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Opening Government: A Guide to Best Practice in Transparency, Accountability and Civic Engagement across the Public Sector

Posted by Pranesh Prakash at Jul 21, 2011 08:15 AM |
The Transparency & Accountability Initiative has published a book called “Opening Government: A Guide to Best Practice in Transparency, Accountability and Civic Engagement across the Public Sector”. We at the Centre for Internet & Society contributed the section on Open Government Data.

Cross-posted from the Transparency & Accountability Initiative blog.

Download the full report (PDF, 440 Kb)

Open Government Partnership

In January 2011, a small group of government and civil society leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, DC to brainstorm on how to build upon growing global momentum around transparency, accountability and civic participation in governance. The result was the creation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a new multi-stakeholder coalition of governments, civil society and private sector actors working to advance open government around the world — with the goals of increasing public sector responsiveness to citizens, countering corruption, promoting economic efficiencies, harnessing innovation, and improving the delivery of services.

In September 2011, these founding OGP governments will gather in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly to embrace a set of high-level open government principles, announce country-specific commitments for putting these principles into practice and invite civil society to assess their performance going forward. Also in September, a diverse coalition of governments will stand up and announce their intention to join a six-month process culminating in the announcement of their own OGP commitments and signing of the declaration of principles in January 2012.

'Opening Government' report

To help inform governments, civil society and the private sector in developing their OGP commitments, the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/A Initiative) reached out to leading experts across a wide range of open government fields to gather their input on current best practice and the practical steps that OGP participants and other governments can take to achieve it.

The result is the first document of its kind to compile the state of the art in transparency, accountability and citizen participation across 15 areas of governance, ranging from broad categories such as access to information, service delivery and budgeting to more specific sectors such as forestry, procurement and climate finance.

Each expert’s contribution is organized according to three tiers of potential commitments around open government for any given sector — minimal steps for countries starting from a relatively low baseline, more substantial steps for countries that have already made moderate progress, and most ambitious steps for countries that are advanced performers on open government.

Chapters and Contributing Authors

  1. Aid – Publish What You Fund
  2. Asset disclosure - Global Integrity
  3. Budgets – The International Budget Project
  4. Campaign finance – Transparency International - USA
  5. Climate finance – World Resources Institute
  6. Fisheries – TransparentSea
  7. Financial sector reform  Global Financial Integrity
  8. Forestry – Global Witness
  9. Electricity – Electricity Governance Initiative
  10. Environment – The Access Initiative
  11. Extractive industries – The Revenue Watch Institute
  12. Open government data – The Centre for Internet and Society - India
  13. Procurement – Transparency International-USA
  14. Right to information – Access Info and the Center for Law and Democracy
  15. Service delivery – Twaweza

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