Next week is an exciting and important week for ONE’s efforts to promote more open, transparent and accountable governance that can accelerate progress on poverty reduction. In Mexico, the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group will meet. ONE will be there making the case (read the letter below) for greater budget transparency and better natural resource governance so that people can hold their governments accountable for the use of public resources.
In Brazil, the inaugural meeting of the Open Government Partnership will take place, with government, civil society and business representatives discussing countries’ plans to improve the process of government. ONE will be there too, making three main arguments.
First, that what really matters is open governance – not just how the government operates, but how governments relate to ordinary people. This is one of the lessons of the “Arab Spring” and the #Occupy Movement.
Second, that governments should pay attention in their national action plans not only to the nature of governance in their own countries, but also to what they can do to encourage more transparent, accountable and open governance across the world, including in developing countries. Commendably, the National Action Plans of a number of countries including the UK and the US (on aid transparency) and Norway (on tax transparency) have already included commitments that go beyond borders. (See here for ONE’s analysis of the first 8 National Action Plans.)
Third, that opening governance needs to be about delivering the things that ordinary people want. Freedom of information laws and greater transparency about the financing of political parties are important, but ordinary people are perhaps more interested in the difference that such measures might make to the health services they can access and the education that their kids receive. (See below for a two-pager on “Transparency and Accountability for Better Health Outcomes”, put together by ONE and the Transparency and Accountability Initiative).
Got a question for Alan? Tweet him at @alanhudson1.