JeDEM Special Issue on Progress, Insights, and Implications of the Open Government Partnership

JeDEM Special Issue on Progress, Insights, and Implications of the Open Government Partnership Scholars and practitioners with expertise and experience in the area of open government are invited to submit a paper for an upcoming special issue of the Journal of e-Democracy and Open Government (JeDEM) focused on “Progress, Insights, and Implications of the Open Government Partnership.”

In 2016, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) celebrated its five-year anniversary. In those five years, governments have committed to over 2000 reforms aimed at improving transparency, accountability, and citizen participation. Much has changed in five years. Membership in the OGP has grown from 8 to 75 national level governments. While many new members have joined, there have also been departures: Hungary being the most recent. Currently, there is a pilot including 15 subnational governments designed to more proactively involve subnational governments in the initiative.

This special issue of JeDEM is dedicated to fostering a better understanding the progress made within the OGP over the past five years. It contributes to the scholarly and professional discourse about the implications and the insights gathered, thus far, on the future of the OGP and its members.

Topics/ questions to be discussed in the special issue may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

Policy making: Processes, Structures of Power and Forces of Change

  • What factors incentivize senior political leaders to prioritize open government on the domestic policy agenda?
  • When does it become advantageous and/or compelling for a policymaker to support reforms in open government?
  • How does the transition of civil society leaders into government (and vice versa) roles affect new or ongoing reform processes?
  • What are the operational implications for dealing with transitions in party power?
  • What can open government reformers learn from available evidence on forming and sustaining coalitions for change?
  • When does mobilization across and within state and societal actors become necessary to push through a reform?
  • And when can reforms implemented from top-down be just as effective?
  • Where and what kinds of OGP inputs and processes are most influential in a policy reform process (from agenda setting to implementation and monitoring)?

Participation and Engagement

  • What are the conditions under which citizens and civil society groups can more effectively monitor and scale up their oversight of policy reforms?
  • Does the open government agenda need the grassroots? If so, what implications would that have for OGP overall and for how OGP operates at the country level?
  • Do commitments proposed by civil society see stronger implementation and outcomes? If so, what are the conditions under which they fare better?
  • What do mechanisms of citizen participation and state accountability look like in fragile and post-conflict states?
  • How can governance be more inclusive in these contexts and what is the potential value add of the OGP platform in these contexts? How are subnational governments integrating citizen participation in decision-making? What can we learn from comparing the approaches of subnational governments within or across countries to similar reform areas? What examples are there of subnationally-led reforms scaled up at the national level?
  • Does opening government lead to better investment climates? How have open government reforms helped the private sector to engage more effectively with government?
  • How does open data help to drive businesses and where have these resulted in governance, social or environmental gains?
  • To what extent do OGP commitments have the potential to improve the space for citizen engagement (regulations, official mechanisms for citizen participation)? Do the quality and ambition of those commitments address the current state of civic space and dialogue in the country?
  • What has been the impact of OGP commitments on citizen participation in the policy process? Where have they succeeded or failed and why?


  • What are the means of institutionalizing open government reforms within government sectors or agencies to ensure sustainability and effectiveness? How do organizational roles, processes, and norms, or individual capacities and behaviour need to change when undertaking reform?
  • What are the factors causing organizational resistance to change? How can open government reformers overcome this resistance? What role can OGP play in the problem of agency or department “culture of secrecy?”
  • Are certain types of commitments better suited to be implemented at the subnational level versus at the national or regional levels? When should open government reforms be subject to the subsidiarity principle?

Performance management

  • How and when does opening government lead to government efficiency, cost-savings and/or increased trust and credibility between the state and society? What evidence is there that government sectors and agencies which operate with the principles of open government perform better than those that don’t?
  • How has opening government led to improved trust, credibility and legitimacy between the state and society, and how? In which countries has OGP demonstrated these outcomes?
  • Which aspects of the OGP model (co-creation, rules of engagement, governing structure) have been most influential in incentivizing a country’s performance trajectory in OGP? What lessons can we infer from the value of multi-stakeholder initiatives in general from this?


June 15, 2017: Final deadline for submission of full articles
July 15, 2017: Authors notified of acceptance
August 15, 2017: Authors must submit camera-ready copy for editing
September 2017: Special issue published

Author Guidelines and Template

Papers should be between 7,500 and 12,000 words in length and must be submitted to the journal’s website on the JeDEM template which can be found, along with the author’s guidelines, here.

Only original and complete articles will be considered. All articles submitted will be peer reviewed.


Mary Francoli
Associate Professor
Communication and Media Studies
Carleton University

Johann Höchtl
Senior Researcher
Department for E-Governance and Administration Danube University Krems

For more information about JeDEM please visit the CfP on the Journals Website.

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