Comparing government openness as an advocacy tool – this was the main topic of the ACTION SEE inception workshop held in Sarajevo on 28.05. as one of the main events of the POINT 5.0 conference organized by ACTION SEE project partner from Bosnia and Herzegovina, UG Zašto ne.
The workshop indicated the potential ways on how to improve government accountability and good governance through different advocacy actions connected to reporting on government transparency in the region. The panelists on the workshop were Jelena Berković from GONG Croatia, Anna Kuliberda from TechSoup Poland and Dušan Jordović from CRTA Serbia, while the moderator of the workshop was Darko Brkan from UG Zašto ne from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Jelena started the panel with the Croatian experiences on measuring the transparency of the government. She talked about the monitoring of the EU accession process that GONG did in partnership with other NGOs in Croatia, as well as their local government monitoring initiative LOTUS that had significant impact on the work of the local government in Croatia. „Mayors were competing and reacting if they lost some points on indicators. They took is seriously, especially if it was done near to elections“ – Jelena stated.
Anna Kuliberda talked about the idea behind the regional openness index and how the methodology was created. She also talked about the potential impact of comparative research on advocacy success on these issues.
Dusan said that CRTA expects to have benefits from this research and the project in many ways, both in terms of government acting better on every day basis and in terms of advocating their policies to the institutions. „We think the access and responses of the government will be more proactive if there is a public measure attached to their work“ – Dusan responded.
Finally, Darko Brkan explained that there is clear need for a regional index, due to the needs for better public outreach and visibility, adjustment of the indicators to the local level, but also the need for the establishment of an advocacy tool that would then be used in various processes, such as the OGP or EU accession process for respective countries.
ACTION SEE – Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in SEE project is implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation, in partnership with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy from Great Britain, Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) from Serbia, Citizens Association Why not? from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Center for Democratic Transition (CDT) from Montenegro, Open Data Kosovo (ODK) from Kosovo and Levizja Mjaft! from Albania.
The project’s aim is to increase the inclusion of civil society and media organizations in creating public opinion, the policy creation process and in the participation in the mechanisms of the decision-making processes as well as to raise the capacity of civil societies to address sensitive issues.
This project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union.