Taiwan’s open government and social innovation policies corresponding with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals were highlighted in a speech by Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang Sept. 21 at New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute.

According to Tang, Taiwan’s digital minister, efforts to establish an open and multistakeholder governance system align with SDG targets 17.6, 17.17 and 17.18, which encompass such objectives as boosting international cooperation on and access to technology and promoting effective public, public-private and civic society partnerships.

Open government, social innovation and youth engagement can ensure citizens have a meaningful input in policymaking, Tang said. The minister pointed to several Taiwan developments in this regard, including the establishment of the participation officer network, public officials in each ministry designated to engage with civil society on emerging issues; and the Social Innovation Lab, a facility for fostering new social enterprises and hosting public meetings on related government initiatives.

Growing citizen-government collaboration, Tang said, is delivering tangible benefits. She highlighted successful efforts to improve the online tax filing system through the participation officer network, as well as the launch of an air quality website displaying real-time atmospheric data collected by the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration and from over 2,000 measurement devices operated by members of the public.

Following the speech, the minister took part in a Q&A session hosted by Daniel Russel, ASPI vice president and former U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Among the topics discussed were promoting technological innovation in rural communities, and how Taiwan’s strategies for collaborative governance can be implemented in developing countries through low-cost hardware solutions.

The event was among a series of addresses by Tang in New York. She spoke the previous day at the Technology and Social Innovation for Sustainable Development forum at Columbia University, and at a Sept. 22 panel on digital governance staged by a Taiwanese-American community organization based in the city.

Tang’s participation in the New York events was arranged as part of a campaign by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs themed U.N. Global Goals—Taiwan Can Help. Staged on the sidelines of the 73rd U.N. General Assembly, the initiative urges the multilateral body to deliver equal treatment to Taiwan’s 23 million people and resolve the issue of the nation’s exclusion from the U.N. system; grant press accreditation to Taiwan journalists and allow unfettered access to U.N. premises for the country’s passport holders; and include Taiwan in SDG-related meetings, mechanisms and activities.

〔Original :Taiwan Today〕