At the heart of open government are the ideas of transparency, participation and accountability. As a working definition:
- Transparency means the public understands the workings of their government
- Participation means public can influence the workings of government by engaging with public policy processes and public service providers
- Accountability means the public can hold the government to account for its policy and service delivery performance
The Guide has been developed by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI). It aims to support governments and civil society organisations to advance transparency, accountability and participation particularly as part of the Open Government Partnership. It highlights practical, measurable, specific and actionable steps that governments can, and are taking to advance open government.
The full guide covers a broad range of topics, and more are being developed.
Cross cutting topics Focused topics
Assets disclosure and conflicts of interest Aid
Citizen engagement Elections
Open government data Environment
Public contracting Extractive industry
Public services Fisheries
Records management Land
Right to information Parliaments
Whistleblower protection Police and public security
Tax and illicit flows
Each topic has been developed by an expert organisation and offers a flexible menu of “illustrative commitments” which governments can adopt.
Initial steps – actions that a country can take starting from a relatively low baseline
Intermediate steps – actions that countries can take once they have already made moderate progress
Advanced steps – established best practice demonstrated by the most advance performers
Innovative steps – new approaches which countries are trying out
For each step, the Guide lists:
Recommendations – detailed guidance from expert networks
Standards and guidance – key principles, guidance, reports, rankings and tools
Country examples – examples in practice from around the world
The levels of ambition do not imply that countries must work through the steps one by one, or that the country examples given in relation to a particular action implies an overall rating of national progress. Rather, it seeks to offer a flexible framework to support national dialogues about reforms in support of progress towards greater openness.
This document is a customised extract from the full online guide, which is a work in progress. Opengovguide.com is not just a static website. We hope that it will continue to grow with new case examples, resources and ideas. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with comments and suggestions.