Open government policies that concentrate on citizen engagement and access to information can help increase public trust and initiatives are receiving traction in an increasing number of Member and non-Member countries.
OECD countries have put forward a number of mechanisms to support open and inclusive government, from access to information, to consultation processes, to full-fledged open government policies. At the heart of these efforts is the goal of increasing citizens’ trust: 61% of OECD countries report trust to be their main goals when investing in openness and engagement of citizens, with others including strengthening social cohesion, raising awareness or increasing citizens' scrutiny.
MENA-OECD OPEN GOVERNMENT PROJECT
Not only are countries moving forward with the implementation of open government policies, but these efforts have resulted in an international movement, the Open Government Partnership, in which 19 OECD Member countries have commitments.
The MENA-OECD Open Government Project assisting the Governments of Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Libya in reviewing and assessing their institutions, policies and practices supporting the implementation of Open Government principles at central and local level, as well as coordination mechanisms across levels of government and with national civil society.
However, dumping large amounts of raw data online will not increase trust, but pulling together data to create stories that increase the knowledge of citizens on how money is being spent could do so. This implies that governments need to establish processes for cleaning and preparing data, and to develop tools (data visualisation tools) to allow the public to understand the budget in greater detail. More information on budgeting and public expenditure can be found here.