Open Government Steering Group Meeting - rescheduled to 24 October 2023 - data and digital update - OGP Summit 2023

Hi everyone,

I’m sharing a number of updates with the network that will be of interest to members - please see below for further details. These updates cover September and October.

Open Government Partnership Steering Group - 24th October

The next Open Government Steering Group meeting will take place next week. This was due to take place 26th September but was re-scheduled due to our co-chair’s availability.

If you would like to attend as an observer please let me know by emailing or sending me a message via the network.

:page_facing_up:The minutes of the last meeting (17th May 2023) can be found on the Open Government Partnership Steering Group page.

:page_facing_up:Progress reports submitted from each commitment in May can also be viewed online via the Open Government Collections page.

I will circulate an update with network members when progress reports for October and the minute from the meeting are live on the website.

Digital and Data commitment – :mega: new blog and DataFest Summit

Louise Meikleham from Scottish Government’s digital directorate has written a blog that explores data’s role in Scotland’s current Open Government Action Plan 2021 to 2025. The blog delves into how the action plan is improving the use, accessibility & quality of Open Data across the public sector.

We would recommend reading the post to find out more about this commitment as it summarises key areas of activity to date.

:pushpin: Link to the blog post

:page_facing_up: Details of Scotland’s Open Government Data and Digital commitment

Scottish Government leads for the open data commitment will also be participating in the DataFest Summit on 2nd and 3rd November. This summit is an international conference held in Edinburgh and brings together data leaders across industry. The Scottish Government will be running stalls on data and AI.

The Scottish Government Data Division will be running a 2-day Fringe event on the Community of Practice for Data Standards and Open Data Community.

:tickets:You can get your tickets now on the DataFest website

If you’re able to come along, or you’re planning to attend, say hello to our open government data and digital leads!

Open Government Global Summit 2023

As some of you may be aware, the OGP Global Summit 2023 was held at the Telliskivi Creative City in Tallinn, Estonia from 6th to 7th September.

OGP organises these large scale events to provide an opportunity for attendees to exchange and learn from experiences, good practice, and progress on open government initiatives and implementation internationally.

Over 2,000 attendees participated at the Global Summit 2023 from 83 national delegations along with local delegations from 39 countries.

The theme for the Global Summit 2023 was to promote how cutting-edge digital governance, combined with the open government values of transparency, accountability, and participation, can renew democracy, build more trusted governance and fight back against autocratic threats.

Scotland’s representation at the Summit

A Scottish delegation attended the two day event, and involved government and civil society representatives. Juliet Swann and Lucy McTernan attended on behalf of the civil society committee.

Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance attended the event on behalf of George Adam MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business.

Mr Arthur was invited to speak at a number of key engagements. He contributed to two panel events, on how Scotland has applied an open government approach to enable people centred climate action and to protect environmental human rights.

The Minister’s portfolio to democratise the economy and empower communities through deliberative and participatory methods were also demonstrated at the Global Summit.

Examples of note:
:coin: :seedling: Scotland’s approach to Green Participatory Budgeting
:moneybag: :fist: Community Wealth Building and Scotland’s Community Empowerment Act
:speaking_head: :left_speech_bubble: Democracy Matters national conversations


Pamela Rennie from Glasgow City Council shared a key takeaway from the Summit:

"One of my takeaways was around challenges faced on Open Government – there are similar challenges faced at national, sub-national, local and civil society levels.

On a more positive note, it was the launch of the Open Government challenge on public participation – to embed fit-for-purpose, high quality and inclusive public participation practices. There were plenty of small key phrases and advice to think about too: bringing in civil society in the right way, at the right time to make more ambitious commitments; creating culture change within organisations and institutions; test new approaches; and from time to time we will all need to make ‘pitches’ as to why Open Government is important".

Glasgow was also recognised at the OGP Awards 2023, and won an award in the “Inspirational Reforms” category. :trophy:

See this post by Glasgow City Council for more details.

:film_projector: Watch the OGP Summit 2023 plenary sessions back now

Interested to find out what topics were discussed? You can watch some of the sessions now on OGP’s YouTube channel. Time stamps have been provided below to help navigate the recordings.

Summit Day 1

  • Opening plenary
  • Digital Governance: The Way Forward Towards Trust and Openness (2:09:02)
  • The Role of Open Government for Ukraine’s Democratic Resilience and Reconstruction (3:27:40)
  • People-Centered Justice in a Time of Intersecting Crises: From Commitment to Action (5:02:37)
  • Shaping Tomorrow’s Citizens: The Role of Infotechnology and Education in Promoting Democratic Values (6:30:04)
  • Building Resilience Through Open Government Partnership – a Dream or a Reality? (8:00:51)

Summit Day 2

  • Strengthening Environmental Democracy Through Protection and Participation of Environmental Defenders (Scottish Government’s Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance was a speaker on this panel event)
  • Building and Protecting Civil Society Resilience in Times of Democratic Transition (1:51:24)
  • Openness and Oversight Under Pressure: Lessons for National Security and Democratic Resilience (3:18:18)
  • Connecting Global to Country Action to Fight Transnational Corruption: How Can Beneficial Ownership Transparency Drive Change? (4:49:23)
  • State in a Smartphone: The Future of Digital Government (6:18:47)
  • Closing plenary (7:54:03)

Image: OGP Global Summit attendees – group photo in Tallinn, Estonia

If anyone would like to catch up or find out more about Scotland’s experience at the Summit please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Open Government Participation Policy Officer, Scottish Government

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Hi everyone,

Minutes from the Open Government Steering group meeting on 24th October are now available online.

Progress reports from May 2023 to October 2023 are also now available to view online for each commitment.