A call for more action on open government around the world

The two-year old international Open Government Partnership movement has grown to 62 countries which have agreed to make jurisdictions more transparent through a number of policies including open data.

Last weekend a summit was held in London with a number of countries making commitments, including Canada, which said it will co-chair the new International Open Data Working Group for sharing best practices for opening government data to businesses and citizens.

But David Eaves, one of this country’s leading open data campaigners and a sometime advisor to governments here wondered if so-called civil society organizations (CSOs) that are pushing for more government reform have enough muscle.

Eaves was in London and after a day meeting with CSOs just before the conference wrote a blog about what he says was a missed opportunity.

“Coalitions were not formed. Misunderstandings not broken down. Progress was made, but at was best iterative, not transformative,” he wrote.

CSOs “need to start thinking about how the OGP can help them build power” to squeeze governments.

In Canada, where democracy is advanced, we take for granted freedom of expression. In other nations, even free market countries, it can be limited.

So he proposes an international group of CSOs be created with the authority to push back against governments that are sliding on their OGP commitments.

Open government has to be more than plaudits. It has to be substantial. Read his blog and learn more.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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