Open Government: A simplified scheme

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #149, February 2016


This is a general (though simplified) scheme of what includes the concept of open government. This is a very broad concept that is general understood as transparency, or accountability. Sometimes it is taken as government 2.0, as the institutionalization of the web 2.0 and politics 2.0. Some other times it is just confused by mere e-government.

But it is much more than that. And here I try to present a first version of an attempt to relate all the concepts that fall under the big umbrella of open government. Please note that all the scheme is open government: what is pictured in the lower left corner, “Open government (meta project)” is how the project itself is presented to the citizen, with its own blog, its own software repository and other institutional relationships with other governments.

The scheme is not comprehensive, but just aims at highlighting the main components.

As for the shapes and colours:

  • Orange rhombuses picture agents: politicians, officers, individual citizens, civil society organizations, and the open government team in a given government.
  • Black rectangles are processes where decisions are made.
  • Green rectangles with the curved lower edge are outputs or presentation of information.
  • Gray cylinders are databases or data silos.

Arrows do not have a very accurate meaning. In general, all links are bi-directional: information flows in both ways. When there is an arrow, it implies that information only flows in the sense of the arrow — this look cleaner that double arrows, which would have populated the whole scheme. But, as said, it is more a way to stress some points (e.g. the politician feeds its Twitter account) rather than being a strong statement.

All comments are more than welcome.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Open Government: A simplified scheme” In ICTlogy, #149, February 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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ICTlogy Review

  • ISSN 1886-5208