citizens, and Mahintana supports the province in its OGP Open Monitoring & Evaluation and Open Legislation commitments thru technical assistance on the implementation of ODK, Qlik and LITS systems thru the RESOURCEGov 2 Project. Recognizing the achievements of the province and its partners, OGP invited champions of South Cotabato’s OGP commitments to the 2019 OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada including Mr. Roel Ian Blanker, Mahintana’s RESOURCEGov 2 Project Manager, Ms. Jennifer Bretana, the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, and other key commitment partners in the national level from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Budget Management (DBM), The Philippine Embassy, and OGP Philippines Steering Committee. Active CSOs who have helped implement OGP commitments in the country also joined the summit and they are from Bantay Kita PH, European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Hivos in the Philippines, LayerTech Software Labs, and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, to name a few.
The OGP Global Summit serves as an avenue for OGP participating countries to learn and share about their open governance initiatives, ideas, challenges, and solutions anchored to themes Participation, Impact, and Inclusion. According to the summit organizers, over 2,000 open government champions has attended from across the 79 OGP member countries. This year’s summit also featured digital initiatives thru civic tech salons, hackathons, and breakout summit sessions by thematic areas. Giant tech firms such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, GitHub and even the world wide web founder himself, Tim Berners Lee, graced the event along with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many more influential politicians across the globe. The summit also served as an opportunity for global participants to network, learn from other government and CSOs, and share their interventions to further improve their work on making the government more open and accessible to citizens.