Open Government Partnership

Looking back, and moving forward

June 4, 2021 by 2 Comments | Category Uncategorized

Over on our Twitter this week, we’ve been sharing some of the highlights of what we delivered during our 2nd Open Government Action Plan. We’ve covered lots of ground, with successes right across our five action plan commitments. You can read about these in the twitter thread.

Looking to the future

Our thoughts have now turned to our next National Action Plan. We’re keen to build on the successes of our previous plans, and we also recognise that it’s important for this plan to support Scotland’s recovery and renewal from Covid. And as always, it’s important to us that the action plan reflects the priorities of the public.

We’ve therefore reviewed recent public engagement exercises to understand what’s important to people in Scotland as we emerge from the public health emergency of the last year. Using this evidence, alongside the Scottish Government’s Renewal priorities, we’ve identified five themes which appeared repeatedly . We think these may form the main themes of our next Open Government Action Plan.

Our themes are:

  • Participation in decision making
  • Data and technology
  • Financial Transparency
  • Health and Social Care
  • Climate Change

You can read more about the themes below.

Get involved

On Monday (7th June), we’ll be launching an ideas challenge. This is a great opportunity to get involved in our Action Plan creation right at the start. We want to hear your ideas for what “good” would look like in each of these thematic areas.

Think about Open Government as improving “how government works” – the aim is that we are all able to understand the work of government, to influence it effectively and be able to hold government to account.

What would you want to see us doing in each of these areas in order for that to happen?

The challenge will go live here at 8am on Monday – don’t miss your chance to take part!

Participation in decision making

  • How can people get involved in decisions which will affect them?
  • What does genuine public involvement in decision making look like?
  • How can deliberation work  locally and in communities work most inclusively?
  • How can an Under 16s Citizens Assembly work most inclusively?

Data and technology

  • These are everywhere in our lives – how do we ensure data is accessible and its use accountable and ethical?
  • On what issues do people want data to be collected or published differently?
    • For example, intersectional data; protected characteristics
  • In what areas do people have the most concern about ethical data use?
  • How can we most inclusively engage with people on the issue of ethical data use?

Financial Transparency

  • It’s important that people are able to see how public money comes in and goes out, and what impact spending has.
  • In what areas do people find it hard to follow the money?
    • For example, at local or regional level? Any specific services?
  • What do people need in order to understand this, and how can government communicate better?
  • What could help people ‘follow the money’ for increased investment in the NHS, social care and a new National Care Service?
  • How can we most inclusively develop approaches to financial issues that people have told us are important to them?
    • For example, minimising tax evasion and avoidance; incentivising good employment practices via the tax system; intersectional budget analysis

Health and Social Care

  • There are big changes planned for Health and Social Care over the next few years. How can we make it easier for people to understand and get involved in changes?
  • How can we best engage with peoples’ priorities for the new National Care Service?
  • How can we best engage with peoples’ priorities around the use of apps for people to access health services?
  • How can we best engage with peoples’ priorities around the Women’s Health Plan, to improve care and reduce health inequalities for women and girls?
  • What do people need in order to understand these changes?

Climate Change

  • How can we enable and support people to understand and get involved in climate change action?
  • What do people need in order to understand the issue, and to engage where there are opportunities to do so?
  • How can we most inclusively engage people in the process of becoming a Net Zero nation?
  • Where do people want more or different opportunities for engagement and shaping decision making on climate change?


  • Alison Hosie says:

    Is this correct that the opportunity to respond is only open for a week? Participation – a key focus of this engagement – comes from giving people reasonable opportunity to respond. These are hugely important questions to give considered responses to. A week does not afford that. Many who want to respond on behalf of their organisation would require a week to get approval.

    • Madeleine Fleming says:

      Hi Alison – we’re delighted that you’re interested in getting involved, we’d love to have you take part in this conversation! This is just the first step in our co-creation process. This exercise is intended to give the general public an opportunity to kick off this conversation, and will additionally help to inform a series of workshops we’re running with a representative group of the public.

      We will be engaging with Civil Society organisations over a longer period, in theme-specific discussions. If your organisation would like to be involved in these conversations, please get in touch with us ( and we can make sure you’re involved.

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