Open Local Government: How can it be spread?

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 Brainstorm by Jessica Lock from The Noun ProjectWorkshop idea by Tim Hughes

All of the workshops at Local Democracy for Everyone have been created by our participants. We’re sharing a summary of each workshop idea to help you decide what you’d most like to participate in – and so that everyone can start to share their comments about each idea.

Open Local Government: How can it be spread?

The challenge:

How can greater transparency, participation and accountability across local government be best achieved? What (if anything) is the role for national government, councillors, officers, national & local civil society, media and others in encouraging its spread?

Transparency, participation and accountability are critical to democracy at any level of government. While initiatives are being established to support its spread nationally and internationally, there are no such initiatives to support open local government in the UK.

The UK is a member of an international initiative called the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which supports governments to introduce transparency, participation and accountability reforms. It does this by encouraging a race-to-the-top and peer exchange between countries, securing high level political buy-in for reform, and requiring engagement with civil society in countries.

The OGP provides the opportunity to secure reforms from the UK government that could support greater transparency, participation and accountability in local government. However, perhaps more powerfully, the OGP may provide the template for an initiative that supports local governments and civil society to exchange and compete to introduce open government reforms.

I coordinate the UK Open Government Civil Society Network, and am passionate about encouraging and supporting greater openness throughout institutions. I am keen to explore what this could and should mean in local government.

#notwestminster #opengov

Tim HughesTim Hughes
Open Government Programme Manager
UK Open Government Civil Society Network coordinator

Tim Hughes is Open Government Programme Manager at Involve, with expertise in public participation and open government. He has advised governments at a local, national and international level on engagement, and has written extensively on topics covering public participation, open government and active citizenship. Tim coordinates the UK Open Government Civil Society Network – a coalition of transparency, participation and accountability reformers in the UK – and is an active member of the Open Government Partnership’s international community.


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