Make Democracy Happen
These model Open Government policies are for any government to use and adapt to their needs. An executive leader, such as a mayor, could use these policies to build a directive for his or her city in order to begin to institutionalize open government principles within local government. This model may be tailored to meet the needs of the particular government body. However, some elements of the directive are critical to the success of any open government initiative.
Open Government Initiatives
Making government information available to the public is a requirement for an informed citizenry and an accountable government.
Democracy requires opportunities for participation and collaborative problem solving whenever possible; this is at the core of democratic governance.
A government serving all its people needs policies which provide maximum information accessibility and maximum inclusion in participatory processes.
Open Government Around the World
This initiative reflects ongoing efforts around the world and is meant to be shared with them. While speaking before the United Nations in September 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized the collective call for open government:
Each country will pursue a path rooted in the culture of its own people. Yet experience shows us that history is on the side of liberty; that the strongest foundation for human progress lies in open economies, open societies, and open governments. To put it simply, democracy, more than any other form of government, delivers for our citizens. And I believe that truth will only grow stronger in a world where the borders between nations are blurred.
No one country has all the answers, but all of us must answer to our own people. In all parts of the world, we see the promise of innovation to make government more open and accountable. And now, we must build on that progress. And when we gather back here next year, we should bring specific commitments to promote transparency; to fight corruption; to energize civic engagement; to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundations of freedom in our own countries, while living up to the ideals that can light the world.
Many Open Government Initiatives from around the world are cataloged on the Civic Commons wiki with details regarding specific policies, open data initiatives, and more.
This Open Government Initiative is a collaborative project that includes representatives from CityCamp, OpenColorado, Code for America, the Sunlight Foundation, OpenPlans and others. The idea came in December of 2010 when a group of passionate and committed advocates of open government came together in Denver, Colorado for a one day unconference: CityCamp Colorado. If you are interested in getting more involved, please join the Open Government Initiative group.