How to Refine and Prioritize Open Government Commitments: A Process Guide

There is no single version of “open government.” Yet in very diverse circumstances, government and civil society leaders engaging citizens to increase transparency and accountability tend to encounter some similar challenges.

In our recent work with five of the 15 cities and states in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) subnational pilot program, we saw an opportunity to provide some targeted guidance to help working teams make the leap from the open-ended, wide-ranging work of gathering citizen feedback and exploring commitment options, to narrowing and prioritizing those options to develop coherent action plans. As we worked shoulder-to-shoulder with OGP partners tackling homelessness in the city of Austin, Texas and streamlining citizen feedback on WhatsApp in the county of Elgeyo Marakwet, Kenya, we observed two challenges that frequently emerged at this key inflection point: 1) Distilling citizens’ top priority needs, and 2) Balancing stakeholders’ ambitions with practical feasibility.

In response to these common challenges, Reboot is pleased to share a new process guide we created specifically for OGP working teams to use as they develop their action plans. This guide supports open government champions in the hard work of refining and prioritizing commitments; it’s designed specifically for working teams as they transition from consultation to commitment development, and is intended for those who have already completed the public consultation process.

The guide, developed in partnership with the Hewlett Foundation, is geared towards creating  multi-stakeholder workshops, but the tools and advice inside can be used in multiple working formats, including one-on-one conversations and workshop series. Inside, you’ll find advice and tips based on Reboot’s practical experience, with questions like:

You can download the PDF of the guide, “Prioritizing & Refining Commitments Toward Open Government,” at this link:

Some working teams may wish to work with this guide as a Word document—allowing you to write directly in-line with the content and tailor it to your specific needs. If you would like a working copy, please email and we will happily share! We are also here to answer any questions you have.

There is no single version of open government. We hope this guide will help more teams work through the common challenges of co-creation—forging true partnership between governments, civil society, and other stakeholders—to deliver open government commitments that are both ambitious and feasible.

Futher reading.