The Open Parliament e-Network (OPeN) builds upon the work of the Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group (LOWG) by bringing together leading international organizations who are committed to legislative openness.

The Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group (LOWG) was originally launched in 2013 to build awareness of OGP and open government to a broader political and parliamentary audience.  Co-chaired by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Congress of Chile (co-chairs of the Groupo Bicameral de Transparencia, Senator Hernán Larraín and Deputy Patricio Vallespín), the LOWG has engaged with over 70 parliaments through providing technical support and opportunities for peer learning through Global Legislative Openness Conferences, exchanges, and the creation of a number of resources on legislative openness commitments. Since its creation, members of the LOWG have also supported four iterations of the Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW), which has supported hundreds of activities in OGP countries designed to strengthen parliamentary commitment to open government and open parliaments.

As a part of a 2016 strategic refresh, the OGP steering committee sunset the working group model to prioritize relationships with partners working on thematic areas of expertise within open government.  OPeN provides a new, flexible mechanism for the open parliament community to continue to work with the OGP Support Unit on issues of legislative engagement. There are three principal methods of participating as a member of OPeN.  Organizations with a commitment to working on legislative openness internationally are invited to apply to become a full partner in the Consortium. Members of parliament and senior parliamentary staff who are committed to sharing their expertise on issues of parliamentary openness and innovation may seek membership on OPeN’s Parliamentary Leadership Council.  Finally, civic organizations that are working on issues of parliamentary openness and transparency in their respective countries are able to participate as a local affiliates of OPeN.   

OPeN lends pivotal support to the broader open government agenda. Lasting and meaningful steps towards open, inclusive and accountable government require the support and buy-in of parliaments. Open government is not a series of technocratic fixes or procedural touch-ups, but a fundamentally political endeavor that drives and demands changes in how we ‘do government’. Since parliaments are key players on the political scene, OGP has welcomed OPeN as an indispensable partner for open government reform.

 

Overall Goals and Objectives

  • Support governments, legislatures and civil society in the process of developing and implementing OGP action plan commitments around legislative openness;
  • Provide a forum for peer-to-peer sharing of best practices, tools, experiences, and innovative information technology on the issue of legislative openness;
  • Deepen parliamentary engagement in OGP and building deeper awareness among parliamentarians of open government issues;
  • Develop tools and resources to be shared within the broader OGP community for addressing issues of legislative openness;
  • Identify particular issues within the field of legislative openness for research and sharing of expertise and standards-building;
  • Strengthen the capacity of legislatures and civil society to collaborate in implementing solutions to enhance legislative openness; and
  • Identify technical assistance and partnership opportunities on legislative openness.

 

Workstreams

  1. Peer Exchange, Learning, and Advocacy
  2. Technical Support and Resources
  3. Supporting Policy Implementation