The Potential of the Open Government Partnership

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has come a long way since its inception as an international platform for transparency a mere two years ago. The partnership has rapidly grown from an initial set of eight founding governments to over 60 governments today who are committing to take government towards a new level of integrity, responsiveness and civic engagement. The partnership effectively creates a level-playing field for governments to implement and compare measures that increase government accountability, promote multi-stakeholder collaboration and harness new technologies for good governance in ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago.

SecondMuse had an opportunity to lead an interactive and dynamic discussion at the third annual OGP Summit in London on October 31st to November 1st, 2013, that focused on the future of the open government movement. This discussion was complemented through a collaborative space aimed at exploring the current state of open government today, understanding that open government is the proactive acknowledgement of a changing world and the opportunities it presents. Through this exercise we were able to gather some fascinating insights into the current challenges that governments face in implementing measures towards transparency, as well as new types of collaborations coming out of the efforts of the OGP.

Activities

Government has always been a platform for collective action, however it is just now becoming more efficient at connecting stakeholders and scaling citizen participation in a focused and strategic way. Thanks to initiatives like the OGP and others, opening up government and working alongside others to solve the grand challenges of our time in a focused and collaborative manner is now a realistic prospect. Here are a few exciting activities delegates are working on right now:

Opportunities

Governments alone do not have the capacity to address all the challenges that society currently faces in the 21st century. We believe that the best way to solve complex challenges is to bring together a diverse set of partners and perspectives, to understand and assess the challenges and then to create sustainable solutions.

Many nations are starting to embrace the potential of what can happen when you engage citizens and the private sector in tackling the large, interconnected challenges that we currently face. Here are a few of the predictions shared by the delegates about how the open government movement might continue to evolve:

  • The public sector will continue to gain efficiencies through new collaborations with the private sector and the sharing of best practices

  • Developing countries can lead the way in transparency and accountability, putting a bigger share of their open data to use

  • Governments will start to explore and respond to the actual demand for open data and put those insights to work

  • The private sector and nonprofits will start to adopt the principles of open government, starting by opening their own data

  • New standards and codes of conduct for open data will be created to guide and align efforts

  • The Open Government Partnership will become increasingly more effective and drive global participation

We believe that open government represents the ideal platform for truly collaborative public-private partnerships, and societies are seeing the greatest value out of them when they happen around the shared understanding of a challenge and creating solutions in a focused way. Our hope is that more nations around the world will join the Open Government Partnership and develop concrete commitments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to improve government. As they do, we challenge them to be bold and courageous in truly engaging the private sector and citizens around the complex and interconnected challenges of our generation.

 

Nick Skytland

About Nick Skytland

Nick has envisioned galactic-sized hackathons, developed cutting edge technology, planned space exploration missions, liberated government data, designed next generation space suits and trained space-bound astronauts. Nick is an expert in harnessing the power of open innovation, data and technology to reform business and government. Prior to joining SecondMuse, he worked in the federal government for over a decade, most recently leading NASA's Open Innovation Program where he implemented numerous White House initiatives, including the Open Government and Digital Strategy directives.

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