Hi UKOpenGov network,
At the Multistakeholder Forum working meeting today we identified a total gap in the extent to which EDI perspectives are represented in the planning of the next UK Opengovernment action plan.
This is an issue for civil society on how it organises its representation and it is also an onus on Government to support civil society to do this, rather than simply telling civil society to get its own house in order.
Many of us here are volunteering our time here, so there isn’t always the capacity to secure diversity of perspectives through the process - but it’s too important to ignore.
It’s also a failure of the NAP process itself, which is far too focused on what happens and is raised within closed Chatham house meetings between government and those with the capacity to attend from civil society.
We can’t fix all of this in the timescales and capacity available, but we can make a good meaningful start in being honest with ourselves and getting some action off the ground to address this.
Revisit the process that was initiated in 2018 to open up diversity in open government across the UK - Equality Good Relations Project, note the list of equality support orgs across the UK collated there.
Engage with key campaigns that have attempted to make headway in open justice in recent years in collaboration with civil society - e.g. MeToo, BLM, CharitySoWhite
Recent key credible initiatives that have made recommendations on the way forward e.g. Lammy review, review of mental health Act,
EHRC’s Is Britain Fairer? The state of equality and human rights in Britain.
Let’s get the ball rolling, find people who have energy on this agenda, and get funders behind it, including support from government departments to make this work. It won’t happen in time for the current opengovernment action plan, but in my view it we shouldn’t pin all our hopes on the commitments we may be able to secure through that process.