An Honest and Responsive Government – the Role of Citizen Voice

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate

GovernancePhilippines

“Throughout history, progress has always been driven by citizens, who have the courage to raise their voices” – US President Barack Obama, Open Government Partnership Side-Event, 24 Sept. 2014

By empowering people around the world to have their priorities heard at the UN, the MY World 2015 Global survey has enabled a more transparent and accountable international development process – so perhaps it is unsurprising that these people have a similar aspiration for the openness and accountability of their own governments.  Out of the 16 MY World priorities, “An Honest and Responsive Government” is the 4th most voted for worldwide.

Disaggregated MY World Results on “An Honest and Responsive Governance”
Low HDI Governance

Furthermore, the MY World survey indicates that in low-HDI countries people feel that governance has a very real impact on their lives.  In these countries an honest and responsive government is the 2nd most voted for priority on average, indicating that governance and poverty are indeed linked. This linkage is backed up by research carried out by Transparency International showing a clear connection between poor governance and poverty.

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Data for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States

sids-conference

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place this month from 1 – 4 September, in Apui, Samoa. The overarching theme of the conference was ‘The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships’. Six multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues were held in parallel to the plenary meetings. The overall objective of the conference was to assess progress to date, seek renewed political commitment for action, identify new emerging challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development of SIDS, and identify priorities for the sustainable development of SIDS to be considered in the elaboration of the post-2015 UN development agenda. In this context, MY World has published a report with a focus on data from SIDS, including MY World survey data and regional consultation data sets reposited on the World We Want website: worldwewant2015.org/reports

Please feel free to read our report by following this link.

SIDS Priorities

SIDS Priorities

People’s Voices on Accountability and the Post-2015 Agenda

In his speech during the Interactive Dialogue: “Elements for a Monitoring and Accountability Framework for the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon commended member states for their commitment to determining the goals and means of financing the next sustainable development agenda. However, he cautioned them on the need for results based goals which are accessible to policy makers and the public. To do so, he noted the United Nations must agree on a robust, universal accountability framework which includes the voice of the people:

…over the past few years, we have heard the voices of our global conversation and more than 2 million people through the My World survey. It is worth noting that there are more than a million votes for honest and responsive government. We must take the vision of the world’s people into account. We must recognize the strength of each of our many partners.

He echoed his commitment to integrating the UN’s analytical and operational work, and of integrating the UN with existing regional and national accountability frameworks.

2014.05.01 - UNSG

This event coincided with MY World votes for “An honest and responsive government” reaching over 1 million. In the qualitative data collected on The World We Want 2015 it is easy to see linkages between the people’s voices and accountability and governance issues.

2014.05.01 - Report

Summary of the latest MY World results for the High-Level Panel meeting in New York

By May 10th 2013, the MY World survey had mobilized nearly 530,000 participants in 194 countries to vote for their most important priorities. Over half of these votes have been collected offline, using paper and pen. Just over one third have come through the MY World website, and around eight per cent have come through mobile phone surveys.
The data that the survey is generating yields important information not only on global priorities, but also how these differ by characteristics: by gender, age, education level, and location. This paper provides information on the current findings at a global and sub-global level, and some suggestions for the implications for policy post-2015.

Read the full report (PDF)

Summary of MY World results submitted to the Secretary General´s High Level Panel for Post-2015 meeting in Bali

Introduction

By March 21st 2013, the MY World survey had mobilized over 150,000 participants in 190 countries to vote for their most  important priorities. The data that the survey is generating yields important information not only on global priorities, but also how these differ by characteristics: by gender, age, education level, and location. This paper provides information on the current findings at a global and sub-global level, and some information on the partnerships that have made MY World possible.

Read the report…..