Several OECD events involving civil society organisations (CSOs) have taken place since June:
Following the DAC peer review of France which took place on 20 June 2013, the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) organised a launch event on 5 July with CSOs. 15 French NGOs were represented, including the umbrella organisation Coordination Sud. The Director General for Globalisation in the French MFA introduced the discussion and Chantal Verger from the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD), who coordinated the peer review, presented the main recommendations from the review as well as the key findings from the missions to Cameroon and Madagascar, which led to a lively dialogue.
The Food Chain Analysis Network met on 20-21 June to discuss food waste along the supply chain, with the objective of exploring ways to improve the knowledge base on food waste (in particular with respect to data and policy information), to develop a common understanding of the causes of food waste, and to share information on policy and industry responses. The participants, who came from government, academia, business and CSOs, exchanged analysis, experience and best practices. This is clearly a nascent and dynamic area of research and policy making. More information on this workshop can be found here.
The first seminar on citizen engagement took place in Moscow on 25 June 2013, jointly organised by the OECD and Russian authorities (Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the Public Chamber of Russia and the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights of Russia). The seminar brought together experts from OECD member countries (Austria, Netherlands, United States) with representatives of Russia’s civil society, business associates, local politicians and government officials. Strengthening relations with citizens is a sound investment for better policy-making and a core-element of good governance, helping to build public trust in government. It also allows government to tap into new sources of policy-relevant ideas, information and resources.
This seminar highlighted the importance of building a responsible and active civil society in Russia. Some of the key elements of discussion included: examples of good practices in the field of citizen engagement and public monitoring of activities of the executive; participation of CSOs and professional associations in monitoring of the government activities; development of a legal framework for citizen engagement; interaction of civil society, media and government control agencies in exercising public monitoring. The seminar also provided an opportunity to discuss a draft law on Public Participation and Monitoring developed jointly by the Public Chamber and the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights of Russia, which will provide a legal basis for citizen engagement, to be introduced to the Russian Duma by the end of the year.
This is the first in a series of joint Russia – OECD roundtable seminars on public governance taking place in the course of 2013-14.
On 26 June 2013, DCD Deputy Director Serge Tomasi visited Washington to conduct the mid-term review of the United States’ development co-operation programme. This was an opportunity to meet with representatives from US CSOs convened by umbrella organisation InterAction. The meeting showed that CSOs appreciate most of the new directions of the US aid programme, and can provide support to the reforms that are under way to make foreign assistance more effective - such as the USAID’s procurement reform programme and efforts to untie food aid further. The US government would therefore gain from consulting and involving more systematically US NGOs at a strategic level.
Building on the recent discussions of the Public Governance Committee (PGC) Symposium and the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting which called for an agenda on trust in government, the OECD Public Sector Integrity Network hosted the OECD Forum on Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying – “How to win back trust?” on 27-28 June, which mobilised the high-level participation of key stakeholders, including governments, parliamentarians, major lobbying associations and civil society, including the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC). The interactive debate revealed a concern related to fairness in the public decision-making process. There was consensus that fairness can be enhanced through transparency, integrity and openness of the decision-making process, including transparency in lobbying. The debate also focused on lessons learned from recent experiences to strike a balance between establishing effective measures for transparency and a level playing field without making procedures for registration and reporting too burdensome.
The New America Foundation hosted the launch of the OECD Skills beyond School Review of the United States. The event included a series of expert panels that examined the implications of the report’s themes of quality, coherence, and transparency for the United States' higher education system and economic prosperity, including the US Department of Education, the American Enterprise Institute, the National Governor's Association or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Videos of the discussions can be accessed here.
A strong OECD delegation participated at the World Water Week on 2-6 September, in Stockholm. The World Water Week is a unique opportunity to liaise with stakeholders from a variety of horizons on a number of water-related issues, including water security, water and adaptation to climate change, water and green growth, urban water management, or water governance. In addition, the OECD took part in regional events, such as the Multi-stakeholder Forum of the EU Water Initiative, focused on Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Please go here for more information about OECD's participation in the event.
Competition experts met at the 2013 Latin America Competition Forum in Lima, Peru, on 3-4 September to discuss the criteria for setting fines for competition law infringements, regional competition agreements, and unannounced inspections in antitrust investigations in Latin America and the Caribbean.