New support to civil society groups working on open governance

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Civil society is at the heart of open governance.

Civil society can push to make government more open, can be a user of newly released government information, can work with government to implement reforms, and can hold governments to account when they don’t keep their promises.

This is central to the theories of change outlined in the Open Government Partnership’s 4 year strategy and by Making All Voices Count, which was in part designed to support civil society organizations to play their full role in national OGP processes.

This month, we are excited to announce a new joint initiative to support civil society  groups using innovation and technology in their open governance work.

Call for Proposals

Making All Voices Count supports innovative and tech-focussed approaches to addressing governance issues. With this call, we are seeking innovative civil society-led projects that can contribute to:

  • the shaping of OGP National Action Plans and their commitments.
  • the implementation of OGP National Action Plan Commitments
  • civil society monitoring and supporting governments to achieve OGP commitments
  • civil society monitoring and challenging governments over how they pursue these commitments

What are we looking for?

We are open to considering a wide range of different activities, including where civil society groups:

  • Campaign for your country to participate in the OGP process;
  • Strategically organise yourselves for effective OGP participation (playing a coordination role), including involving other organisations that would ordinarily not participate  (e.g. women or youth focused organisations);
  • Advocate for, set up and/or play a leadership role in OGP permanent dialogue mechanisms;
  • Draft of shadow action plans with civil society priorities
  • Organize campaigning activities to influence new OGP action plans;
  • Support the implementation of commitments;
  • Monitor the process and/or the quality and impact of the commitments (for example through participating in the National Action Plan review tool project).

Civil society organisations interested in applying should design proposals strongly rooted in the national context and the opportunities that the prevailing context offers.

Proposals should include realistic assessments of the local political appetite for open governance reform and OGP, and projects should be based on that analysis.

Learning approach - unique support for grantees

Innovation is a process of learning and adaptation. Because of the complex and dynamic nature of governance problems, initiatives that want to address these issues must learn and adapt if they want to achieve the best possible outcomes.

The OGP is relatively young, and is learning about which processes are most effective in reaching its goals of more open, participatory, and accountable government. One of the key elements of this call is ensuring that projects can produce evidence that helps improve not only OGP, but also provides lessons for others – this is one of the areas where the Making All Voices Count team can provide you with unique support.

Making All Voices Count is a learning programme. In addition to funding, you will be offered support in the form of mentors, embedded fellows, and help to embed ‘action research’ approaches. All of these will help you learn more about what you’re doing, how it’s working and how you can adapt as you go to better achieve your project’s objectives.

In your proposal, be reflective, and highlight what you feel are important knowledge gaps. Let us know what additional support you feel is needed to make your idea successful.

Countries of focus

We encourage civil society leaders in the following countries to apply for Making All Voices Count support:

  • Countries producing new OGP plans in 2016: Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania
  • Countries currently implementing OGP plans: Ghana, Liberia, Philippines
  • Countries where civil society is campaigning for the government to join OGP: Nigeria

How to Apply

Interested organisations should send their concept notes/ideas - no more than 2 pages to the respective Making All Voices Count country teams:

  • Indonesia - Ria Ernunsari
  • Kenya - Varyanne Sika:
  • South Africa - Deborah Byrne:
  • Ghana - Sachibu Mohamme:
  • Tanzania - Sanne van den Berg:
  • Liberia - Sachibu Mohammed:
  • Philippines - Vivien Suerte-Cortez:
  • Nigeria - Sachibu Mohammed:

The concept notes should include a summary of issues the project is addressing, partnership/alignment with OGP country plans, how long the project is proposed for and overall budget.


Applicants who put in their ideas before April 2016 will have a greater chance of being funded.

Applications that come beyond May 2016 will not be accepted.

Submitted ideas will be discussed with applicants over a 2 month period, and Country Engagement Developers will support applicants to turn their concepts into full proposals.

Frequently asked questions

What is the relationship between Making All Voices Count and OGP?

  • Three years ago, when Making All Voices Count began, the programme was grounded in the principles of the Open Government Partnership.
  • We support the commitment to transparency and openness of government information, the principles of civic participation and the need to understand how we can harness the power of new technologies and innovations to improve lives in an increasingly interconnected world.
  • With this call, our focus is on supporting civil society organisations and partnerships that embrace these principles, that work to support the OGP’s existing efforts, and that strive to improve it.

How much funding is available?

  • New projects should be between £50,000-100,000. Proven concepts that are looking to scale up can apply for up to £100,000-£250,000

How long can projects be?

  • Between 9 and 15 months

Do organisations need to already have a partnership with OGP?

  • No, but they will need to have a good knowledge of OGP commitments and processes in their country

How will projects be assessed?

  • Country Engagement Developers will assess projects and talk with organisations they think have potential for a grant.
  • Proposals will then be assessed by a Making All Voices Count Investment Committee.