Examining Intersections between Open Government and Nonprofit Advocacy: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives about an Emerging Relationship
The International Research Society for Public Management
The creation of open and transparent government has long been a goal of reformers, students of democratic institutions and progressives of all stripes. The argument is that a transparent government is more stable, better functioning and enjoys a higher level of support (Justice, McNutt. & Smith, 2011). The International movement toward open government is a major force in public management (Lathrop & Ruma, 2010). While many in the nonprofit sector would support open government (and have actively advocated for it), the function that is most affected is nonprofit advocacy. Advocates can directly benefit from open government. Information is the lifeblood of nonprofit advocacy and much of the information that advocates require is the target of open government programs (see Berry & Arons, 2002; Libby, 2011; Bass, Arons, Guinane & Carter, 2007). This paper will explore the relationship between nonprofit advocacy and policy making and the movement toward open government. We will develop a theoretical model that describes the relationship between the sector in general and nonprofit advocacy in specific, on the one hand, and open government efforts on the other. We will illustrate the model with empirical findings from a recent study of the use of transparency data by advocates in a single state. In this research we surveyed the population on nonprofits that employed a legislative advocate. The study dealt with the use of information by advocates and the utility of open government/transparency resources for improving the quality of advocacy.
Open Data, Transparency, Advocacy, Nonprofits
McNutt, J.G., Justice, J. & Carter, D. + (2014). Examining Intersections between Open Government and Nonprofit Advocacy: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives about an Emerging Relationship. Paper read at International Research Society For Public Management Conference 2014, Ottawa, Canada.