Open Government Partnership Countries Focus on Access to Information and Anti-corruption

Global Integrity
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With the launch of the Open Government Partnership barely two weeks behind us, we started to look over the country commitments announced by the eight steering committee governments. A challenge that we quickly confronted: how to “compare” the various commitments, which varied greatly in their substance, style, and format.

To help provide some raw data for that analysis, we sliced up and then tagged the 178 commitments announced by the eight steering committee countries. We used the following taxonomy to tag all commitments:

-Objectives (general and specific)
-Thematic areas
-Geographic scope
-Identification of responsible agency
-General or specific description of the commitment

Based on our quick crunching of the resultant data, the most common commitments from the steering committee governments are those related to “Increasing Public Integrity” (75% of the commitments). Other frequently targeted open government reforms focus on “Improving Public Service,” “Effective Public Resource Management,” and “Increasing Corporate Accountability.”

Among the specific objectives, the dominant one is “Access to Information” (more than 50% of all commitments), followed by “Anti-corruption and Public Ethics” and “Citizen Engagement.”

There´s a wide range of thematic areas, with “Freedom of Information,” “Transparency,” “Public Service Delivery,” and “Budget and Spending” leading the way.

Only Brazil and South Africa clearly identified the agencies responsible for implementing their commitments. The eight countries expect to successfully implement their OGP by the end of 2012, but there are a few exceptions due to projects that scheduled for full implementation by the end of 2011 or those that extend into 2013-2014.

Ninety percent of the commitments are national in their scope. The remaining 10% are equally divided between international and sub-national in their scope.

Most of the eight countries made fairly specific commitments, in some cases noting the responsible agencies and dates for different targeted milestones related to implementation. But there are also a number of very fuzzy, vague commitments with few specifics attached to them.

We tagged the commitments based on what we understand is the main emphasis of each project, but we’re aware that most of these commitments can be tagged and classified in different ways. If nothing else, we hope that by slicing these initial OGP commitments into a .XLS file (.csv file and initial taxonomy used available here) , others will take up the analysis, including mashing these data up with third-party variables as well as visualizing the steering committee commitments.

— Hazel Feigenblatt

Global Integrity
Global Integrity

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