Beyond Ambiguity: A Practical Framework for Developing and Implementing Open Government Reforms


  • Merlin Chatwin Western University
  • Godwin Arku Western University



Open government, transparency, accountability, participation


The broad idea of ‘Open Government’ is widely accepted as a facilitator for rebuilding trust and validation in governments around the world. The Open Government Partnership is a significant driver of this movement with over 75 member nations, 15 subnational government participants and many others local governments implementing reforms within their national frameworks. The central tenets of transparency, accountability, participation, and collaboration are well understood within scholarly works and practitioner publications. However, open government is yet to be attributed with a universally acknowledged definition. This leads to questions of adaptability and salience of the concept of open government across diverse contexts. This paper addresses these questions by utilizing a human systems framework called the Dialogue Boxes. To develop an understanding of how open government is currently positioned within scholarly works and practitioner publications, an extensive literature search was conducted. The search utilized major search engines, often-cited references, direct journal searches and colleague provided references. Using existing definitions and descriptions, this paper populates the framework with available information and allow for context specific content to be populated by future users. Ultimately, the aim of the paper is to support the development of open government action plans that maximize the direct positive impact on people’s lives.


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How to Cite

Chatwin, M., & Arku, G. (2017). Beyond Ambiguity: A Practical Framework for Developing and Implementing Open Government Reforms. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 9(1), 52 - 78.



Special Issue: Research Papers