The last few years have seen a number of local and national governments experiment with greater openness. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) have been at the heart of this movement, and have personally supported some 2,500 open government reforms in around 70 countries since their formation back in 2011.
They have recently released a paper in which they aim to provide an overview of the results achieved in that time. The paper highlights seven distinct reform initiatives from around the world, with the seven projects covering a range of open government topics.
- Costa Rica – in Costa Rica, efforts revolved around an effort to increase participation in policy making decisions among indigenous groups.
- Chile – in Chile, efforts aimed to reduce the peddling of influence and better regulate lobbying in the country.
- Italy – in Italy, OpenCoesione was an open data initiative that aimed to improve accountability and public participation.
- Tanzania – in Tanzania, the story is of a website, called ‘How Do I?’, which aims to help the public find information about public services more effectively and efficiently.
- Indonesia – in Indonesia, a project is examined called the One Map portal, which aims to synchronize various maps for the country to try and resolve conflicts and address illegal deforestation.
- Macedonia – the Macedonian case study revolves around open data in the field of air quality, and how this has helped with civic engagement and policy development.
- Israel – last, but not least, in Israel, data surrounding budgets is being made more transparent and available to citizens, the press and even to parliamentarians themselves.
The case studies provide an interesting glimpse into the kind of efforts being undertaken around the world to make government a more open and transparent process. They also provide insight into the kind of support needed, in terms of both political buy-in and adequate resourcing, for success to be achieved.
It seems inevitable that open government is a movement that is at a very early stage of its journey, both in developed and developing countries alike, but this paper shows the kind of things that can be achieved.