OGP Awards 2014

I was telling you in February 2014 about the OGP Club (Open Government Partnership), an informal event which brings together civil society, academia and public institutions in order to implement Romania’s commitments as part of its participation in the Open Government Partnership. The event is organized by the Department for Online Services and Design in the Romanian Government. This is a very dynamic and interesting unit led by Radu Puchiu, whom we interviewed recently. 

But the purpose of this article is not to talk about the OGP Club but about one resolution of this project – the OGP Romania Awards. These will be granted annually starting December 2014 as a way to recognize and encourage the efforts of the public administration, civile society and business environment to implement and respect the principles of an Open Government Partnership.

The topics for the 2014 vote are “Promoting Open Data”, “Transparency in the public administration” and a special section dedicated to the partners which have been involved in OGP projects in Romania. The jury will be formed by representatives of the central administration and also of the Coalition for Open Data. Check out more details about the categories and how to vote on their website. [RO]

I think the OGP Awards are a creative and great idea which can help us find out more about the Open Government Partnership projects in Romania and also about the success stories of institutions or projects who actively contribute to increasing transparency in public sector communication  and digitizing the public administration. I look forward to finding out about the winners!

The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Romania joined the initiative in 2012 when we also committed ourselves to follow and implement the 2012-2014 National Plan. You can find here an independent review of the commitments taken by Romania and the way in which they were finalized or not. If you are wondering what exactly are open data, it is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike (OpenDefinition.org). Find out more!

Become Parliament’s Facebook editor for a day!

Would you like to discover what it’s like to work in the European Parliament and manage the Facebook page of this institution? Well, step right up – admission is free! Three of you will be invited to come to Strasbourg in December to run the Facebook page for us!

How can you take part in the competition?
Prepare a short video of why you should be selected and post it on the wall of this event. Be creative, be funny, think out of the box… There are only two rules: do not exceed 30 seconds and you need to post your motivation before midnight 26 October. You can check full details on the Parliament’s Facebook page.

The three winners will be invited for a three-day trip to Strasbourg (16-18 December). Under the Parliament’s team supervision, they will take over as managers of the Parliament Facebook page for one day (monitoring the debates, choosing the topics, writing the posts and moderating the discussion). Accommodation and travel expenses will be arranged for and covered by the European Parliament.

I would advise you to participate in the competition! Fingers crossed for one of our reader to win! :)

The UK Ambassador in Romania is inviting you to his first live Twitter Q&A!

Twitter has become one of the most powerful communication tools for the diplomatic world, according the findings of the latest Twiplomacy 2014 study which we presented back in June. More than 3,000 embassies and ambassadors are now active on Twitter and more and more emphasis is being put on the personal engagement by ambassadors, something which is particularly encouraged by the UK Foreign Office in London.

The British Embassy in Bucharest has a new ambassador since September 2014 – His Excellency Mr. Paul Brummell. Paul is an active social media user and especially of Twitter. And now, just weeks after the official start of his mandate in our country, he is organizing the first live diplomatic Twitter Q&A in Romania!

So next Tuesday, September 30, at 11:00 AM, @PaulBrummell will be sitting confortably in his office chair and, for 45 minutes, he will engage in a live conversation with those of you who are interested to know more about him and the priorities of his mandate. You can also send in your questions in advance, but keep in mind to use the officialhashtag #askFCO. This is not a locally designed hashtag, it is in fact the one frequently used by the British Foreign Minister and other British diplomatic in their Twitter Q&As.

If you don’t know much about ambassador Brummell, you can find out, directly from the embassy’s website, useful information about his experience and the focus of his mandate. You can also check the embassy’s Flickr account for pictures from Paul’s first press conference.

The British Embassy has been particularly active in social media, as the former British Ambassador was telling us in a special interview for DigitalDiplomacy.ro. And it looks like they are again breaking into uncharted territory – by organizing the first diplomatic Q&A on Twitter with a diplomat.

We invite you to tune in next week to the Twitter discussion – it is not only the first attempt of its kind for a diplomat based in Romania to interact with the host country, but also it’s a very good opportunity to learn more about the man behind the @PaulBrummell social media account.

Partnership between the Romanian Chamber of Deputies and the Google Cultural Institute

The Romanian Chamber of Deputies and the Google Cultural Institute recently announced that they will work together to offer a virtual tour of the Parliament’s Palace’s representative halls. The tour will be uploaded on the Institute’s platform, according to Mediafax.

This tour will be offered free of charge to those interested and it will be only the first stage of a wider project which will also include, at a later date, offering information and photos from exhibitions of the archive.

Google Cultural Institute is an initiative unveiled by Google following the 2011 launch of the . The Cultural Institute was launched in 2011, and put 42 new exhibits online on October 10, 2012.