The World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index™ provides scores and rankings on four dimensions of government openness: publicized laws and government data, right to information, civic participation, and complaint mechanisms (full descriptions below). Scores are based on responses to household surveys and in-country expert questionnaires collected for the WJP Rule of Law Index. The WJP Open Government Index 2015 covers a total of 102 countries and jurisdictions.
This index is the product of two years of development, consultation, and vetting with policy makers, civil society groups, and academics from several countries. It is our hope that over time this diagnostic tool will help identify strengths and weaknesses in countries under review and encourage policy choices that enhance openness, promote effective public oversight, and increase collaboration amongst public and private sectors.
Publicized laws and government data: Measures whether basic laws and information on legal rights are publicly available, presented in plain language, and made accessible in all languages used by significant segments of the population. This dimension also measures the quality and accessibility of information published by the government in print or online (active transparency), and whether administrative regulations, drafts of legislation, administrative decisions, and high court decisions are made accessible to the public in a timely manner.
Right to information: Measures whether requests for information held by a government agency are granted (assuming the information is a public record). It also measures if these requests are granted within a reasonable time period, if the information provided is pertinent and complete, if requests for information are granted at a reasonable cost, and if a request was granted without having to pay a bribe. This dimension also measures whether people are aware of the right to information and whether relevant records – such as budget figures of government officials, ombudsman reports, and information relative to community projects – are accessible upon request.
Civic participation: Measures the effectiveness of civic participation mechanisms, including the protection of the freedoms of opinion and expression, and assembly and association, and the right to petition the government. It also measures whether people can voice concerns to various government officers and members of the legislature, and whether government officials provide sufficient information and notice about decisions affecting the community, including opportunities for citizen feedback.
Complaint mechanisms: Measures whether people can, in practice, make complaints about public officials or public services to various government officers and how government officials respond to such complaints. It also measures whether people can challenge government decisions before another government agency or a judge.
The World Justice Project® (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world. The rule of law is the foundation for communities of peace, opportunity, and equity—underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.
Our work engages citizens and leaders from across the globe and from multiple work disciplines to advance the rule of law. Through our mutually-reinforcing programs of Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement, WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate policy reforms, and develop practical, on-the-ground programs. Learn more about the rule of law and our work at: worldjusticeproject.org.