Open government is a relatively new way of doing public policy. To date there is no common, agreed-upon approach to measuring progress.
That said, the Open Government Team feels that it’s crucial that we be transparent and accountable about progress on commitments. We think that transparency can help inspire ambition and create opportunities for people outside of government to help us overcome some of our toughest challenges.
A new tool for tracking progress
As a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Government of Canada is required to track our progress on commitments in the Third Biennial Plan at the mid-point and end-point through self-assessment reports. But we felt there may be opportunities to make our reporting more timely and comprehensive for you. Our hope is that by proactively providing timely information on our progress, we can more effectively generate engagement and identify any necessary course corrections earlier in the implementation period.
As a first step, we have developed dashboards for each of our 22 commitments in the Third Biennial Plan. This approach will make tracking our progress on open government richer, more rigorous and easy to follow for everyone.
We want to help raise the bar on transparency
At the heart of this is more direct and meaningful engagement with you. We hope that this tool will make it easier for you to ask questions about the work we’re doing and to get involved where we have identified areas that we are looking for some additional support or feedback – which you can find under the ‘Challenges’ tab.
This tool is an experiment. Our working hypothesis is that when we make more information available regarding our work, we create more opportunities for citizen participation and open policy making. Our hope is that we will, in turn, achieve better outcomes for all Canadians.
Each commitment has its own dashboard that will be updated on a quarterly basis, or more frequently where it makes sense to do so. We want to deliver all that we set out to accomplish in the Third Biennial Plan. By reporting more frequently on the status of our deliverables, we hope to be able to flag challenges early on, enable you to better hold us to account, and leverage your expertise in solving issues both big and small.
Let us know what you think. You can comment on the dashboards, email commitment leads, and Tweet using the hashtag #opengovcan. We’re excited about what we can achieve together, and we hope you are as well!
Sarah is a member of the Open Government team at TBS, helping to support effective implementation of Canada’s Open Government Plans to the Open Government Partnership. This includes, among other things, supporting governance for open government, providing government-wide coordination of open government efforts, and tracking and measuring open government results.