Annex A. ESCWA and OECD’s support for open government reforms in Arab countries

There are several ways in which ESCWA and the OECD can support Arab countries in making progress in their open government agendas.

The two organisations can assist Arab states to conceive and draft legal frameworks, design public policies, develop implementation frameworks and identify monitoring and evaluation indicators in all sectors related to open government such as access to information, open data and participation. They can provide technical assistance, training, coaching and policy advice.

ESCWA has helped Arab states to build capacity, discuss and implement the ESCWA framework on Open Government1. In parallel with the commitments in the Open Government Partnership, ESCWA could facilitate a specific regional partnership for member states, based on the framework developed by ESCWA and in consultation with national authorities, civil society and business associations. The OECD and UN DESA could assist this effort technically.

ESCWA assists member states in digital government, which supports transformation towards open government. Also, based on its open government framework and its capacity development materials, ESCWA will continue to assist its member countries on policy, strategies and legal aspects related to open government. Furthermore, ESCWA will work with its Member States to commonly define the level of necessary openness on each subject of interest for socioeconomic and governance development, the related action plans and the proper measurement and evaluation processes.

The OECD2 has been working with some Arab countries for many years on open government. Based on its global reach and expertise, it can support countries to conceive and develop comprehensive national strategies on open government, conduct reviews and assessments, share good practices and lessons learnt from its members.

The OECD stands ready to provide Arab countries with its expertise on a wide range of topics related to open government, such as transparency and access to information, innovative citizen participation practices and use of public communication to engage citizens among others. The OECD can also provide policy advice and technical assistance on how to steer, coordinate, monitor and evaluate open government initiatives.

The two organisations can support national governments, public institutions but also local authorities in Arab countries, such as municipalities willing to design and implement open government strategies and initiatives at the sub-national level, in line with the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda.

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