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Open Government

Open government is a lot more than just dealing with Freedom of Information requests. As local councils and public agencies become more open, they can harness the resources, skills and expertise of local communities and service users.

Here are two illustrations of the positive impact open government can have:

  1. In Finland, the National Library wanted to digitise its archives. Even using computers to scan and convert was not 100% accurate and it would have cost millions to correct the errors. Instead, the library used a crowdsourcing application that enabled online volunteers to fix mistakes. So far this project has involved over 100,000 volunteers donating 400,000 of their time to correct these mistakes and digitise Finnish history. [Click here to read full case study]

  2. In the UK social media surgeries provide informal arenas where social media experts show community groups, active citizens and voluntary organisations how to use the internet to communicate and collaborate with public service providers and commissioners. Our evaluation of social media surgeries in Birmingham showed that two thirds of participants believed the surgeries had helped them to do their job better and had helped their organisation to improve its communications. [Click here to read full case study]

For Governance International Open Government means ‘achieving citizen outcomes by making public services more transparent, participatory, and collaborative’.

In a period of austerity the question for local councils and other public agencies is how can they make best use of the opportunities available from both new technologies and traditional forms of participation to improve public services, while also delivering substantial savings?

So, how we can help?

Understanding Open Government

Governance International offers bespoke training seminars to suit your needs to help you and your colleagues understand how your organisation can benefit from open government when it is implemented effectively.

Open government assessment

The Governance International Open Government Assessment tool will give you feedback on your organisation’s openness and ability to foster participation and collaboration, and indicate the steps that you can take to make improvements.

Putting it into practice

Governance International and its partners offer a range of tools to help you embed open government and open data principles across your organisation to develop sustainable and effective services.

Our Expertise

The Governance International team members are no techies but are widely experienced in public governance issues. In close co-operation with our network of expert technology developers, we can show you how to make the most of new ICT technologies to provide open government and more cost-effective services.

Governance International has an international track record in open government. Recently we have:

  • Provided workshops and in-house training on open government across Europe (e.g. City of Bremen, Germany).

  • Worked with the Bertelsmann Foundation to develop the foundations of the German Open Government Partnership and to define indicators of what open government means from a citizen perspective

  • Collaborated with a major international organisation to develop an Open Government Assessment Framework.

Open Government Resources

Click here to go to our Open Government Resource page to discover resources explaining what open government is, why open government is necessary, and how it can be done.

Good practice cases

Click here to access our Open Government case study section, providing good practice examples of how public services can make use of open government tools.

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