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 August 2019, 86 OGP members have made reform commitments related to public services. These commitments generally focus on transparency with the expectation that information disclosure will result in improved performance. OGP’s Global Report shows that this is rarely the case.
Instead, successful OGP commitments include both transparency and accountability components. 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 members can improve the performance of public service commitments by better clarifying who will be more accountable to whom and through which channels.
As an area of increasing priority, OGP supports the efforts of countries and increasingly, members of the OGP Local Program, 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, including through the Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
OGP can help address the accessibility and quality of water and sanitation services, including by fighting corruption, improving transparency, and directly engaging citizens in decision-making and monitoring processes.