"Measuring Openness: A Survey of Transparency Ratings and the Prospects for a Global Index"

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Stephen Buckley

Nov 16, 2012, 5:03:04 PM11/16/12
to OpenGov...@googlegroups.com, ogp-civi...@googlegroups.com, ogp-civi...@opengovpartnership.org, ogp--us-civil-soci...@googlegroups.com, Sheila Coronel, Eszter Filippinyi, Kizito Byenkya

This message cross-posted, as appropriate (see cc: field, above).
You may forward this message, as you see fit, to other "Open Government" email-groups. 


Dear OpenGovMetrics subscribers,

Because our group's purpose is to inform and discuss better ways to evaluate "open government" efforts, please share your thoughts about a recent report, funded by the Open Society Foundations, on the various rating methods, used world-wide, for evaluating "transparency" in government.

"Measuring Openness: A survey of transparency ratings and the prospects for a global index" (30 October 2012)
by Sheila S. Coronel, Columbia University

ALSO, note that the following feedback was posted to an email-group run by the Open Government Partnership (OGP):

Comment on "Measuring Openness: A Survey of Transparency Ratings and the
Prospects for a Global Index by Sheila Coronel"
by Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, Access Info Europe
and Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy (November 2012)

... with the following excerpt being relevant, of course, to our group's purpose:

"Coronel's paper will hopefully initiate more of a debate among advocates about existing initiatives to measure government openness, something which would undoubtedly prove useful. Despite the criticisms above, the paper provides us with a good starting point for this debate, which we should take advantage of." (emphases added)

Not long after, a response by Ms. Coronel was forwarded to a second, closed OGP email-group (no link is available).  However, Ms. Darbishire then had it posted on her organization's website:

update 12 November 2012 – A response from Professor Coronel is posted below the comment. Access Info welcomes this debate and invites other readers of our website to send us their comments.
  Here are a couple of excerpts:

Response by Sheila Coronel: The need for further debate
Helen Darbishire and Toby Mendel make interesting points but seem to misunderstand the intent of my paper, Measuring Openness: A Survey of Transparency Ratings and the Prospects for a Global Index.

.. and Ms. Coronel ends with this:

The last part of the paper suggests ways to move forward by having a conversation on how the gaps in the research can be addressed. We hope the conversation that the paper has opened and Darbishire and Mendel took up can continue and broaden to include other colleagues. (emphasis added)

My Conclusion:  As you may have noticed, there is agreement between Ms. Coronel, Ms. Darbishire and Mr. Mendel that this topic of discussion needs to continue with more people included!  Unfortunately, this "debate" is scattered all over the place (blog #1 --> email-group #1 --> email-group #2 --> blog #2 --> ???).  If it continues in this disjointed way, it will become a great example to cite for "poor practice" in engaging others in public discussion online.

So it's pretty obvious that this discussion needs a home and, because the OpenGovMetrics email-group was created (two years ago) for exactly this type of situation, I am making an open and overt invitation to all interested persons to share their thoughts on this topic -- openly -- with the other interested people already here.

Feel free to forward this message to those who may be interested in joining the moderated discussions at OpenGovMetrics email-group.  ( To subscribe-by-email, simply send any message to: opengovmetri...@googlegroups.com )

Stephen Buckley, moderator
OpenGovmetrics email-group ( to join, send any email to: opengovmetrics +subscribe@googlegroups. com )
or follow on Twitter: @opengovmetrics
Massachusetts, USA
skype:  opengov
24/7 phone: +1-508-348-9090 

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