We were proud to unveil the new Open Government Guide on October 31 during the OGP summit.
Dozens of governance experts collaborated with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to author the Guide, which lays out practical steps governments can take to improve transparency, accountability and citizen participation in 19 areas, from public services and open data to elections, environment and illicit financial flows.
In the wake of OGP’s London summit, much of the activity will now shift to the national level, as governments and civil society work on developing or refining their country action plans.
The Guide—with its accompanying web site—has been developed to support this action planning in three ways :
- It gives readers an overview of what open government means across a range of topics, to help countries identify core ‘cross-cutting issues’ (like conflict of interest management, and public contracting) and to select amongst ‘focused’ issues (like land, police, and extractive industries).
- For each topic, it also provides a “deep dive”, outlining potential commitments tagged as basic, intermediate, advanced and innovative.
- It links to other resources - over 330 case studies and country examples, and external resources on standards .
To read the Guide go to OpenGovGuide.com. You can also use the Report Builder function and create a custom download tailored to your own country or to the officials and other audiences in the local planning process.
Anyone seeking governance reforms, from inside or outside government, faces political as well as logistical challenges, so the Guide is also intended to serve as a way to frame the sometimes difficult conversations about the steps to make reform a reality and show examples from other countries
The OGP process includes four “cohorts” of countries. The largest group are currently drafting their first action plans, and another cohort are already at work on their second plans. The Open Government Guide can help any group seeking to promote reform.
While the Guide is quite comprehensive, it is also a living document. We will continue to add more detailed topic areas. A new section is currently in development on the security sector, drafted by the Open Society Foundation’s Justice Initiative and including recommendations on transparency and accountability of military spending and on surveillance, drawing on the new International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance and the Global Principles on National Security and the Right to Information (The Tswhane Principles). To preview and comment on this document, please watch for the draft version at www.opengovguide.com/news.
Currently the guide is only available in English, but over the next couple of months a Spanish translation will be added. If you would like to work with us to make the Guide available in other languages, or if you want to suggest other resources and innovations that are not included, please do let T/AI know.