Connecting the dots: The coordination challenge for the Open Government Partnership

October 06, 2016 by Gabriella Razzano

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Open data is often an integral part of promoting transparency, fighting corruption and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance. But to implement ‘good’ open data, government departments must coordinate to share data that is intersectoral, linked, in standard open formats, and – most importantly – is relevant and current. In 2011, South Africa was a co-founder of the multilateral Open Government Partnership (OGP), which works to secure and implement open government commitments in its member countries. Experience with OGP initiatives shows that coordinating different government departments and agencies is a challenge for implementation – especially when it comes to open data. This practitioner-based participatory research was carried out by the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC), leading experts in access to information in South Africa, who have been deeply engaged in research and advocacy around South Africa’s OGP commitments. The research discusses the challenge of coordination, drawing lessons for South Africa from experiences of coordination in other countries.