You are here: Home Knowledge Base Polity Fostering Open Government Initiatives in Public Services Proposals Offer educational classes for students and adults on open government
Symposium 2012

Proposal - Offer educational classes for students and adults on open government

The Challenge

The provision of effective and efficient public services—such as health care, education and criminal justice—is a key task for government. In recent years, the financial crisis, digital technolo ...

The provision of effective and efficient public services—such as health care, education and criminal justice—is a key task for government. In recent years, the financial crisis, digital technologies and other big trends have complicated efforts in these areas and intensified calls for large-scale reform.

 

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer tremendous opportunities to involve citizens into government action. Governments should therefore make use of ICTs to promote open government, i.e. by publishing data on public services online. However, open government all too often remains an elite project. It fails to involve citizens on a broad basis and almost completely leaves aside offline communities. If citizens make no use of their access to ICTs or cannot afford the use of ICTs, they risk being left out. These shortcomings threaten both the legitimacy and effectiveness of open government measures. Instead of narrowing the common and growing disenfranchisement with politics, an overreliance on web-based open government can even widen it.

Governments must therefore be more careful to include all of their citizens into open government activities. Aside from improving the access of citizens to ICTs, this is an educational task. Therefore, governments should commit to concrete steps on how to educate online AND offline communities about the potential of open government. For students, open government should be introduced into the high-school curriculum by interdisciplinary classes covering social, technical and ethical aspects of open government. Governments should promote such classes in adult education centers as well. This may be costly. It is however a necessary prerequisite for reaping the investments in open government policies in general. Public-private partnership with ICT companies might help to lower the costs.

The Open Government Partnership (OPG) should promote such educational classes by including them as a requirement into its Articles of Governance. Country eligibility for joining the OPG should also be based on concrete educational programs on open government (to be measurably included into key dimension No. 4 “Citizen Engagement”).

    Related Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    What role do Parliaments play in any open government inititiative

    Transparency and access to information are key conditions for successful social accountability. The exercise of social accountability must start by correcting the information asymmetries that keep cit ...

    Transparency and access to information are key conditions for successful social accountability. The exercise of social accountability must start by correcting the information asymmetries that keep citizens disengaged from government institutions and processes. Reliable, comprehensive and timely information is necessary to empower citizens to engage with government, as well as to hold it accountable for its actions. Information quality and accessibility are key determinant of the success of social accountability mechanisms. Latin American countries have made significant advances in both transparency and access to information in the past years. Access to information legislation has been passed in many countries in

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Fostering Open Government Initiatives in Public Services

      Summary of Policy Alternatives Strengthen the evidence base on how effective open government measures are in practice; Harness the potential of ICTs to drive open government; Use open government st ...

      Summary of Policy Alternatives Strengthen the evidence base on how effective open government measures are in practice; Harness the potential of ICTs to drive open government; Use open government strategies to prevent corruption and promote budget and fiscal transparency; Use OECD expertise to assess national open government policies by drawing on OECD’s peer review methodology.   Policy Implication 1: Strengthen the evidence base on how effective open government measures are in practice An open government helps build trust in government and creates a level playing field for business, thereby contributing to economic performance. OECD Ministers and their counterparts from

    Polity, Academia, Civil Society