Results of early Open Government Partnership initiatives

The Open Government Partnership: “The search for these stories ended with finding seven very different reform initiatives in different regions and covering a broad range of open government topics.

In Costa Rica, we learn about how the government is using its participation in OGP to restart a process halted for 23 years to create a consultation mechanism that will allow indigenous groups to participate in all policy making decisions that affect them, and the results of the dialogue leading to an improvement in the delivery of public services.

The Chilean story documents how a 10-year campaign to regulate influence peddling was given a boost by an explicit commitment included in the first Chilean action plan to introduce legislation to regulate lobbying – a commitment since fulfilled. The resulting Lobbying Act sheds new light on the relationship between officials and influence groups and is beginning to democratize access to authorities.

Italy’s OpenCoesione and its spin-off initiatives show how top-down open data initiatives on public spending can be combined with bottom-up, data-driven monitoring to promote accountability and public participation in the policy-making process, including promoting civic engagement amongst school students.

The Tanzanian case study tells the story of how the “How Do I?” – or “Nifanyeje?” – website is making information on basic public services available to citizens and cutting down transaction times and costs, but it also highlights the need to still reach the last mile in a country where Internet penetration remains low.

Indonesia’s initiative to create a One Map portal with official base maps for the country, part of a much larger initiative of synchronizing various maps for the country that when completed could help resolve land-related conflicts and address illegal deforestation, shows technical progress and some improvements in inter-agency cooperation.

In Macedonia, we learn how opening up data on air quality has acted as an engine for civic activism and about short and medium-term policy options being implemented and explored by the relevant authorities as a result.

Finally, the case from Israel shows how collaboration between civil society and champions within the Parliament is helping make data on the state budget accessible to citizens, journalists, and the parliamentarians themselves.

Each story demonstrates measurable progress and the added value of the collaboration between government and civil society that is at the very heart of OGP. The stories also show the immense importance of political will, bureaucratic buy-in, adequate resourcing, and demand-side calls for accountability in ensuring that the reforms take root and continue into the future, so that their impact can be felt by a broader range of citizens. In that sense, the last chapter for each story is still to be written. In a majority of the cases, these commitments’ inclusion in the OGP National Action Plans gave prominence and momentum to the envisioned reforms, helping them along. We hope to be able to continue to track these reforms in the years to come….(More)”.