Justice Policy Series, Part III: Accountability for Democratic Renewal
Evidence from numerous data-producing and governance institutions shows a clear and consistent trend of increased autocratization and a decline in the rule of law over the past decade. To reverse this harmful trend and reinforce open government, the global community must work together to renew democracy. Central to this effort is the need for effective and accessible accountability measures to deter and sanction rights violations and other anti-democratic behavior.
In its discussion of citizen-activated accountability, the paper focuses on both institutions – including judiciaries, legislatures, tribunals, ombudsmen, and others – and mechanisms that prompt these institutions to act. These accountability structures provide a backstop against many of the types of abuses that have increased in recent years by allowing citizens to protect their rights and ensure that government actors act lawfully.
Overview of Chapters: Common Challenges, Common Solutions
This paper contains six chapters which each describe how OGP members can strengthen and improve access to citizen-activated accountability mechanisms in response to a different type of problem or harm.
- Open government approaches for accountable right to information regimes. This chapter covers reforms that ensure citizens have access to fair, robust, and independent appeals processes in cases where their requests are denied or mishandled.
- Open government approaches to anti-corruption enforcement. This chapter focuses on horizontal accountability institutions that citizens may trigger in response to suspected or confirmed cases of fraud, bribery, or embezzlement.
- Open government approaches to environmental justice. This chapter considers the ways in which various citizen-activated accountability mechanisms can work in parallel to improve environmental governance outcomes.
- Open government and electoral dispute resolution. This chapter discusses barriers to accountability in electoral disputes and suggests open government reforms that can help make electoral administration fairer and more accessible.
- Open government approaches to tax and fiscal policy. This chapter considers several factors that may affect citizens’ ability to use courts in this unprecedented way and suggests measures that could make this course of action more accessible.
- Safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities. This section highlights some of the ways governments can improve access to various accountability institutions for people with disabilitiesA government is not open unless it is accessible to all, and governments are working to ensure people with disabilities are afforded equitable services and opportunities to participate. Technical spec.... Across these and other issues, citizens’ ability to activate accountability institutions depends on these institutions’ accessibility.
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Editor: Jessica Hickle, Research Officer
- Uchechi Anyanwu, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
- Alexandra Brown, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
- Andrew Ecclestone, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
- Katherine Ellena, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
- Joseph Foti, Chief Research Officer, OGP
- Jason Lakin, Zayed University
- Richard Messick, Independent Consultant
- Cielo Morales, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
- Paulina Ornelas, Research Associate, OGP
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