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Outcome Report: Oslo Governance Forum 2011
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In 2011, the demand for democracy and better governance reached the streets of Tunis, Homs, Yangon, Washington and many other cities across the world. Millions of people participated in movements for democracy and better governance. Not only have they demanded democracy in countries where democracy has not been well established, but they have also called for a renewal of democratic governance processes and institutions for inclusive development and growth in countries with long established democratic traditions.
From 3-5 October 2011, UNDP’s Oslo Governance Centre, together with UNDEF, ActionAid, ActAlliance, PRIA, the World Bank Institute and NORAD, organized the Oslo Governance Forum. The Forum brought together 270 policy makers, experts and practitioners from more than 75 countries to discuss, from various perspectives, the core question of how to renew democratic governance processes and institutions for a new era. Or, in the words of Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of Development Policy, UNDP,
“How can governments be made more accountable to citizens? How can governance assessments contribute to citizens’ empowerment and more responsive democratic governance?”
The Forum provided a space for discussions on the role of democratic governance assessments in developing anti-corruption policies, improving public service delivery, climate change mitigation strategies, post-crisis recovery processes and in promoting democratic change processes in general. These issues are not just fundamental for the nascent democracies now struggling to take shape, they are crucial to societies further in their transition.
The objective of this report is to share some of these rich experiences by presenting a summary of the Forum’s main deliberations and conclusions. Futhermore by linking the 11 ‘Oslo Principles on Democratic Governance Assessments’ (adopted at the end of the Forum) to a selection of cases, each highlighting one of those principles, this report also aims to illustrate how these principles can be operationalized and thereby contribute to better governance and, particularly, to improved social accountability.
For additional materials, including photos, videos and a detailed programme, see the Forum webpage.