Open government can better people’s lives by improving the quality of and access to public services, including health, education, and water and sanitation.
As of July 2022, over 107 OGP members have made reform commitments related to public services. While most OGP commitments just focus on transparency, data shows that the most successful commitments also include an accountability component. For example, in Nigeria, civil society monitors whether young children are receiving food from school programs. In Mongolia, students, parents, and teachers serve as social accountability activists, improving school performance and healthcare in their communities.
Yet, less than a third of OGP public service commitments specifically mention accountability. Of those that do, nearly half do not describe the actual means of achieving accountability–whether through citizen participation in oversight, the courts, audits, or complaint mechanisms. OGP’s decade report also highlights that better commitment performance is needed for public service delivery. OGP members can improve the performance of public service commitments by better clarifying who will be more accountable to whom and through which channels.
Public service delivery also has important intersections with other thematic areas in open government, such as anti-corruption, citizen participation, access to justice, and digital innovation. OGP members can improve public service delivery by opening up budgeting and spending processes, disclosing contract information, reducing conflicts of interest, strengthening citizen participation, expanding access to justice, and using digital innovation to enable citizens to exercise their civic rights and hold governments to account.
As an area of increasing priority, OGP supports the efforts of countries and increasingly, OGP Local members, to improve their public services by including vulnerable or historically excluded groups in the co-creation process. OGP also coordinates with partners to help OGP members develop commitments with meaningful impact on public service delivery, such as through the now-completed Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
If you’d like to learn about how OGP members work on water and sanitation issues, view our Natural Resources page here.
Open government approaches include using transparency, participation, and accountability to improve learning.