ABOUT THE OSLO GOVERNANCE FORUM
The Oslo Governance Forum (OGF) is an initiative of the Oslo Governance Centre and the Democratic Governance Group of UNDP. The Forum will facilitate exchange of innovative experiences, knowledge and policy options among international development practitioners, academic institutions, government representatives and civil society from the global south.
The Oslo Governance Forum will take place from the 3-5 October 2011. The overarching focus is on governance assessments and their current and potential contribution to improving social accountability within developing countries. For the purposes of the OGF, social accountability has a wide meaning and relates to the mechanisms and instruments that are used by communities, groups and ordinary people to make governments and their agents, answerable and responsive in terms of the commitments that they have made. Governance assessments are an increasingly important tool for monitoring whether governments are failing or succeeding in terms of their commitments in legislation, government policies and international law.
To date, much of the focus of the development community on governance assessments, has been on the “supply side”, that is, improving the methodological aspects of an assessment and getting the right indicators. The OGF will focus on the “demand side”, examining, discussing and sharing experiences on how governance assessments are used by stakeholders as a basis for dialogue on governance deficits, as an instrument to monitor performance and as an input for revising and correcting policies. One of the key elements of democratic governance and accountability is empowerment of the people and the fostering of demand- and people driven accountability as opposed to accountability to external actors like donors.
The world is changing rapidly and never before has democratic governance and accountability been so visibly important on the global stage. The Arab Spring revolutions have shown that governments must take people’s calls for accountability and their rights to be governed democratically more seriously. These events have also added to the growing number of case studies that attest to the potential of social media and related technologies for mobilizing people for change.”