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Opening up ‘Open Governance’ in South Africa

Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC)

Project type Innovation 

Country South Africa 

Support 100,000

Country Engagement Developer Deborah Byrne

“Transparency and Accountability are essential enablers for honest and efficient delivery of critical public services that so many depend on to protect lives, livelihoods, dignity and basic human rights.” — ODAC


of information requests by citizens to government are being ignored


is South Africa's ranking on most “open government” out of 102 countries, according to the Open Government Index

Start date
March 2016
End date
March 2017
Period: 13 months


South Africa is a founding member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Taking up the chair of OGP in 2015, the government is sending a clear message about its intentions for open and transparent governance - but this message is not necessarily translating into action.

Only a handful of civil society organisations have been engaged in the OGP process in South Africa and had a voice in setting plans and goals for what the government needs to achieve. Public concerns regarding socio-economic justice, governance, accountability and transparency are not accurately highlighted and addressed in the national action plan, and their civil society representatives are not yet able to play this much needed critical role in the implementation of the government's OGP plans.


This project is supporting civil society groups so they to play a more active role in shaping and implementing national OGP plans.

The ODAC team is working with key civil society partners and the civil society working group to push for CSO engagement in the OGP process that is consistent with the OGP founding principles.

The project includes an online 'OGP Tracker' that consolidates the latest information on how South Africa is progressing towards its OGP goals, providing a unique opportunity for CSOs to find out how they can get involved.

Linking South Africa's vibrant civil society and social justice campaigns to the OGP structure, and capitalising on the public commitments from the government, the team aim to ensure that South Africa’s participation in the Open Government Partnership sets a new agenda for government engagement with civil society.

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The Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) is an organisation that promotes open and transparent democracy; fosters a culture of corporate and government accountability; and assists people in South Africa to be able to realize their human rights. They have been involved in the Open Government Partnership since mid 2011 and the Executive Director, Mukelani Dimba, is a member of the OGP Steering Committee.

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