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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