Together with the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Government of Canada is hosting the 6th OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada, from May 29 to 31, 2019.

The OGP Global Summit will bring together the 79 member countries and 20 local governments of the Open Government Partnership. It will also include participants from local and regional governments, civil society groups, academia, and beyond. Our goal is to share knowledge and together create solutions for more open and transparent governments around the globe.

Submit proposals

In the spirit of co-creation, the agenda for the OGP Global Summit will be based on an open call for session proposals and speakers. Starting in January 2019, members of the OGP community are invited to submit their ideas for sessions via OGP’s Apply Portal. Note: each person can submit a maximum of two proposals. The last day to submit proposals is February 6, 2019.

Participants are invited to apply to participate in the summit in one of two ways:

  1. Session proposal (preferred) – Participants are encouraged to apply to organize sessions at the summit. Selected session organizers will be invited to design their own session, including identifying objectives, speakers, and moderators.
  2. Individual speaker – Consideration may be given to individual applicants who would like to speak at the summit. However, the availability of speaking opportunities may be limited and will depend on selected sessions.

Priority tracks

We invite you to propose sessions under the following priority thematic tracks. These tracks were identified by the current co-chairs of the OGP, the Government of Canada and Nathaniel Heller. The key topics under each track are based on OGP and co-chair priorities, as well as a survey that was conducted with the global OGP community in 2018. Some topics may fit into multiple themes. We welcome proposals that have an intersectional approach and may place sessions under different themes in the final agenda.

  • Inclusion – Empower under-represented citizens, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation, to engage actively with governments. This allows for more equitable governments.
    • Youth and the Future of Open Government
    • Driving Gender Equality in Open Government
    • Empowering Underrepresented Communities in Open Government
      • By underrepresented communities we encourage applications related to meaningful engagement with, for example: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-spirited (LGBTQ2+), linguistic minorities, incarcerated populations, persons with disabilities
    • Indigenous Open Government and Data Sovereignty
    • Access to Open and Restorative Justice
    • Data Literacy for All Citizens and Using Data to Tell Your Story
  • Participation – Enable citizens, civil society and businesses to participate in government decision-making. This leads to more trust in government and better outcomes.
    • Engaging Citizens in Open and Digital Policy Making
    • Securing and Protecting Civic Space
      • Including expanding opportunities for engagement.
    • Leveraging Technology to Enable Participation and Co-Creation
      • Including tools such as machine translation, consultation and engagement platforms, etc.
    • Private Sector Engagement in Open Government
    • How Local Governments Are Making Open Government Work for Them
    • Feedback Loops, Social Accountability, and Citizen Monitoring
    • Participatory and Transparent Budgeting
  • Impact – Help citizens understand how open government affects their day-to-day lives. This makes government accountable for results that make a difference.
    • How Open Government Improves the Lives of All Citizens
    • How Open Policy Making is Changing Government
    • Solutions to Implementation Challenges in Thematic Areas
      • Including challenges related to public service delivery, open contracting, open science, etc.
    • Keeping Open Governments Accountable and Responsive
    • Innovative Methods of Measuring Impact
    • What Works and How to Grow it: Scaling up Successful Reforms in Open Government
  • Open track – Other emerging issues that are aligned with Open Government.
    • Threats to Democracy, Fake News, and Restoring Trust in Institutions
    • Sustainable Development Goals and Open Government
    • Anti-Corruption through Open Government
      • Including leveraging beneficial ownership, lobbying, open contracting, etc.
    • Getting to Open States: Open Elections, Justice, Legislature, & Parliaments
    • Balancing Innovation in Open Government with Privacy Rights
    • Responsible Artificial Intelligence
    • Creating a Culture of Openness across Sectors
      • Including building on Open Science, Media, Intellectual Property, etc.
    • National Security Transparency
    • Other

Selection process for session proposals

To ensure that your session proposal has the best chance of being selected, please consult:

  • the process and criteria described below; and
  • our recommendations for organizing a successful session.

We would like the OGP Global Summit to be action-oriented. We’ll be looking for sessions that explore concrete experiences or ideas and that can help to build projects relating to open government. We are keen to see sessions that include speakers from different fields, sectors, and regions from around the world.

Selection process:

  • Review – Session proposals will be reviewed in February by an Editorial Committee comprised of representatives of the Government of Canada, civil society, and the OGP Support Unit.
  • Agenda building – The committee will curate each track so that it includes high-level conversations, peer exchange, learning opportunities, and other dynamic formats to meet the needs of the OGP’s diverse community.
  • Agenda refinement – An Expert Advisory Panel that includes civil society and other representatives with extensive knowledge in Open Government will be consulted.
  • Inform session organizers – If your session is selected, you will be notified by e-mail in early March. Please note that we expect the selection process to be very competitive. We will only contact session organizers that have been selected.

Tips for session proposals

As you develop your session proposal, please consider the following:

  • Focus on outcomes. Consider the desired result or deliverable from your session and the contributions that your proposal could make to the open government community, such as:
    • brainstorming ways to tackle challenges related to open government, for example those related to implementation of OGP commitments
    • facilitating peer-learning on specific topics or learning new skills;
    • exploring new approaches to deepen open government reforms and dialogue between government, civil society, and other actors; and
    • showcasing stories of inspiration or of failure related to open government reforms.

Please also think about what kind of post-summit follow-up is possible.

  • Prioritize creative, interactive session formats. We’re looking for sessions that facilitate dynamic discussion and knowledge exchange among participants. Suggested formats include:
    • Fishbowl – Open conversation with two to four lead discussants in which a moderator facilitates and engages different audience members to join the discussion.
    • Knowledge Cafe – The audience is divided into small groups that have a discussion on key questions around the session theme. The facilitator then asks each group to share their conversation takeaways with the larger audience.
    • Lightning Talks – The session organizer will curate a series of speakers that will use storytelling to present their ideas and share examples of inspiration or failure around the session theme.
    • Panel – Dynamic, high-level, facilitated conversations with up to 5 experts or practitioners, including government officials, civil society members, and representatives from other sectors.
    • Town Hall – Moderator facilitates a conversation with key respondents and community members to provide space for them to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas and potentially seek consensus around a particular issue.
    • Challenge Clinic / Solution Room – Pre-selected participants present their challenge or issue to a cross-section of peers/practitioners, donors, academics, etc. to discuss and seek solutions.
    • Demo / Experiential Learning – Short interactive, hands-on presentations where participants can test, give feedback on or learn how to use a new tool; these are often but not limited to tech tools.
    • Workshop – Hands-on workshops facilitated by experts, allowing the exchange of experience around interactive activities: project presentations, discussion around case studies, or trainings on specific tools, techniques, or skills.
  • Ensure expertise and diversity. We are looking for speakers and other participants in your session proposals that reflect the diversity of the open government movement. We are also looking for leading experts and practitioners that will meaningfully advance open government through the session. Considerations for your session proposal:
    • Expertise in the themes and or topics of the summit. We want to encourage strong outcomes and knowledge exchange for the summit. We value having speakers that have experience promoting or working on at least one of the principles of open government. We encourage including participants who have worked on strengthening, documenting, encouraging, promoting, and/or advancing the principles of open government.
    • Stakeholder, gender, and regional balance. Striving for parity across government, civil society and other stakeholders. The goal is for discussions to reflect multiple perspectives (e.g., academics, citizens, funders, media, and private sector representatives, as well as local government officials and Members of Parliament).
    • Diversity of speakers and other participants. Diversity is a strength and we welcome speakers with diverse backgrounds and points of view. We strongly recommend including members of diversity groups among your proposed participants, such as Indigenous peoples, persons with disability, immigrants or refugees, LGBTQ2+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two Spirited), linguistic minorities, religious minorities, seniors, youth and others. Proposals for sessions that include all male speakers, moderators, and facilitators will not be selected for the agenda.
  • Collaborate with others in organizing your session. If you know other organizations or actors working on similar issues, you should consider collaborating and proposing a joint session. Additional viewpoints and content can enrich your session.
  • Consider the level of background knowledge expected of the target audience and participants. The summit will aim to feature sessions ranging from introductory to advanced.

Selection criteria for session proposals

The selection of session proposals will be based on the criteria below. Please provide clear information to ensure ideas selected are those that make for an inclusive, high-quality agenda.


  • The design of the session is clear. The proposal specifies the desired audience, objective, mode of facilitation, and who will participate as speakers, moderators, or facilitators.
  • The session objectives are clear. The proposal describes in detail why the session provides value, and its relevance to both the global discussion on the priority theme and in terms of open government.

Creativity & Interactivity

  • The proposed format and facilitation technique is dynamic and innovative. It describes the activities and tactics that will be employed to encourage inclusive discussions and knowledge exchange among participants.
  • The proposal reflects innovative approaches to the identified topics, as well as non-traditional methods of presentation that facilitate peer-learning or learning new skills.

Impact & Relevance

  • The session objectives have value and are relevant for moving the dialogue forward on the themes of the summit. The proposed format is conducive to the exchange of experiences and learning.
  • The proposed speakers, moderators, or facilitators have experience promoting or working on open government. We encourage including participants who have worked on strengthening, documenting, encouraging, promoting, and/or advancing open government.
  • We encourage proposals that offer mechanisms for follow-up, continued discussion of the topic, and/or the establishment of action points following the summit.


  • The proposal considers sectoral, regional, and gender balance for the proposed speakers, moderators, or facilitators. It is inclusive and diverse, with the goal of expanding discussion and presenting different perspectives.
  • We encourage the inclusion of speakers, moderators, or facilitators who have experience implementing programs related to the priority tracks (in their country or internationally) and have expertise that would be interesting and relevant to a cross-sector audience.

If proposals with common elements are identified, the committee may suggest combining sessions or including different speakers, moderators, or facilitators. Submitting a proposal does not guarantee that it will be selected for the final agenda of the OGP Global Summit.

Selection process for individual speakers

For the summit, we encourage you to submit proposals for sessions.  However, you are also able to apply to participate as speakers on an individual basis.

Selection process:

  • Submit your speaker information – Once you complete the application form, you will be included in a database of possible speakers.
  • Dissemination to session organizers – After the call for proposals is complete, we will share the speaker database with accepted session organizers. Our objective is to foster inclusion, cross-sector participation and peer-learning.
  • Selection – We will encourage session organizers to include additional speakers in their sessions, as needed. Speaker information will not be reviewed and scored by the Editorial Committee. If a session organizer selects you from the database of individual speakers, they will contact you in March or April.

Considerations for your proposal to speak as an individual:

  • Expertise – As you develop your speaker application, please demonstrate that you have significant expertise in any of the themes or topics of the summit. We want to encourage strong outcomes and knowledge exchange for the summit.
  • Experience – Please include any other previous experience you had facilitating a session or being a speaker. Please also indicate how you have worked on strengthening, documenting, encouraging, promoting, and/or advancing the principles of open government. Those who demonstrate their knowledge and can tell a great story are more likely to be invited to join a session as a speaker or moderator.
  • Diversity – Diversity is a strength and we would welcome speakers with diverse backgrounds and points of view. We recommend that you self-identify any diversity group you belong to (e.g., Indigenous, Person with disability, Immigrant or refugee, LGBTQ2+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two Spirited), Linguistic minority, Religious minority, Senior, Youth, Other).

Proposals will be accepted until February 6, 2019. Proposals can be submitted on OGP’s Apply Portal. The principal contacts for selected proposals will be notified in early March via e-mail and will receive additional details on next steps on content and logistics. The selected proposals will be announced publicly on our website by the end of March.

For reference, consult the final agenda for the 2018 OGP Global Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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