Open government is defined by the OECD as “a culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation in support of democracy and inclusive growth”. The concept is based on the idea that citizens and the public should be enabled to see, understand, contribute to, monitor, and evaluate public decisions and actions. Open government can increase the legitimacy of public decision making and improve its outcomes, by informing and involving citizens - including those usually underrepresented - and by answering to people’s real needs. In the long term, open government reforms can help foster trust in government and reinforce democracy.

Brazil is recognised as a regional leader in the area of open government thanks to the design of innovative initiatives, including the first participatory budget in the city of Porto Alegre in 1989, its ambitious national transparency agenda, and its role as a founder of the Open Government Partnership in 2011. In 2019, Brazil adhered to the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Open Government, demonstrating the country’s commitment to the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation.

In order to continue making progress towards an integrated open government agenda, the Brazilian government requested the support of the OECD in identifying the strengths and opportunities for improvement of its current strategies and initiatives. The OECD Open Government Review of Brazil takes stock of past reform efforts, analyses the present scenario and provides a path for Brazil in the short, medium, and long term. This Review provides an evidence-based assessment of the country’s frameworks for and governance of open government reforms and their implementation against the ten provisions of the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Open Government (2017). It is also the first OECD Open Government Review to integrate a civic space perspective, recognising the importance of promoting and protecting fundamental democratic rights for a successful open government agenda. This Review benefitted from more than 40 interviews with governmental and non-public stakeholders, data collected through questionnaires answered by 52 public institutions at the Federal and subnational levels and 24 non-public stakeholders, and extensive desk research by the OECD Secretariat.

Brazil has a long history of implementing the pillars of open government, delivering important results, and resulting in a comparatively mature governance architecture for open government. The Review identifies opportunities to further integrate the open government agenda and suggests that the adoption of a Federal Open Government Strategy can support Brazil in setting a vision, objectives, and a narrative for the medium and long term. Ultimately, the Strategy could constitute an opportunity to broaden the understanding of open government by fully embracing the protection of civic space as an enabler for it and by linking open government reforms more directly with the improvement of citizens’ trust in public institutions and strengthening Brazil's democracy. The OECD Open Government Review of Brazil includes key actions for Brazil to consider in the coming years to strengthen its open government initiatives at the Federal level, including in the areas of transparency and open data, citizen and stakeholder participation, social accountability and the protection of the civic space.

The Open Government Review Brazil builds on the OECD’s historically strong relationship with Brazil as a key partner and now accession candidate country. It is part of a broader co-operation agreement between the OECD and Brazil on improving public governance, including on public sector integrity, the function of the centre of government, digital government, and public sector innovation. The OECD looks forward to further collaboration with Brazil on effective public services and trust in public institutions, and stands ready to support the implementation of the recommendations presented in this review to continue improving open government in the country. This document was approved by the Public Governance Committee via written procedure on 2 June 2022 and prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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