Measuring Impact of Open and Transparent Governance

opengovMark Robinson @ OGP blog: “Eighteen months on from the launch of the Open Government Partnership in New York in September 2011, there is growing attention to what has been achieved to date.  In the recent OGP Steering Committee meeting in London, government and civil society members were unanimous in the view that the OGP must demonstrate results and impact to retain its momentum and wider credibility.  This will be a major focus of the annual OGP conference in London on 31 October and 1 November, with an emphasis on showcasing innovations, highlighting results and sharing lessons.

Much has been achieved in eighteen months.  Membership has grown from 8 founding governments to 58.  Many action plan commitments have been realised for the majority of OGP member countries. The Independent Reporting Mechanism has been approved and launched. Lesson learning and sharing experience is moving ahead….

The third type of results are the trickiest to measure: What has been the impact of openness and transparency on the lives of ordinary citizens?  In the two years since the OGP was launched it may be difficult to find many convincing examples of such impact, but it is important to make a start in collecting such evidence.

Impact on the lives of citizens would be evident in improvements in the quality of service delivery, by making information on quality, access and complaint redressal public. A related example would be efficiency savings realised from publishing government contracts.  Misallocation of public funds exposed through enhanced budget transparency is another. Action on corruption arising from bribes for services, misuse of public funds, or illegal procurement practices would all be significant results from these transparency reforms.  A final example relates to jobs and prosperity, where the utilisation of government data in the public domain by the private sector to inform business investment decisions and create employment.

Generating convincing evidence on the impact of transparency reforms is critical to the longer-term success of the OGP. It is the ultimate test of whether lofty public ambitions announced in country action plans achieve real impacts to the benefit of citizens.”

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