The World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index 2015 Report has ranked Nigeria 77 out of 102 countries in its ranking of government openness.
Scoring 0.46 where scores range from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating great openness, Nigeria is ranked similarly to Mongolia, Jordan, Belarus and Kenya.
Sweden takes first place scoring 0.81 followed closely by New Zealand and Norway. In fourth to tenth position are Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Korea. The United States occupies 11th on the global ranking.
The WJP Open Government Index 2015 provides scores and rankings on four dimensions of government openness namely:
- Publicised laws and government data which relates to the accessibility of laws and government information without the need for citizen action.
- Right to information which requires citizens to take a further step by actively approaching the government for information.
- Civic participation which requires citizens to take the additional step to request government action, voice concerns or propose solutions to problems that affect them.
- Complaint mechanisms which constitute a minimum condition necessary to ensure that citizens have effective remedies to protect their legal rights.
These four dimensions seek to reflect how people respond to varying degrees of openness in their daily interaction with government officials.
Through the Open Government Index 2015, the WJP joins other previous efforts to produce reliable data on open government. An open government is essentially a government that shares information, empowers people with tools to hold the government accountable and fosters citizen participation in public policy deliberations.
An open government is viewed as a necessary component of any system of government founded in democracy and the rule of law. The Index is a report which measures government openness in practice based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country experts worldwide.
The Index is based on actual experiences which aim to enhance efforts to evaluate the extent to which countries provide official information to their citizens, encourage community involvement and improve government responsiveness.
Unlike other such efforts which focus on laws and books, the Index highlights the perspectives of ordinary people as they interact with their governments which introduces a new element to discussions on open government. This makes the Index a useful tool for informing policy debates within and across countries.
Seventy eight (78) questions were used to compute data mapping and open government weights and answers were drawn from a representative sample of 1000 respondents in the three largest cities per country and a set of in-country practitioners and academics. In Nigeria, Lagos, Oyo and Kano were covered in 2013. Polling was done by the Marketing Support Consultancy and surveys were face-to-face.
In addition to the written report, an interactive platform for country-specific WJP Open Government Index data is available at http://data.worldjusticeproject.org/opengov/. The interactive data site invites viewers to browse global, regional and income group rankings, of each of the 102 country profiles; scores, perspectives from across the world, the Index’s entire dataset and selected survey questions and responses by country, gender and income breakdowns.
The Index is a reliable and independent data source to assess the openness of government as perceived and experienced by the ordinary person.