OGPI was founded in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.  Since then, OGP has grown from 8 countries to 70 participating countries. In all of these countries, government and civil society are working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms to engage in peer learning and exchange with counterparts around the world, enabling the spread of new ideas and solutions to public policy challenges.

 

Ghana signed onto the Open Government Partnership Initiative (OGPI) in 2011; and as an obligation under the Partnership, developed and implemented her first Action Plan which covered the period 2013-2014. Ghana’s membership is one of the criteria that made Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) eligible to participate in the Subnational Pilot Program launched by the OGP in 2015.

STMA applied and was competitively selected from close to Seventy (70) subnational governments from around the world to participate in the new pilot program, established to promote more transparent and accountable open governance at the local level. The fifteen (15) Local Governments chosen for the subnational pilot project are: Austin, US; Buenos Aires, Argentina:Jalisco, Mexico: La Libertad, Peru; Ontario, Canada; Sao Paulo, Brazil;Egeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya; Kigoma Municipality, Tanzania; Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana; Madrid, Spain;Paris, France; Scotland, UK; Bojonegoro, Indonesia; Seoul, Korea and Tbilisi,Georgia.

STMA has rolled-out a number of interventions that promote and enhance participatory decision-making,service delivery and transparent and accountable governance which coincidentally are the main thrusts of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) initiative.

To better understand citizen needs, and target policies and programs to meet them, STMA under my leadership introduced a program dubbed“Time with Community” in March 2016. Time with community is organized twice every week; Tuesdays and Thursday, 16:00GMT-18:00GMT at community levels where the various heads of department and units meet with the inhabitants including Chiefs, Assembly Members, Unit Committee Members, Opinion leaders, Religious Leaders, CSOs and the general public to discuss developmental issues.

This platform has helped to promote better understanding of the local government structures, their roles and responsibilities towards national development. Promote transparency,inclusiveness, openness and accountability. Citizen’s participation in decisions making that affect their lives has being enhanced and has contributed to improvement in Internally Generated Funds (IGF).