Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Analysis of the Open Government Partnership Shows Success in its First Five Years but Much Room to Improve in the Next Five
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Analysis of the Open Government Partnership Shows Success in its First Five Years but Much Room to Improve in the Next Five

Washington, D.C. — An assessment of the Open Government Partnership, or OGP, conducted by the Center for American Progress has found that the innovative organization of nearly 70 countries aimed at increasing transparency and citizen empowerment and reducing corruption in government can point to a number of significant successes but faces an important transition as it nears its fifth anniversary.

In a newly released report, CAP has analyzed OGP data on the measures that individual countries have taken to qualify as members and compared it with data from nonparticipating members, as well as analyzed the ambitiousness of member countries’ reforms to determine the success of the initiative. The report concludes that while the partnership is largely successful in spreading enthusiasm for openness, it is struggling to maintain a high level of ambition and to deepen governments’ commitment. The structure, metrics, and the way in which OGP seeks to incentivize transparency among member nations require improvements.

“OGP is a phenomenal opportunity for nations to cooperate in providing more transparent, robust, and responsive governance to their citizens,” said Molly Elgin-Cossart, CAP Senior Fellow and co-author of the report. “The partnership has succeeded in elevating the principle of open government. But like any young organization working on the cutting edge of public policy, it is struggling to translate its initial vision into high levels of ambition across its membership. Improvements are needed to ensure that the next five years are as successful as the first five.”

OGP was created in 2011 by eight countries with the aim of securing “concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.” The organization has grown to include 69 countries of varying income levels, cultures, and geographies.

The report offers recommendations for OGP’s continued improvement in the future, including:

  • Ensuring that transparency is put at the core of global priorities, such as climate change finance and humanitarian assistance
  • Incentivizing longer-term, more ambitious commitments by altering the development and review cycles for national action plans and providing measurements of longer-term successes
  • Improving engagement with civil society by strengthening relationships with advocates on the ground in member nations, as well as devising and improving tool kits for civil society advocates that include key messages, talking points, and media outreach options that are concise and easy to disseminate
  • Boosting peer-learning and support mechanisms for member nations
  • Providing a clear institutional home for OGP within each member government that is closely connected to domestic policy reforms

Click here to read the report.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.