A thousand voices today gathered at the Emperors Palace to unite against the scourge of abuse, as the Open Government Partnership (OGP) collaborated with the “Thousand Voices” movement as well as launched South Africa’s 2013/15 country action plan on the OGP.
The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
The “Thousand Voices” movement kick started with this summit that drew 1 000 participants from all spheres of society, with participants pledging to play a more active role in supporting women and stopping abuse. The role of young people in fighting abuse was also interrogated.
Hosted by the Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration and South Africa’s envoy to the OGP, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, the summit not only raised awareness of the plight of violence against women but also opened the channels of discussion with government to find solutions which will enhance trust between government and citizens.
Fitting to the nature of the Open Government Partnership, the inaugural summit was hosted in collaboration with Brand South Africa and Play Your Part.Delivering the key-note address, Deputy Minister Dlodlo spoke of the need for partnerships and welcomed the synergy in the work of the “Thousand Voices” movement with the objectives of the OGP.
“Our priority through the Open Government Partnership is to meet the basic needs of the people. To achieve this, we have to also consider the issue of social cohesion and sustainable livelihoods.
Key of our priorities is to create a more inclusive economic growth, decent work and sustainable livelihoods; economic and social infrastructure; rural development, food security and land reform; access to quality education; improved healthcare; the fight against crime and corruption; cohesive and sustainable communities; creation of a better Africa and a better world; sustainable resource management and use; a developmental state, including improvement of public services” Minister Dlodlo said.
South Africa’s Country Action Plan for 2013/15 commits to:
Commitment 1: Develop and implement an accountability/consequences management frame for public servants;
Commitment 2: Establish service delivery improvement forums
Commitment 3: Mainstream citizen participation in the public sector
Commitment 4: Develop an integrated and publicly accountable portal of environmental management portal
Commitment 5: Development of an on-line crowd sourcing tool that will allow the public to submit data on protected areas and conservation areas
Commitment 6: Implement the schools connectivity project
Commitment 7: Human settlement project to be expanded
The Open Government Partnership is an international, voluntary effort to improve government performance, encourage civic participation and enhance government responsiveness to people. Countries that submitted their action plans in September 2011, like South Africa, have started to implement their action plans and they will submit government self-assessment reports by 31 March 2013.
The Open Government Partnership is a trailblazing way for governments and civil society to work together as partners towards a clear, shared objective: better government through openness.