:sync: Opening up Education through Open Government Partnership’s Local Program

Authors: Jan Gondol, Jennryn Wetzler
Institutions: Switzerlab, Creative Commons
Countries: Slovakia, United States

Topic: Global Collaboration, Strategies, & Policies in Open Education
Sector: K-12
UNESCO Area of Focus: Facilitating int cooperation
Session Format: Workshop


The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has been an important avenue to create open educational policies on the national level. Initially, only national governments were eligible to join the OGP. Later, a pilot program for sub-national governments (cities and regions) was created and in 2020, approximately 50 *new* cities will be invited to join the OGP as well. This creates a significant opportunity for open education advocates to “onboard” local government leaders: now is the ideal time to share how open education efforts can strengthen open governance practices ranging from increased fiscal transparency projects to improving civil society engagement in policy making. We currently see a powerful opportunity for OGP government leaders to use open education as a tool to maximize their impact in OGP-related projects, as well as other trans-national collaborations, such as the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

The facilitators of this workshop are former government representatives who worked on national level OGP. We see a vibrant new opportunity for engagement in OGP as a vehicle for systems change. In this workshop, we will offer concrete suggestions from our own North American and European-centered perspectives for OGP local work with OER that local government policy makers can adapt to meet the needs within their communities. We will also invite audience members ideas through a brainstorm aimed at addressing a selection of the following questions:

What are the best practices, stories and examples that the cities can learn from?
How might we inform policy conversations about open education at the local levels?
What might the local governments’ action plans include?
Without policy interventions at the national level, what open education-related policies at the local level might best support students and teachers?
What are the recommended ways to connect the local policies with national policies?
How might we best harness the connections/synergies possible between the local policies to SDGs, OGP priorities, UNESCO OER Recommendation?
What are recommended or “field tested” ways to work with other cities, civil society groups and teachers on OER? What are some other OGP approaches that the local communities can leverage (such as more transparency in education to improve service delivery or similar)?

This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to explore and actively contribute (primarily through active discussion and live collaboration on a shared document) to the development of the material that will later be shared with the leadership of the OGP Local team and shared with the cities that participate in the local program.

Because the local governments typically deal with elementary and secondary education (and not higher education), we will focus the workshop accordingly.


OER, Open Education, Open Policy, Open Government Partnership, OGP, Participation, Best Practices


Hello everyone, @Jennryn and I are looking forward to discussing the intersection between open education and open government (on the local level) with you! :slightly_smiling_face:


Can’t wait! This is good timing, because 56 new local governments just joined the OGP and will be looking for support! Read more here: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/news/56-local-jurisdictions-join-global-partnership-to-promote-open-government/


Hello Jan and Jennryn,

I’ll be your session facilitator for this workshop.

A few reminders:

  • The link to the Zoom room is now listed and is only available for logged in conference registrants (this is why we have been reminding presenters to create accounts).
  • Please ensure you post all of your session materials for attendees!
  • Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes early and let us know in chat that you are here for the session so we can provide screen sharing access.
  • Towards the end of your session, I will gently provide 5 minute and 1 minute warnings via audio.

If there is anything you need from us, please let us know! Thanks for being part of the conference.


Hey all! Here are the Resources for consideration that we shared in the session:


And here’s a sign up form in case you couldn’t make it to discussion but are interested in staying involved: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeZjXBixuQEFVK3TTeT2L11XVHrojZQqoWZZtY2dhJm3S8j_A/viewform

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Recording of the session:


Thank you so much!
I enjoyed learning about this initiative and appreciate the work you are all doing - thanks again!

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Thank you for joining!!

Hello @Jennryn and @jan Enjoyed catching up on your session through the recording. Thank you for a really informative session. Wonder what happened off record :wink: Really appreciated your insights informed by your personal involvement/experiences in OGP. Great to learn about the recent membership expansion strategy. Hopefully, this more localised approach will create additional opportunities to advance open education. Also, appreciated all of the links to resources shared under your session description. Best, Igor

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Thanks for watching the recording, Igor. Sorry a part of the session was off the record–it seemed important to create a space for participants to share their personal challenges without risk of any kind of backlash (gov retribution, for example). I’m looking forward to chatting with you more on OGP/OE in the near future!

No worries Jennryn. Was just teasing you :slight_smile: Completely understand the need for the off the record time. Looking forward to continued discussions.

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