Faces of open government – Stefano Pizzicannella
In this section of the OGP newsletter, we feature open government champions both from government and civil society, and ask them about their OGP experiences. Here is what they have to say:
How does open government make a difference in peoples lives?
Open government sets a framework for a new relationship between government and citizens and it can definitely change the way citizens and institutions perceive themselves diminishing barriers and enhancing reciprocal communication and trust. People’s lives are affected also because open government allows for improved and tailored service delivery. Both the how and the what Public Administration does is deeply affected in a positive way. All actors involved in open government processes, politicians, administrators, stakeholders, businesses and citizens get to work and act in an improved environment based on communication, cooperation and cocreation of services.
How have you benefited from exchanging ideas with civil society?
Civil society is an universe where motivation, skills, know how are present in such a variety and quality that as an administrator I benefited enormously in terms of vision and knowledge enrichment. The exchange with stakeholders and citizens creates an unprecedented momentum for change and innovation and helps government itself to maintain focus in policy implementation and thus in achieving results. Bringing down barriers, the process of opening up government allows for improved, sound and more reliable decision making processes where traditional resistors to innovation have to give way to change.
Describe one OGP commitment from your country that you are proud of.
The second Italian action Plan, presented in December 2014, contains two commitments dedicated to the improvement of the government’s capacity to meet both participation needs of public administrations and demands for inclusion in decision making processes coming from civil society. These commitments are dedicated to the drafting of general guidelines for public administrations for participation and to the enhancement of the technical endowment and of competencies within government to better support these demands.
How are you working to overcome challenges in opening up government in your country?
The international partnership among reformers and active members of civil society actually provides administrators with an extra power and vision to push forward the open government agenda and in this respect it is vital to keep a good and constant flow of information between the international level of discussion and the national one. The Open Government Partnership improves, in the national scenario, the ability of those that are more involved in open government processes to know each other, to create synergies and gain strength vis à vis resistance against change.
Stefano Pizzicannella is a Director at the Department for Public Administration in Italy.
Photo credit: Green Clean Market.