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The Opening Government Guide to support national action plans

Maya Forstater|

In the run up to the upcoming Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit, in London on October 31, countries are at different stages in developing and updating their plans to improve their openness and accountability to citizens. The Opening Government Guide developed by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/A I) is a resource to help countries in developing ambitious national plans.

The first edition of The Guide was developed in 2011, when the OGP first started. However, two years down the line there is much more experience of developing action plans and many new standards to draw on; such as the GIFT High Level Principles on Fiscal Integrity, the International Aid Transparency Initiative standard, The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, the Tshwane Principles on National Security and the Right to Information. New initiatives such as Open Contracting, the Whistleblowing International Network and the Global Open Data Initiative have been founded to share best practice in other areas. T/A I has therefore been working together with experts from many organisations to update the Guide to reflect the learning and developments of the past two years.  New topics on public contracting, budgets, records management and asset disclosure and conflicts of interest have been posted already, and topics on right to information, the construction sector, aid will be posted next week, with more additions after that. The original chapters are also still available and can also be consulted.

The new guide will be launched at the OGP Summit, as a resource particularly for the 39 countries that will develop their second action plans after the summit, and others that will follow on the year after. We hope it will continue to be updated with new standards and guidance, and experiences from countries implementing their action plan commitments.

Please send any comments or suggestions to Maya Forstater.

Photo credit: A stack of books, by Janis Christie, via The Guardian

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