By Alan Hudson, April 12 2016
Over the last 12 months, we’ve taken huge steps forward in our work to support progress toward more open governance in countries and communities around the world. Hot off the virtual press, our Annual Report outlines what we’ve done to implement our strategy and its focus on “Data, Learning and Action for Open Governance”.
The year has been full of challenges and learning. We’ve been learning lots: about how best to measure governance and its various dimensions; about how to support the use of data by champions of open governance; about how to ensure that conversations about data and evidence are informed by users’ needs; and, about how principles of open governance are playing out in practice in different contexts. In addition, as a new Executive Director, I’ve learned that I need to do less and delegate more, and delegate more effectively (thanks to the Management Center for help on that).
Looking back over the past 12 months, I am proud of what the team has been able to achieve and excited about what’s to come. The Annual Report is only 10 pages long and is well worth a read. Here are some of the highlights of what we have been up to:
- Collecting and publishing new data and providing support to the users of that data: on transparency and accountability across all 54 African countries; on transparency and accountability across the USA; and — helping to fill a major gap — on how political finance is regulated, on paper and in practice, in 50 countries around the world;
- Stimulating conversations about new approaches to measuring governance, including under the auspices of the Governance Data Alliance, of which we are a founding member;
- Conducting groundbreaking research with country-level partners on whether and how open government reformers in five case study countries (Albania, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Philippines, and Tanzania) have been able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Open Government Partnership (OGP);
- Working with partners to pilot an innovative action research approach — “Treasure Hunts” — to understand and improve the landscape of fiscal governance at national, state and city levels in Mexico;
- Strengthening the role of the OpenGov Hub as a center for collaboration, learning and innovation, building networks and community across the open governance space, within the hub and beyond;
- Helping to shape thinking, policy and practice on adaptive learning and open governance in various fora, including TALEARN, the Doing Development Differently community of practice, and the Open Government Impact Research Consortium.
We need additional capacity; of that there is no doubt. But we are well positioned to deliver on our strategy, reshaping thinking, policy and practice on open governance and development, by putting adaptive learning center-stage. We look forward to working with many of you over the months and years to come, and welcome your feedback and engagement on our Annual Report.