Supporting Open Governance
Open governance ensures citizens have access to government (information, data, processes) in order to engage governments more effectively and that governments have the willingness and ability to respond to citizens and to work collaboratively to solve difficult governance issues. It facilitates an active dialogue between government and its citizens regarding, for example budget allocation and utilization and provision of social services. Citizens have improved access to their leaders and mechanisms in place to demand better services, and government has the capacity to respond.
Open governance should lead to more efficient use of development spending, such as schools being built where they are needed; improved service delivery through better management of public utilities such as electricity; and an improved quality of life for its citizens. Openness makes the government more accountable to its citizens and can enhance the legitimacy of those in power.
How Does WBI promote Transparency and Accountability?
The World Bank Institute (WBI) is helping governments engage with citizens and organizations from the private and civil society sectors to ensure that policies implemented by the government are in tune with citizens’ needs. WBI is using innovative concepts and tools to help governments become more accessible to their citizens. It also builds the capacity of civil society and the private sector to demand more transparency and accountability from governments. WBI is working closely with other World Bank units, governments, civil society, the media and a variety of stakeholders to help developing country governments become more transparent and effective for their citizens. It does this by:
- ensuring Open Budgets through Public Financial Management, strengthened Public Accounts Committees and tools such as BOOST;
- ensuring Open Public Procurement through fostering innovations in procurement reform to achieve better country systems and processes, and promoting third-party procurement and contract monitoring such as in extractive industries;
- engaging with parliaments to enhance their capacity and ensure all branches of government are accessible to citizens;
- promoting collective-action against corruption and better governance through engaging the private sector on its responsibilities; and,
- strengthening the capacity of journalists to hold the government accountable, such as through training to better understand the budget cycle and investigative journalism.