AXESS Acquisition of Key Competences for Economic and Social Sustainability

Awareness Raising on Open Government


Awareness Raising on Open Government

Open Government, digital citizenship, online learning, OER, MOOCs



This module introduces the concept of open government as a precondition for modern democracy. Openness of government gives chance to citizens to participate in policymaking and it creates opportunities for governments to build trust to governments. Traditional ways of interacting with government are changing due to the introduction of modern technologies. Use of ICT can promote social inclusion but on the other hand it can depend the digital divide. Since today´s world is becoming more digital - digital literacy is precondition for better employment, education, civic engagement, leisure and entertainment, it is important to ensure equal access to ICT as well as to digital skills. According to the UN decision, it is necessary to promote enjoyment of human rights also on internet. Digital skills are also a good starting point for lifelong learning - either by using OER, open education resources, or enrolling a full course, for example at one of leading US universities, that are accessible also for public and are called MOOC, massive open online courses.


• Understand the development of the concept of transparent, participative and collaborative society, improve your ability as a citizen to participate in government proceedings. • See that basic digital skills are necessary in order to live, work, learn and participate in the modern society • Know various possibilities how to learn on one's own – with help of MOOCs and OER • Understand the development of the concept of transparent, participative and collaborative society, improve your ability as a citizen to participate in government proceedings.
• See that basic digital skills are necessary in order to live, work, learn and participate in the modern society
• Know various possibilities how to learn on one's own – with help of MOOCs and OER

 Contents in bullet points
Unit 1: Open Government on Internet

• Why should we care about open government
• What is open government in practice
• Benefits of opening the government - for citizens, businesses, government services
• How to get an open government
• Open government and technology

Unit 2: Right to Digital Skills

• Digital social inclusion and exclusion
• Internet as a human right?
• United Nations: Internet and digital skills are important!
• More digital skills - more public participation?

Unit 3: Learning in Digital Age

• LLL (lifelong learning) and you
• Online learning - advantages and disadvantages
• Online learning - using OER or MOOC, what are they



Awareness raising on Open Government

Unit 1: Open government on internet Unit 1: Open government on internet


Definition  Definition

Open Government: a culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation in support of democracy and inclusive growth.

OECD, 2017 ( )

Video - From Open Government to Open State


Why should we care about open government?

Open government benefits us all. In the end the governments can become efficient and responsive, ultimately improving citizens’ lives. And this is why we all should care J


What is open government in practice?  What is open government in practice?

Every citizen should feel safe when they speak about the state. It also means allowing the media the freedom to cover the hot topics of the day in an honourable way.
All branches of government should be able to receive feedback from the public.
Openness means that we know how and why decisions were made. It can be a decision in parliament, by the government administration, or by the courts. For that, we need government information, specifically in the areas of natural resources, law, environment, the economy, and the education system. We need to understand how the systems behind that information work.
In an open government, the public procurement process is quick, and there is clear and accessible information on why a particular provider was chosen.
Lastly, an open government is one where there is diversity and broad representation across the public service with regard to women, minorities, or marginalised groups.


Open government is a precondition for democracy today! It is built on  transparent processes, accountability and access to information!


What do we get when we open the government?  What do we get when we open the government?

When the government opens up and communicates, people can understand the decision-making processes. When people understand the government, they can  participate. When they participate, they can contribute to better policies and services from the government.

There is evidence, that greater public participation can

- improve public services (such as education, health, water...),

- improve business environment (to attract investment, open data can be a source for commercial information service and create jobs...),
- lower the corruption,
- make public procurement more efficient (have more offers and get lower prices),
- increase public trust in governments (which has been falling down rapidly recently).


How to get an open government?  How to get an open government?

In 2011, eight countries (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, UK, USA – the Obama administration) started an initiative called Open Government Partnership (OGP). Its aim is to bring together the government actors and civil society so that they can better collaborate on the biggest challenges facing public policy: human rights, global environmental change, fighting corruption, universal access to knowledge.

In essence, the open government movement is about empowering citizens in the distribution and allocation of public resources.

Today, there are around 100 participating countries and towns. They make and implement action plans. For example, in Slovakia it is the Office of the plenipotentiary responsible for the development of the civil society who drives the Open Government initiative. The main themes for years 2017-2019 are:

  • Open information
  • Open education
  • Open science
  • Government open for a dialogue
  • Open justice


Open government and technology  Open government and technology

Digital tools enable greater openness and also greater participation.

The technology – internet, smartphones, social media and access to real-time information change the way how services are delivered. Businesses react to these trends quickly. People then expect also governments to change their ways of interactions with citizens and make them more efficient, using ICT (information and communication technology).

However, we must bear in mind that not everybody has access to internet and has necessary skills.

Unit 2: Right to digital skills Unit 2: Right to digital skills


Right to digital skills  Right to digital skills

Digital competence is one of key competences necessary for lifelong learning.

It is about using ICT - information and communication technologies that today play key role in

employment, education,  civic engagement,  leisure and  entertainment.


Digital social inclusion or exclusion?  Digital social inclusion or exclusion?

On the one hand, people who lack digital competence risk social, economic and political exclusion
On the other hand, digital technology can help with inclusion of some disadvantaged groups (poorer, handicapped) by enabling social contacts, improving access to services, and employ people who can work only from from home



Internet as a human right?  Internet as a human right?

... the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression wrote that:

    “access to the Internet is not only essential to enjoy the right to freedom of expression, but also other rights, such as the right to education, the right to freedom of association and assembly, the right to full participation in social, cultural and political life and the right to social and economic development.“

So internet is not a human right but it may be one of the ways how to exercise your human rights...

Videos on Human Rights and digital literacy:

United Nations: Internet and digital skills are important!

In 2016 the United Nations adopted a special Statement on The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet  (linked to Article 19 on fredom of expression and opinion / The Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

that among others says:

... that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression...;
... that the global and open nature of the Internet makes it a driving force in achieving progress, including the Sustainable Development Goals;
... that quality education plays a decisive role in development, and therefore calls upon all States to promote digital literacy and to facilitate access to information on the Internet.


More digital technology – more public participation?  More digital technology – more public participation?

Despite the challenges that using of digital technology brings (like security, privacy, hate speech...), it is becoming an important means of public participation. The concept of digital citizenship is developing.

What actually is public participation?

- voting, political petitions and protests,

- representation on local health and social care bodies, school boards;

- participation in campaign groups; or

- financial or in-kind donations to charity.

Digital technology can for example help in:

making access to large amount of information
providing platform where Internet users may report a problem in the street that needs to be fixed – for example, dumped rubbish, damaged street signs, or broken street lamps
using online social networks as easy platforms and voice for marginalised groups
organising online petition and campaign platforms (eg when a certain proposal collects 100 000 signatures, it goes to a parliament debate)
providing communication channels

Unit 3: Learning in Digital Age Unit 3: Learning in Digital Age


learning in digital AGE  learning in digital AGE

In 2005 IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations, adopted the so-called Alexandria Proclamation on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning.

Paraphrased in today´s language, it says that:

Digital Literacy is at the core of lifelong learning. It empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, professional and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations.



We believe that it is both, our right and obligation to become digitally competent and there are many ways to do it.


LLL and you  LLL and you

Internet and digital technology offer a lot of possibilities to learn. Does it mean that we will not need teachers any more?

NO, digital technology is just a help. In e-learning courses a good moderator of discussions or a tutor is needed. Also, there are skills that you cannot learn over the internet...

BUT you can learn a lot on your own. Since you are reading this, you are on the advantageous side of the digital divide with an access to huge knowledge base on the internet. Search the internet for OERs and MOOCs, for various tutorials and get the best out of it!

And you can do it all your life – it is lifelong learning J, LLL


Online learning (web-based learning, e-learning)  Online learning (web-based learning, e-learning)


What are OERs?  What are OERs?

OPEN – they can be freely used by anybody if they are publicly available and have a „stamp“ of open license

EDUCATION – have educational content, can be used by teachers, students, general public for learning, they provide access to knowledge.

RESOURCEs – notes, lesson plans, textbooks, videos, tests, assignments in any medium.

The idea behind is that if they are created with public money, they should be freely available. Eg. If the Ministry of Education pays an author for writing a school textbook, it should be freely available also in electronic version.


What are MOOCs?  What are MOOCs?

If you prefer to do a full course online, you can choose from a number of options – paid online courses, free tutorials or join a MOOC, a massive open online course.

They are today offered by top universities and if you don´t need a certificate from the course, you can go through the course for free. Watch out for the calendar and dates!

The biggest challenge of these courses is the self-discipline and motivation. According to some studies, only 10% of those who enroll, also finish the course...

M massive – a large number of people can study at the same time, from all over the world

O open – free to anyone, free study materials

O online – accessible from anywhere with internet

C course – structured knowledge, under guidance

For example:

For example

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site and its contents reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.