Open government summit in Estonia features GSA Administrator Carnahan
The Open Government Partnership Summit in Estonia brings global government leaders, members of civil society, and policy makers from around the world to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 6-7 to focus on transforming how governments serve their citizens.
“Democracy should strive to foster transparent, accountable, and participatory government and this summit is an important opportunity to renew our commitment to fostering an international coalition based on those principles,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, who is co-lead with U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power for the U.S. delegation to the summit.
“From our National Action Plan to investments in resources and civil engagement, we’re ensuring that our initiatives are shaped by the insights and perspectives of experts as well as the people we serve.”
Estonia, a small Baltic country about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, ranks among the most digitally advanced societies in the world, according to a U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) publication.
Estonia’s modern tech-savviness came from necessity. With no natural resources to fall back on after its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country decided that the online economy and technological innovation was the way forward, according to UNESCO.
Digital governance is one of several policy topics on the summit’s agenda.
Technology platforms that show how the public interacts with their government, and where money is being spent, is not a new concept for GSA. Established sites such as Data.gov, the federal government’s open data website, are part of GSA’s Open Government Program Management Office. Others include:
- Federal IT Dashboard, which shows taxpayers how the majority of federal agencies spend their information technology budget. Also, the site shows the accessibility and performance of public-facing, government websites.
- 18F, which builds shared technology platforms that can be used across the government to address common challenges. By partnering with other agencies through 18F, modern technology methods and best practices can be used to build prototypes and web applications to streamline government tech systems.
The summit will focus on open government in the digital age, how technology can make governance and policy-making more transparent and accountable, and how to preserve democracy. Other discussions include climate governance, building inclusive community engagement and anti-corruption efforts.
The Open Government Partnership includes 75 countries and 104 local governments – representing more than two billion people – and thousands of civil society organizations.
The U.S. is one of eight founding members of the Open Government Partnership, joining in 2011. It continues its commitment to an open democracy through the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. This plan reinforces the federal government’s commitment to ensure an open government at home and abroad.
Learn more about the GSA in Estonia.