Points of View 12th December 2014

Open government in action: calling for profiles

by Josephine Suherman-Bailey

Josephine was a Policy Analyst at Involve. She worked on the Open Government Partnership and supported the coordination of the UK Open Government Partnership civil society network.

Does your organisation have a story to tell on the impact of open government on your work and on the lives of citizens? What does open government mean and why is it important?

Open government can be quite a broad and abstract concept. In simple terms it’s the idea that institutions work better for citizens when they are transparent, engaging and accountable. It challenges institutions and democracies to transform themselves and their relationship with citizens. But what does this mean in practice?

In practice open government could be anything from bringing contractors under the Freedom of Information Act, to a citizen-led Constitutional Convention on the future of the UK, to developing an open and comprehensive register of lobbyists – all real suggestions for reforms lifted from the Open Government Manifesto.

We’re thinking about different ways we can make open government less abstract an idea. We want to give people in the Open Government Civil Society network (and beyond) a firmer sense of what open government looks like and how it can bring value.

We hit on the idea of putting together profiles of organisations in the network with a story to tell on the impact of open government on their work. This will also be a way for those in the network to get a sense of what’s going on and who else is also working in this area.

We will then write up these profiles and publish them on the Open Government Civil Society Network blog.

So if your organisation has a story to tell on the impact of open government on your work, please fill out our quick and easy Google form! We’re looking for thoughts on the following questions:

  • What does open government mean to you?
  • Why is open government important?
  • Can you give an example of where you have seen open government make a difference to the lives of citizens?
  • What one reform would you ask of government to achieve open government?

We’d love to hear from you! Fill out the Google form here.

Feel free to contact josephine [at] involve.org.uk with any questions.