T02P35 - The Politics of Open Government in Iberoamerican Countries: A Comparative View About its Determinants and its Implementation Processes

Topic : Comparative Public Policy

Panel Chair : Cesar Nicandro Cruz-Rubio - cesar.cruz.rubio@gigapp.org

Panel Second Chair : Mauricio Olavarria-Gambi - mauricio.olavarria@usach.cl

Panel Third Chair : Alejandro M. Liberman - alejandro.liberman@libertadyprogreso.org

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1 Session 1


Mauricio Olavarria-Gambi - mauricio.olavarria@usach.cl - University of Santiago, Chile - Chile

Cynthia Michel - cynthia.michel@cide.edu - Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) - Mexico

Policy difussion of open government in Latin American countries: Political determinants based on evidence from National Progress Reports

Cesar Nicandro Cruz-Rubio - cesar.cruz.rubio@gigapp.org - GIGAPP. Research Group in Government, Administration and Public Policy - Spain

Which are the political determinant for the advancement of open government in Latin American countries? This paper seeks to answer this single question. Nowadays 15 Iberoamerican countries regularly develops and implement biannual national action plans (each of them with a set of specific commitments) for the advance of open government at the national level. Since open government initiatives comprises in a high degree the most recent innovations and public sector reforms in this part of the World (this region is in fact the most prominent in the advancement of open government worldwide), it seems cleary relevant to understand which political determinants are involved into this processes


Using the diffusion or public policies literature (Berry & Berry, 2007 ; Dobbin, Simmons, & Garrett, 2007) and on the bases of Progress Reports made by the Independent Reporting Mechanism of the Open Government Partnership, the objective of this paper is the identification of the determinants of the success in the advancement of public policies for open government (that is, policies and changes in public sector programs for strength transparency, access of information, public participation and public accountability with the intensive use of ICT) into the national agendas, and the identification of its implementation process and pitfalls. 

Conceptualizing and measuring Open Government in Mexico

Cynthia Michel - cynthia.michel@cide.edu - Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) - Mexico

Guillermo Cejudo - guillermo.cejudo@cide.edu - Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas CIDE - Mexico

Open government has become a goal for countries all over the world. This is evident in many political discourses or in policies that are implemented on its behalf. The increasing popularity of this concept is a result of the expected benefits that it would bring, such as efficiency, less corruption and increased government legitimacy (Meijer and Curtin 2012). Indeed, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) declaration states that the countries that become part of it will commit “to promote transparency, fight corruption, empower citizens, and harness the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable.”


Despite the desirability of achieving an open government, it is an elusive concept. This is a problem since not only makes it difficult for countries to design public policies that would actually have an effect in promoting it, but affects the possibility of knowing the progress that governments have made towards its achievement. Accordingly, international organizations, governments, academic institutions, and other interested stakeholders had advanced innovative methodologies to assess Open government’s policies, action plans, and interventions in different countries. Mexico was not the exception. The Center for Research and Teaching on Economics (CIDE), in collaboration with the National Institute for Transparency (INAI), recently published the Open Government Metrics. Based on such study, this paper will seek to advance in the determinants (political and institutional) that enable the attainment of open government by comparing the performance achieved by different levels of government, public offices and branches.

A debate on the perceptions of open government

Edgar Alejandro Ruvalcaba Gomez - edgar.publicpolicy@gmail.com - Universidad Autónoma de Madrid - Spain

Open Government (OG) is maturing and advancing towards the consolidation of a new way of understanding public management, this has attracted attention in recent years from multiple actors inside and outside of the governmental sphere. However, little is known about how it develops what could be called a new paradigm of government. More recently, the concept OG has been revitalized thanks to the political and institutional backing in different contexts. An important milestone in the revitalization of the OG concept is highlighted in the "Memorandum for Transparency and Open Government"; first antecedent adopted under the Obama administration (January 21, 2009). From then on, this subject is incorporated as a top-level political priority around three principles: transparency, participation, and collaboration. As a result of a recent study on the perceptions about OG administered in Spanish local governments, a proposal has been developed on three different perspectives of OG, however, this proposal has not been developed deeply. The debate in the literature has

shown different views on OG, which are very different, but they have some elements in common. This research seeks to support the theory of the three perspectives: the perspective of democratic values of co-responsibility, the perspective of technological innovation, and the perspective of governmental openness. This research will develop a documentary analysis to strengthen with the empirical evidence of the different studies, with the aim of strengthening the proposal of the three perspectives.

Assessment of the open government data impact in Latin American Countries: Key factors exploratory analysis

Alberto Abella - alberto.abella@okfn.es - OK Spain / desidedatum /URJC - Spain

The idea of open government cannot be understood without considering the systematic publication of data about public administrations. Thus public open data portals become critical resources to ensure transparency and accountability. The interaction of citizens and organizations with these portals depends on organizational, economic, technical and social factors that must be analyzed to assess the use of these resources and their efficient use.

The paper presents results of sampling on these portals and the ecosystems of organizations around them. These relevant findings may help in redefining strategies for releasing public data, coordinating them, and to prioritize investment in these resources.


Ernesto Velasco Sanchez - ernestovelasco@hotmail.com - Mexico

Open government has been become a mainstream concept around the globe, calling for more transparent, participatory and accountable governance, that co produces public policies with the people and takes advantage of new technologies in order to democratize the way in which public organization operate. The Open Government Partnership has performed a key role in the diffusion of concepts and practices aimed at opening government, but is not the only one. Other global governance initiatives have been important. This is the case of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), that aims at fostering an open and accountable management of extractive resources around the globe. Some OGP literature has stressed the importance of involving the different stakeholders in a given policy area to co-create with government the collective decision making structures and processes that could improve openness, arguing that this could lead to “win-win” situations. However, this seems to be more difficult in policy arenas where costs and not benefits are distributed and were the political divide among the different interests convened is deeper. This is the case of the extractive sector, were tradeoffs are constant and were suspicion among private firms and civil society is strong, given that the conflicts around this sort of activities tends to be intense and even violent. For example, in Mexico there have been several cases of community leaders being murdered in the context of the defense of their territory. Therefore, there is a great need to understand what are the key elements that can allow an effective open government approach in such difficult circumstances. The proposed paper will look at tracing the process of building Mexico’s and Colombia’s candidacy to join the EITI, in order to identify the variables and characteristics that enabled the process of setting a governance structure among the interested parties. The paper will take advantage of the literature available about network management and governance, and will present the results from semi-structured interviews with key informants that were involved in the EITI process in each country.

Open Government, Budgetary transparency and security in Brazil: advances and challenges for its implementation

Laura Silva - lauraams@gmail.com - Fundação Getulio Vargas - Brazil

The initiatives for a more open and transparent brazilian government or close to the citizen are numerous and it is common to come across the expression accountability linked to the notions of accountability for actions and punishment for acts. The fact is that this term has some concepts embedded within it, transparency being one of them. In addition to data access ideas, it is understood, for the purposes of this work, transparency as the state's ability to present budget, revenue and expenditure data on the execution of its public policies. Thus, this paper focuses on the understanding of the expression "budgetary transparency" as exposed by the authors Zuccolotto, Teixeira and Riccio (2015) with the focus on Brazilian public security policy. In light of the above, the question that animates this work is how the notion of "budgetary transparency" is present in Brazilian public security policy and, furthermore, how accountability can be achieved in a context of insecurity, be it Data or results of public policies in progress? The choice to understand the Brazilian public security policy through its "budgetary transparency" involves the difficulty already considered historical in relation to criminal data with dubious disclosures that involve, for example, possible underreporting, even with the advent of the Law on Access to Information (LAI) and the increase of internal and external control instances. The methodology used was the mobilization of relevant theory on the subject of transparency, accountability and open government initiatives, as well as the mobilization of secondary data on revenue and expenditure in the area of ​​public security. Through this analysis it was possible to find considerations about how this concept of "transparency" is still under construction, as well as this work, which is perceived as one of the few that question the allocation of resources in the area of ​​public security and the results that The same reaches. In this way, it was possible to conclude previously that although the Union tries to coordinate actions in favor of budgetary transparency, Brazil still has many challenges to reach good levels of governance.

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