Some key factors for effective open policy

There’s a good summary of the recent Open Government Project’s meeting about open policy and participation up on the OGP-UK site and Tim Davies has summarised his thoughts rather well too. So, since I’m in agreement with what’s been said, I thought I’d summarise what, for me, are the key big issues that we’ve got to consider if we are serious about getting the policy process more open, more flexible and better used by more people. Here’s my 10 easy-to-read points (I know I could have easily made it 20 or probably even 50, but these will do for now!):

  • Open government only works when there is trust
  • Citizens don’t trust government
  • Governments don’t trust citizens
  • Open government is not top down
  • Open government is not bottom up
  • Open government is effective when there is bi-directional aggregation and sharing
  • No organisation, group, project or tool is unique
  • There is no such thing as best practice
  • Good practice is all over the place
  • Partnership, co-creation and tolerance is always better than control, hierarchy and fear

And, as it’s nearly Christmas, let’s make it 11 for the price of 10:

  • Open policy is much, much more than open data, it’s about transparent and timely access, process, action and feedback and should fundamentally challenge the assumptions behind the current policy making process.

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