Perhaps the greatest benefit of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is that it provides a forum for openness advocates in government and civil society alike to share information in order to learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to opening up government. At its best, OGP can facilitate a productive, global exchange of information on openness issues that encourages countries to craft increasingly ambitious national action plans.
To facilitate the sharing of information on legislative openness — an issue that is increasingly being addressed through the OGP process — the OGP Legislative Openness Working Group (LOWG) is embarking on a survey-based research effort to gather and disseminate comparative information about parliamentary openness. The LOWG, which is co-anchored by the Government and Congress of Chile and the National Democratic Institute, is in the process of conducting a series of surveys. The first survey will identify what information parliaments make public. Comments on the survey have been received from many working group participants and from the broader legislative openness community; data collection on the survey will begin shortly. The second survey in the series is intended to gather information about citizen engagement and mechanisms for public participation in the legislative process. The survey process will be discussed in greater detail at several upcoming events during the Global Legislative Openness Week, from September 15-25.
One goal of the survey is to support the OGP process by increasing the number of meaningful legislative openness commitments in national action plans. There are a number of ways that the working group’s research efforts could positively affect the OGP process.