Enhancing Digital Civic Space Through the OGP Process

Principles and Recommendations for Enabling Reforms

PUBLISHED: AUGUST 2023

Digital technologies can make a substantial contribution to advancing open government. As many OGP governments have shown, digital tools can help agencies and officials share information and data with citizens, improving access to services, advancing accountability, and countering waste and corruption.

However, fostering digital open government requires more than just promoting information sharing through digital platforms. OGP members must preserve and encourage digital civic space to empower citizens to participate in governance. These legal, social, and technological conditions allow citizens to participate fully in the public sphere by exercising digital freedoms. Creating these conditions requires investing in meaningful and inclusive access to digital services; protecting privacy rights online and offline; deploying rights-respecting approaches to address harmful information online; imposing appropriate safeguards on the use of artificial intelligence; and strengthening e-participation, open data frameworks, and civic engagement.

In this guide, ICNL offers a checklist of principles to consult before embarking on digital policy initiatives, recommendations for OGP commitments that can advance these aims, and examples of positive practices and policies that OGP members are already undertaking. Government representatives and civil society actors alike can draw on this resource to co-create enabling digital reforms.