Read out: October 2023 civil society & government Multi Stakeholder Forum

Hi all,

I hope you’re well.

Just to update - the Multi Stakeholder Forum readout (produced by government) for 18th October 2023 can be found here on our website

The accompanying slide deck can also be downloaded here.

Many thanks,


Thanks Chloe,

Could you do us a favour? Like most newbies to these forums, I’m trying to get orientated. That’s hard when in the UK you talk about “civil society and government multi Stakeholder Forum” (which is the usual OGP language) and Neisha talks about her OGP steering group meeting. Then while Neisha is reporting as a gov employee and pointing back to her government’s group’s site and minutes, you’re reporting as a civilian and pointing us to an the minutes of an event which, if I backtrack, leads me to a 12-month-old “read out” list of UK meetings with a few other reports thrown in.

I can’t even find an OGP group on the groups’ site. So getting some idea of where the collaboration (common NAP commitments) has been over the years between the OGP UK group, and its country cousins, is nigh impossible.

I’m bringing this up now (Ive been across these boards since they went up) because Calum’s talking about Devolution. There’s a reciprocal movement to this top down evolution. National (research) groups (of practice, interest,etc) have always got together but now, more importantly, those in the govspace are changing their habits from talking to leading by example. (although they’ll need your young eyes to help them over their old-fashioned habits). The big issues are global so require common commitments between National groups AT THE SAME TIME.

For transparency, these kinds of forums offer the most utility/convenience for getting their early conversations above the radar. So take a step back from the front page and give some thought to the fact that you’ve got 30 seconds from the time someone lands on it for the first time to either capture them or lose them.

Ensuring the language is common to all groups, and the links to and fro between the civil space (like and the gov space (like is clear, is sooo important. Enough, excuse on old editor.
BTW, Like your blog. Youse kin rite reel gud. :wink:


Simon I am replying as Head of Open Government in Scottish Government (just to be clear who I am) the UK has been a member of the OGP since its foundation in 2011-12. Scotland joined as one of the first sub-national governments in 2016. We are therefore a member in our own right. Since then Northern Ireland and Glasgow City have also become members of what is now called OGP Local. Which means that Wales and England remain the principal areas of the UK covered by the UKs OGP Action Plan - but there is communication between the nations and places in the UK with an interest in Open Government. The way OGP works at any level is for collaborative working between Governments and civil society - in Scotland we call our multi steakholder forum a steering group, but it follows the rules of OGP MSFs, it is jointly chaired by a the Minister for Parliamentary Business and the elected civil society chair, currently Juliet Swan of Transparency International. It is made up of the leads from civil society and government for each of our 5 commitments in our national action plan. Transparency is a core requirement of OGP so the website with our document library regularly publishes updates from each of the commitments, the minutes of the steering group and any relevant publications including blogs, requests for ideas etc. We work closely with the civil society network members who are on the steering group and SCDC who help with the communications and organising of the civil society elements of the work.
This work can only be effective if the groups involved be they government or civil society or indeed individuals agree on the language that works for them - so I agree there has to be a common understanding and OGP itself provides that, working hard internationally to ensure all the members share learning and gain strength for their own reforms from being members of the partnership.
Within the UK we have been trying (and not always successfully) to learn from each other - I would be happy to talk to you if that is helpful my work email is feel free to drop me a line. I am sure Kevin (CS) and Matt (Gov) for the UK, would also be happy to outline how their network works, and of course the nations of the UK are all represented on the UK network. Innovation and change happen at all levels so that sharing of learning is important and that is the bit that we are currently less good at in the UK, but we are trying to improve.

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I’ve been following OPG Since 2015 what’s my way forward I been contribution all this year’s what’s aim do you have for foreign Country ( Policy)

Thanks Doreen,

That was a nice surprise. I saw your email address at the bottom of each page of the steering group (and IPDD) minutes. Researched all the members. So I have nothing but respect for what you’ve done over the years. And thank you so much for the HTML. It’s so hard when the old-fashioned secretariats insist on using just pdf and word. I’ll go though some pages and reply on the Was this helpful? for suggestions as to how the contexts might be made a bit more clearer on first inspection.

That IPDD approach was inspirational. I’m hoping we might help the UK and other Locals to take the same approach and open their culture to the same degree. Its this cultural change which is the hard bit. The Scottish approach is leading by (good) example, which is the only way to raise the bar, Internationally and Locally.

Now, the IDPP graphic puts a " Dedicated Infrastructure" as the glue for Participation. The bigger picture is that its layered onto a background of existing Research and Education infrastructure. My discussion with Janos (hopefully) starts to work through scoping a project where network engineers and policy makers can see what each expertise needs to understand, and contribute to the co-creation of a secure, shared civil space, or publicspaces if you’re Dutch.

Any discussion with Matt and Kevin would simply be to ask "would the UK, and others, please use exactly the same framework as what the Scots have done?’ If we are tying to an introduce an inclusive and participatory process then it has to be a common one. We live in an age where, if a web based process needs explaining or an application is not intuitive to use, its a failure. Good UX design is a rare art-form.

As you say “sharing of learning is important”, So true. For secretariats of governmental groups and their civil society counterparts, co-creating new processes/institutions with a different communities is quite a challenge; language being the biggest obstacle. ¿no crees?

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Hi Bill,

Not sure what you’re asking, But so far as how different countries approach the OGP process, and what commitments they make, I split them into two cultural groups. And yes, Ive done little over the past decade apart from watching the effectiveness of the two approaches.

The first take the policy making approach; the idea being that introducing a policy will change peoples’ behaviour. That’s the approach in most of the English speaking world.

The other approach appears to be primarily located in the Northern European countries with the Dutch, Germans and Scandinavians being the prime movers. This is an engineer’s design approach. Best example, right at the moment, would be this Dutch commitment The Germans have this one, which is more extensive as it focuses on the big picture of digital sovereignty. That’s something a policy maker rarely thinks about, even though its a fundamental part of a Nation’s information and energy security.

The nice thing about the Dutch or Scandinavian culture is that they don’t have the Westminster system of huge functionality-isolated silos. So their institutions can turn on a dime, and they are porous. Ask a question of a Dutch public servant and you’re likely to get a useful response. Ive never had that from an English or Aussie one. (I’m a dual citizen)

Anyhow, we’re at the stage now where everyone has seen the limitations and dangers of using commercial “social platforms”. The civil service in most countries, particularly the Europeans, understand that they have to offer the same kind of “social services”; the access to which, fundamentally, comes down to, "ïf you don’t have a government issued ID, you don’t get access". And if you do have one, you don’t have to tell us who you are.

Certainly will make a potential whistleblower’s life a lot easier.

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