Hivos International

Transparency & Accountability

#OGP15 – Is ‘open government’ really open?

Blog | October 26, 2015 | Carol Morgan

This week, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) holds its global summit in Mexico.

National governments and representatives from civil society, NGOs, media and research organisations will meet to discuss ‘how openness can improve public services, realise rights, drive economic growth, reduce poverty and make governments more accountable to the people they serve.’

Four encouraging signs from OGP’s Civil Society Day, and one not so encouraging one

Blog | October 28, 2015 | Carol Morgan

Yesterday’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) Civil Society Day was a mix (and occasional melee) of people and ideas. Small groups argued over issues from the value of hacking to tackle corruption, to how to actually get government interested in using crowd-sourced data.

OGP Summit ends with backslapping, but the real achievement was providing space for dissenters

Blog | October 30, 2015 | Carol Morgan

Today more than 2500 people from across the world will get on planes and trains back home after coming to Mexico for three days of discussions on open government.

South Africa’s social welfare system: what happens to policy when champions go away?

Blog | December 4, 2015 | Aalia Cassim

As part of Making All Voices Count’s research project When Does the State Listen? Aalia Cassim looks at the drivers of change in South Africa’s social welfare system since 1997, and identifies lessons about government champions, systemic capacity building, and the critical role of stakeholder coordination.

‘When’ is as important as ‘who’: governance champions, calendars & change

Blog | December 18, 2015 | Nicoline van der Torre

Earlier this year, as part of our joint workshop with the Transparency & Accountability Initiative and the GPSA, Rosemary McGee wrote about the importance of understanding citizen-led accountability programmes and actions from the perspective of the state.

Open government or new boys’ club?

Blog | March 8, 2016 | Duncan Edwards

International Women’s Day feels like a good time to reflect on whether we are considering carefully enough who is engaged in shaping of developing visions of open government...

At the OGP Summit in Mexico in October 2015, I chaired a panel which was originally entitled “In search of inclusion: getting a seat at the table”. I changed the title to “Open government or New Boys’ club?” I did this for two reasons:

We have to dream to innovate – but must make the most of what’s already there

Blog | March 8, 2016 | Brian Paul Mnyampi

Last month, Brian Paul Mnyampi and Sanne van den Berg went to meet community radio station Radio Kwizera in Ngara, in the far North West of Tanzania.

The small town boasts a population of only 10,000 people – but its radio station, Radio Kwizera, is the 9th most popular station in the country and has a huge presence in the lives of the Ngara community.

What’s on paper vs. what actually works: ‘citizen engagement processes’ in Kenya

Blog | March 16, 2016 | Varyanne Sika

Recently, we joined more than 100 people from counties across Kenya to discuss how to strengthen the County Budget Economic Forums.

These forums have been set up to support public involvement in deciding how county budgets are spent - and we should be thrilled to see government-mandated process for making budgets open for anyone to discuss with county government.

Buzzwords and barriers to citizen participation in Ghana

Blog | March 22, 2016 | Birgit Deuss

Buzzwords like empowerment, good governance and accountability are more than often used by NGOs or policy makers.

For people like me - and I suspect many others - these words often don't reflect what is actually happening. What - please someone tell me - is 'active stakeholder engagement', and how do I know if it has actually taken place?

Are you an innovator or an inventor?

Blog | March 24, 2016 | Indra de Lanerolle

Elon Musk, the creator of Space XTesla Motors and SolarCity, is one of the world’s most famous innovators. Born in South Africa, his story offers inspiration across the continent.