Building International Standards for Parliamentary Ethics

Photo Credit: Dan Mason

While the international community of parliaments and parliamentary support organizations has successfully developed international standards or benchmarks for the institution of parliament, far less attention has been dedicated to developing standards for the ethical conduct of individual members. To help fill this gap and to start a global conversation, members of the Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group have drafted Common Ethical Principles for Members of Parliament.

Read More…

Testing City Limits: Women and Urban Governance

Shari Bryan speaks on a panel on urbanization and the challenges of local government and citizen engagement in New Delhi, March 2015.

Cities, for the first time in history, are now home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population. This is an incredible demographic shift, and in their rise to prominence, urban centers have begun to shape national and global-level discussions. After all, there are now megacities in Asia and Latin America with larger populations than some European countries. These megacities drive more than 70 percent of the world’s economic activity, and some of their local governments are acting across national borders to strike their own trade deals and address climate change issues.

Read More…

Kosovo Assembly Endorses the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness

The Declaration on Parliamentary Openness is a call to the world’s parliaments to increase their commitment to citizen engagement in legislative work. Collaboratively drafted by the global parliamentary monitoring community, the declaration has been endorsed by more than 180 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 80 countries. Increasingly, parliaments are also signing on to the declaration. On May 4, the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo formally endorsed the declaration, joining a small vanguard of parliaments around the world.

Read More…

Going to the International Open Data Conference? Come say hello to NDI

This week, NDI joins thousands of open government advocates, civic hackers, policymakers and journalists in attending the 3rd Annual International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Ottawa, Canada. It is going to be a week of workshops and discussions exploring open data issues and strengthening coordination among open data initiatives. Throughout the week, NDI will be hosting or participating in several events where we'll address how citizens can use data to make government more transparent and accountable. Whether your interests are in opening up election data or in promoting a parliamentary code of conduct, we'd like to talk to you at these events.

Read More…

Solving climate change will require technological and political innovation

The earth faces unprecedented ecological challenges. Human activity has now pushed the earth beyond four of the nine planetary boundaries first identified in 2009 by Johan Rockström, a recognized expert on natural resource management from Stockholm University. Breaking through one or more of these boundaries, Rockström says, may be catastrophic because it triggers abrupt environmental degradation at a continental or even global scale.

Time to throw up our hands in despair, right? Wrong.

Read More…

New Politics in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s journey from the Dayton Peace Accords to sustainable democracy has rested on the notion that ethnic power-sharing and highly decentralized government would, over time, give way to more integrated forms of government and politics. Ethnic interests, though still primary, would cease to be the exclusive basis on which power is won and exercised. Other forms of association – environmental, business, labor, students and pensioners, etc. – transcending ethnicity would take their place in the political system.

Read More…

Beyond the ballot box, election monitors work to improve health care in Albania

New democracies often get stuck when fair elections, active civic groups, independent media, party competition and constitutional checks on power still don’t produce better government. Instead, corruption, political conflict and other problems can fester and upend the notion that democracy does in fact make life better.

This is the situation in Albania, which ditched communism in 1990. While making huge strides in the 25 years since, Albania nonetheless is mired in bad politics that leaves people wondering if its new democratic order can make government function as it should.

Read More…

Civil Society Gets Role at April Summit of the Americas in Panama

The seventh Summit of the Americas will take place in Panama City on April 10. Unlike other summits, Panama 2015 will provide a structured opportunity for civil society leaders throughout the region, including independent voices from Cuba, to engage the assembled government leaders. Representatives of civic organizations and individual social actors who wish to attend need to register now on an Organization of American States website.

Read More…

There’s No Sustainable Development Without Good Governance

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire this year, attention is turning to a new priority - Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which are being negotiated now and are scheduled to be adopted in late September.

As the world contemplates this new agenda, good governance needs to be a priority.

Read More…

Pages