Points of View


NI Open Government Network Blog – Who speaks for us?

7th July 2017

Written by Colm Burns, NI Open Government Network Chair When it comes to Brexit, who’s speaking for us? The short answer is “no one”, because our political parties have chosen to abdicate this responsibility. The DUP and Sinn Féin are clear on one thing: they have diametrically opposing positions when it comes to Brexit. Alliance,…


NI Open Government Network Blog – Brexit: What’s our role?

30th May 2017

Written by Colm Burns, NI Open Government Network Chair Scotland and Wales have clearly set out their position on how they see their roles during the period before and after the U.K. leaves the EU. On the day the Great Repeal white paper[1] was published, both the Scottish government[2] and the Welsh Government[3] released strongly…


NI Open Government Network Blog – Open Policy-making and Democracy

17th May 2017

Written by David McBurney, NI Open Government Network Coordinator What is Open Policy-making? Open policy-making means enabling people to influence and enhance policy during its formulation. An open policy process must involve stakeholders from outside of the usual policy making bubble. It’s not just about canvassing opinions; it’s about opening up the whole policy making…


Assembly Plus is what is needed going forward

8th May 2017

Written by Peter Osborne The outcome of a consensual ballot on what form of democracy people wanted for Northern Ireland was a clear win for deliberative democracy – or an Assembly Plus. That was at Democracy Day in April as part of the Imagine Festival when the 100 or so participants were asked to cast…


Blog by Paul Bradley: It’s about time people were involved in government budget setting

28th February 2017

Originally posted on SCVO website Written by Paul Bradley, SCVO. It’s about time people were involved in government budget setting Last week, the Scottish Budget was passed by Parliament. Last-ditch deals were made to secure support for the bill and compromises prevented gridlock. Many conversations between political parties were taking place over how Scotland’s money…


Data and government openness: where next?

6th February 2017

Last week, the Institute for Government published our Whitehall Monitor 2017 annual report, which uses open data to chart the size, shape and performance of government in the UK, including on transparency. In short, we couldn’t compile such a report without government openness, but there are some worrying signs for the future. Our report wouldn’t…


Can Open Government Help Heal Divided Societies? – A Blog from the OGP Summit

21st December 2016

More than 3,000 people gathered in Paris from 7-9th December for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit 2016 hosted by the Government of France. Over the 3 days there were dozens of workshops, pitches and panel discussions on themes ranging from transparency, accountability and anti-corruption to climate and sustainable development, the digital commons and…


Reflections on the OGP Summit

21st December 2016

It’s dry and sunny in Paris, but at the OGP Civil Society Morning there’s a somber mood. The Results of Early OGP Initiatives report launched at the Summit, captured OGP success stories and showed that the participation of civil society can have a significant impact. But the usual optimism of open government reformers has been…


Beyond Buzzword Bingo: opening up the language of Open Government

16th December 2016

Open Government has its own buzzwords – open data, transparency, accountability, participation, scrutiny, anti-corruption, freedom of information, open contracting, digital commons etc. Just like any other policy community this shared language unites those involved, but from the outside it can appear to set a somewhat technocratic and procedural agenda. As someone relatively new to the…

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