Open Government


Open government is the simple but powerful idea that governments and institutions work better for citizens when they are transparent, engaging and accountable.

Open government

Open government has three parts:

  1. Transparency – opening up of government data and information on areas such as public spending, government contracts, lobbying activity, the development and impact of policy, and public service performance.
  2. Participation – support for a strong and independent civil society, the involvement of citizens and other stakeholders in decision making processes, and protection for whistleblowers and others who highlight waste, negligence or corruption in government.
  3. Accountability – rules, laws and mechanisms that ensure government listens, learns, responds and changes when it needs to.

Good open government reforms can transform the way government and public services work, ensuring that they are properly responsive to citizens, while improving their efficiency and effectiveness, and preventing abuses of state power.

Open Government Partnership


The Open Government Partnership is an international initiative that provides a platform for reformers inside and outside governments around the world to develop reforms that “promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance”. Since its foundation in September 2011, over 2,000 commitments have been made by 65 participating countries, covering a third of the world’s population.

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Open Government Pioneers Project


Building the capacity of citizens and civil society to use open government approaches to progress the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in partnership with the Wales Council for Voluntary Organisations (WCVA), Involve, and Northern Ireland Environment Link has been awarded a £500k Big Lottery Fund grant to support more people to take part in the decisions that will shape their future.

The UK partners will work together over two years as part of the Open Government Pioneers Project to help people share the tools, techniques and resources required to engage and challenge their governments to serve them better. There will be a particular focus in supporting people who are not normally heard in the decisions that affect them, and the connection between citizens and devolved governments of the UK home nations.

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