Open Government: Views from Across the Globe

4607812450 47fa6a4239 m 2Open data polices, such as the United States' DATA Act, increase citizen participation, collaboration and transparency in the government. They also make individuals and organizations more accountable for their actions.

This post outlines open government policies from around the world compared to those of the United States.

United States Open Data Initiatives

Over the years, the United States has made great strides in governmental transparency. Although policies and regulations are still in the early stages of enactment, the United States is considered to be one of the leading countries supporting the use of open data. Currently, federal and state policies require and encourage stakeholders to:

  • Better facilitate data access.
  • Expand efforts to build improved government digital services.
  • Enable data to be searchable and machine-readable.
  • Publish government revenue, expenditure, employment and contract data.

 When data is publicly accessible, it becomes easier for nonprofits and citizens to:

  • Review eligibility requirements, and apply for grants and loans.
  • Search for and share government information.
  • Utilize digital services for real time, automated self-service data.

The Open Government Partnership

The United States may be on top of the game when it comes to open data implementation, but it isn’t the only country pursuing government transparency. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) includes 65 nations that share the following goals:

  • Accountability: Assure governmental figures can justify actions and take responsibility for failures to perform in the eye of the law or commitments.
  • Citizen participation: Encourage citizens to contribute opinions and ideas that can lead to more effective governance.
  • Technology and innovation: Provide citizens with open access to technology, and encourage the use of innovative technology platforms.
  • Transparency: Make government activities and decisions available to the public, and meet open data standards.
Specific global examples from participating partnering countries include:  
  • Brazil, Paraguay, Ireland and Sierra LeoneEstablishing new and improved freedom of information laws and policies.
  • Canada: Targeted 18 policy departments and central agencies to establish a government-wide stocktaking of federal data holdings.
  • Greece: Has publicly committed to boosting public engagement, enhancing public resources management, and opening data to improve transparency.
  • Mexico and Bulgaria: Putting spending information online to allow citizen taxpayers to view how money is spent.
  • Netherlands: Created a seventeen-action-item plan to spur “transparency, responsiveness and open access to information.”
  • Sweden: Launched Open Aid in 2011 to better adapt to opportunities created by globalization and technology.
  • Peru: Launched anti-corruption measures to convict public officials of crimes.
  • Ukraine: Passed the policy “Law on Administrative Services” and created 140 administrative regional centers to uphold good governance.
  • United Kingdom: Committed to create a publicly available central registry, containing information on owners and beneficial owners of all UK businesses.

With global collaboration and thought leadership comes the opportunity for countries to band together to enhance the quality of open government laws and regulations.

For more on the open data movement, download our free ebook, The Path to Open Data: Why Cities and Counties Are Sharing More Resources and Information Than Ever Before. 


The Path to Open Data


What are your thoughts on new open government policies? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Source: Steve Johnson