During November and December 2019, the Open Government Forum (the Forum) sought feedback on the types of things people are interested in, or concerned about in the open government space. This was largely done through the Open Government Discovery Questionnaire, which was hosted on the OGPAU website and consisted of 16 questions structured around the four core open government principles of:
- access to information
- public participation
- public accountability
The survey was open between 11 November and 15 December 2019 and received 210 survey submissions.
To help identify the issues, themes and topics of importance raised in the responses from the stakeholder participants, the Open Government Secretariat commissioned research consultancy Converlens to undertake analysis over all questions that required a written response in the questionnaire. This analysis involved using various Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques which was trinagulated with reference to the source material itself, aiming to ground the findings in the words of the parcipants.
The National Action Plan 2020-22 - Open Government Discovery Feedback - Report of Themes, January 2020 (the NAP 3 Themes Report) found that paricipant responses tended to focus on three fundamental themes of 'Access', 'Connection' and 'Trust' - as summarised below:
- Improve Access - a dominant theme of ‘access' arose through this consultation and can be considered as multi-dimensional. It includes:
- System design and performance - Better user experience with systems
- Information - Greater transparency and detail of information
- Awareness - More education and awareness of available services and information
- Establish Connection - a lack of connection to the processes that drive outcomes was a theme that emerged throughout the questions. People expressed their preference to better understand:
- Operational Transparency - Greater transparency around government processes
- Decision Making - Increased clarity around decision making and resulting outcomes
- Spending & Funding - Improved detail around expenditure, donations and contributions
- Involvement - Improved engagement and better feedback to “close the loop”
- Build Trust - Trust was an overarching theme that emerged across questions. Trust in the government and its intentions was consistently raised and could be improved by improving access and and establishing a better connection to the processes and outcomes of the government.
The findings from the NAP 3 Themes report have been combined with user interviews conducted by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, to inform the design of the NAP3 development process.
A copy of the NAP 3 Themes Report, as well as qualitative and quantitative response data from the quesionniare, can be found here.
You can find further details of the NAP3 development methodology in the papers and minutes of recently held Forum meetings.