The Open Government Partnership Multi-Donor Trust Fund: Research on the Impact of Open Government and Participatory Democracy

Claire Davanne
Stephen Davenport

19 Mar 2019, 11:45 a.m.
Room D (Chateau)

Mounting anecdotal evidence supports the case for open government.

Over 70 national governments and counting have signed on as participants in the Open Government Partnership, committing to rethinking the way they engage with citizens, while civil society organisations (CSOs) are increasingly demanding and building mechanisms for this shift.

Yet even as the open government agenda gains steam, relatively little systematic research has been done to examine the ways different types and sequences of reforms have played out in various contexts, and with what impact. This is due in part to the newness of the field, but also to the challenges in attributing specific outcomes to any governance initiative.

While acknowledging that the search for cookie-cutter best practices is of limited value, there is no doubt that reform-minded actors could benefit from a robust analytical framework and more thorough understanding of experiences in different contexts to date.

To address these knowledge gaps, and to sharpen our ways of thinking about the difference that open government processes can make, the OGP and several Development Partners (DFID, AFD, GAC) have established a funding mechanism, the OGP MDTF, to expand research activities in the areas of Open Government, public participation, and Civic Tech.