Open Governance Project: helping citizens engage with government

Filed under - Politics and government

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What’s at stake?

In the past years many countries have recognised the importance of open governance in strengthening democracy, curbing corruption and promoting better development. If citizens do not know how decisions are made, how taxes are spent or who is responsible within governments, citizens cannot ensure governments are working for their benefit.

Transparency, accountability and participation are necessary conditions to ensure that public resources are used efficiently, public policies are designed in the best interest of the population and governments act with integrity. Many initiatives have arisen to promote transparency, accountability and participation in governments. Despite these efforts, much work is still to be done to bring the benefits of open governance to citizens all over the world.

What we’re doing about it

Open governance is the concept that citizens have rights to access to information and participation, governments have in place the institutions and policies to advance promoting transparency, accountability and participation, and the appropriate tools and investments are made to enable these policies.

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Through open governance citizens are ensured an enabling environment for participation. Citizen participation in public policies and processes means citizens can hold their authorities to account, denounce instances of malfeasance and sanction elected officials – all key to fighting corruption.

We seek to maximise citizens’ effective use of open governance to advocate for and impact change through promoting the direct engagement with communities on open governance; coordinating with civil society to promote coherent, open government standards and monitoring systems; and fostering stronger government commitments to implement critical open governance reforms.

Who’s involved

Four national chapters act as regional hubs for the project, working with governments, civil society and citizens at the national, regional and international level.

These hubs are based in Ghana (Sub-Saharan Africa), Indonesia (South East Asia), Ukraine (Eastern and Central Europe) and Peru (South America).

Our approach

The Open Governance Project seeks to further open governance by focusing on citizens and their power to generate positive change. The project’s key activities include:

  • Identifying, developing and advocating for the adoption of open governance standards at the national and international level
  • Monitoring the open governance standards through a scorecard which assists in identifying the baseline of governments’ efforts in realising transparency, accountability and participation
  • Based on scorecard results, developing and advocating for recommendations for national governments on how to better achieve open governance
  • Engaging citizens through tools and campaigns that invite them to participate in and better understand the principles of open governance
  • Leveraging the work of the Open Government Partnership to improve the design and implementation of national and local plans


Contact us

José María Marín, Head of Public Sector Integrity Programme (Acting)

Country / Territory - International   |   Ghana   |   Indonesia   |   Peru   |   Ukraine   
Region - Global   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Access to information   |   Accountability   |   Civil society   |   Governance   |   Human rights   |   Politics and government   

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