The Foundation for Media Alternatives published in September 2017 the results of its research project that developed a framework to assess open e-governance. Initially piloted in five countries, namely Colombia, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Uganda, the framework looked into how state and non-state actors use information and communications technologies (ICTs) to steer society collectively.
The OeGI project defines open e-governance as the presence of the following dimensions: meshed e-government; e-participation channels; digital inclusion; civil society use of ICTs; and open legal and policy ecosystems.
The study revealed that while there is progress towards open e-governance, there are dimensions that need to be strengthened. For instance, while there is a great demand for online participation among citizens, there are many policies and programmes that governments need to undertake before this can happen.
Openness is an important area of participation of civil society in the state, and norms for transparency and accountability are critical in ensuring that national ICT systems can be used for political and socioeconomic progress. In the future, the OeGI can be used as a normative tool to assess how countries utilise openness in network societies to enhance public service, citizen participation/engagement, and in addressing communication rights. The research was conducted with the support of Making All Voices Count and the Institute of Development Studies.
Image source: FMA.