IIEP Policy Forum on open government to accelerate accountability in education

25 October 2021

Open government initiatives have proliferated in recent years, offering new ways to make decision-making more transparent and inclusive within society-at-large. IIEP-UNESCO’s upcoming Policy Forum on open government in education will provide an important platform for discussion on how to design and implement open government initiatives that can help ensure equitable and quality inclusive education for all.

Join the event

Day 1, Policy Forum on open government in education

Day 2, Policy Forum on open government in education

Day 3, Policy Forum on open government in education

Beginning on 16 November, the IIEP Policy Forum on open government in education (in English, French, and Spanish) will bring together decision-makers, educational planners and managers, researchers, and civil society representatives from across the globe. For three days, the participants will delve into the research findings of IIEP’s multi-year research on open government in education, and hear examples and lessons learned on how to involve citizens in planning and policy cycles.

This IIEP Forum on open policy in the education sector is an event that should not be missed for anyone wishing to understand how to create a dynamic of co-construction, which mobilizes central and local government, citizens, as well as civil society, to solve problems perceived as priorities by education service users and beneficiaries.

- Harilanto Ravelomanantsoa, Founding member and former director of the non-governmental organization, SAHA, in Madagascar 

The Forum’s wide-ranging discussions will explore ways to harness new technologies, involve all citizens – particularly the most vulnerable – in meaningful ways, and better understand the link between open government and accountability in the education sector.

Building on global momentum

Around the world, 55 countries have made nearly 200 commitments to increase transparency, citizen engagement and accountability within their education sector, according to a 2019 assessment conducted by the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Many of these initiatives relate to open data, open policy, open budgeting, open contracting, and social audits and hold much potential for advancing equitable and inclusive education.

Paul Maassen, Chief, Country Support, of OGP remarked ahead of the Policy Forum: “The responses we’ve seen to the COVID-19 crisis exemplify how essential open practices are to our collective human security. Trust, underpinned by inclusion, openness and accountability, must be the basis of driving a lasting and effective response to COVID-19 and reimagining our societies, including the critically important education sector.”

 “This is why the IIEP Policy Forum is significant and why I am so excited to participate. Connecting reformers from both the education and open government communities, sharing country experiences on making education better through, for example, open budgeting, contracting, and data will bring needed synergies and transformative impacts.”

-Paul Maassen, Chief, Country Support, Open Government Partnership

While open government is largely seen as a strong contributor to the fight against corruption, there has been a shortage of literature and general data on its impact. To help fill these gaps, IIEP launched a major international research project in 2018 on open government in education. To date, this has included a literature review, an international survey, six in-depth case studies on open government initiatives, and two thematic studies on parental involvement in school management in India and sub-Saharan Africa.

Now, the research will culminate with the Policy Forum to share new knowledge and experiences, facilitate dialogue with a larger audience, and open the door to further innovations in open government in education.

The panels will focus on how to clarify the concept of open government, how to contribute to better access, quality, and equity in education, and what specific measures can help improve the design, implementation, and impact of open government in the education sector, as well as methods to facilitate citizen engagement and ensure the representation of minority voices.

The event will close with new recommendations for educational decision‐makers and planners on how to further expand this model of governance for the sector. The event will also lay the foundation for forthcoming IIEP synthesis report and guidelines on the implementation of open government initiatives.


The IIEP Policy Forum brings together contributions from a number of partner institutions including India’s National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration and the Centre for Policy Research, the non-governmental organization SAHA in Madagascar, La Contraloria de la Republica in Peru, and the Centro de Estudos Sociais (University of Coimbra) in Portugal.