Citizen engagement events
- Communicate Open Government clearly and meaningfully
- Maximise participation across a range of equality groups
Overview for public distribution
Organisations and individuals wanting to hold public engagement events can use the following guide as they wish.
What is it?
Open Government is a global movement to promote transparency, accountability and openness in all aspects of governance. Governments must partner on an equal basis with civil society, including promoting citizen participation. In effect, open government means individuals have more information on how government works, can better challenge bad outcomes and have a greater say in decisions.
In May 2016 Scotland was announced as one of 15 ‘sub-national’ governments to be part of a Pioneer Programme of Open Government.
Open Government and Sustainable Development Goals
Launched by the United Nations in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are an ambitious set of social, economic and environmental targets. Based on human rights, they require every country to take action to tackle poverty, reduce inequality and manage their impact on the environment.
Open Government is vital to achieving the SDGs for three key reasons. The goals are issues of social justice and need citizen action to shift politics and power for the common good. Secondly, the SDGs are complex problems which need meaningful engagement between governments and citizens, communities, and civil society. Finally, there is growing evidence that working openly and transparently, directly involving citizens, produces better outcomes for everyone.
Why get involved?
The work of Open Government in Scotland needs to be shaped by the views and ideas of everyone. We need people to get involved and have their say on how government works and can be improved. We want this to be led by citizens and not by organisations. To do this, we have set up local Meet-Ups to encourage people to connect. Please have a look and join your local group.
In Scotland, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the lead civil society ‘point of contact’ for the pioneer programme. SCVO is developing a wiki to record the Open Government work and encourage everyone to have a look.