Date added: July 5, 2017

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The Open Government National Action Plan (NAP) development and roll-out processes analysed in this paper reveal Uruguay’s effort to enable new ways of agency in the digital era. NAPs are developed as a result of a political context where the government seeks to engage its citizens in order to know their needs and improve their living conditions. Specifically this research examines the creation and implementation of the two-yearly Open Government Partnership National Action Plans (OGPNAP), for the years 2012–2014, 2014-2016, and 2016-2018.

Giddens’ structuration framework has been used here to discuss the specific shifts in structures of meaning, norms and power that have occurred in the course of the OGP-NAP consultations and negotiations between government agencies and citizens. The authors discuss the creation of new norms, values and rules in state-citizen engagement. They also consider changes in cultures of participation and distribution of power and the disruptive effects these have had for citizenship.

The authors give the following directions for policy:

  • increase and improve citizen engagement mechanisms in public policy to deepen social and governmental democratization – this will ease the process of citizen involvement in policies and contribute to the learning of civil society and governmental actors
  • strengthen government capabilities for co-creation and collaborative development of public policies; by providing a suitable legal framework, financial resources, and further spaces of participation and policy co-creation through:
    • training programmes for civil servants
    • advocacy spaces for younger actors to innovate
    • expanding technical capacities of actors as well as trust-based cooperation mechanisms
    • deeper data-disclosure processes
  • improve existing regulatory framework in support of democratic processes by creating legislation to institutionalise, legitimise and facilitate transparent co-creation and collaboration between civil society organisations and the state, such as;
    • improving the implementation of the access to public information law
    • creation of a law on volunteerism.
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