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Open Government in Costa Rica

image of Open Government in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the first countries to involve the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state in the design and implementation of its national open government agenda. The OECD Open Government Review of Costa Rica supports the country in its efforts to build a more transparent, participatory, and accountable government as an essential element of its democracy. This review provides an overview of the current national institutions, legal framework, policies and initiatives that underpin the implementation of open government principles, with a focus on policy co-ordination, citizen participation, and open government policies at the local level. It includes a detailed and actionable set of recommendations to help the country achieve its goal of creating an open state.

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Assessment and recommendations

The Republic of Costa Rica is one of the most stable countries in Latin America, with regular democratic elections since 1953 and a lively and competitive political arena. However, despite this generally positive legacy, citizens have become increasingly dissatisfied with the performance of the most recent executives and have come to voice their concerns by demanding significant public sector reforms to improve the transparency and accountability of the executive branch. To try to meet these demands, the current administration made open government one of the key guiding principles of its electoral programme and has included it as the third pillar of the country’s National Development Plan 2015-18. In line with this approach, Costa Rica has developed an ambitious second Open Government Partnership Action Plan for the period of 2015-2017, and in December 2015became one of the first countries worldwide to issue a National Strategy for Open Government.

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