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In a context of a global dynamic to open up public administrations, and given the provisions of the 2011 Constitution that are conducive to public governance reforms, Morocco is committed to implement the principles of open government. The OECD defines open government as “a culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation in support of democracy and inclusive growth” (OECD, 2017[1]). Open government is based on the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation. Transparency refers to “the disclosure and subsequent accessibility of relevant government data and information” ; participation “typically refers to the involvement of individuals and groups in designing, implementing and evaluating a project or plan”, and accountability “refers to the government’s responsibility and duty to inform its citizens about the decisions it makes, as well as to provide an account of the activities and performance of the entire government and its officials” (OECD, 2016[2]). Public integrity “refers to the consistent alignment of, and adherence to, shared ethical values, principles and norms for upholding and prioritising the public interest over private interests in the public sector” (OECD, 2017[3]).

Morocco’s commitment to promoting open government is based on a progressive move towards reform, against a background of political liberalisation that started well before what has become known as the Arab Spring of 2011 (OECD, 2015[4]). This reform has been consolidated by the 2011 Constitution which enshrines “citizens’ and participatory democracy” and “the principles of good governance” – principles that gave added impetus to the legal, institutional and policy framework required for open government. In this context, the national government is developing and preparing implementation of a national open government action plan and joined the Open Government Partnership in April 2018. These efforts are being carried out in cooperation with civil society and are coordinated by a mixed inter-ministerial steering committee.

However, although international discussions and those in Morocco on the issue of open government focus first and foremost on the policies and practices of central governments, subnational governments are implementing many open government practices worldwide. For example, in the area of participation, subnational governments are in a privileged position that enables a closer and more direct interaction to take place with their citizens. Indeed, it was through environmental policies and urban and regional planning that citizen participation began to take hold in a number of countries during the 1970s. In this sense, countries are moving more and more to what the OECD describes as an open state. An open state is “when the executive, legislature, judiciary, independent public institutions, and all levels of government - recognising their respective roles, prerogatives, and overall independence according to their existing legal and institutional frameworks - collaborate, exploit synergies, and share good practices and lessons learned among themselves and with other stakeholders to promote transparency, integrity, accountability, and stakeholder participation, in support of democracy and inclusive growth” (OECD, 2017[1]). An open state recognises the important role of subnational governments to promote and implement the principles of open government. Similarly, in order to recognise the key role played by cities and regions in open government reforms, and to promote an integrated approach that involves all levels of government, the Open Government Partnership1 launched a pilot project on subnational governments in 2016, with the participation of 15 subnational governments, including Paris and Madrid, which developed their own open government action plans (OGP, 2017[5]).

Morocco has also recognised the importance of subnational governments in bridging the gap between the public administration and citizens, as set out in the 2011 Constitution. Several Moroccan cities have experimented with participation and transparency practices. In an effort to consolidate these experiences and underscore the value of subnational governments, Morocco has asked the OECD to support open government initiatives at local level through a pilot project with the city of Salé. It is in this light that the current review examines the open government policies and practices of the city of Salé, particularly in relation to transparency, stakeholder participation, integrity and accountability. The review will examine the legal, institutional and policy framework, as well as the open government practices in the municipality of Salé, in order to highlight the most relevant and innovative experiences and identify challenges and opportunities for an open government approach that is sustainable and inclusive. Therefore, the review presents recommendations aimed at strengthening the impact of open government initiatives based on best practices from OECD countries. The review also sets out to share and promote Salé’s experiences by disseminating them throughout Morocco and the MENA region as a whole, as well as among the OECD countries. By focusing on the policies and practices of a local authority, emphasis is placed on the important role played by cities in building trust between people and their governments, and in designing and implementing policies that are as close as possible to the citizens themselves.


[9] City of Edmonton (2017), Open City Initiative, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[10] GIZ (2017), Le Cadre législatif et réglementaire de la gouvernance participative locale.

[8] High Commissioner for Planning (2017), General Population and Housing Census in Morocco 2014, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[14] International Centre for Municipal Development (1999), Local Government Participatory Practices Manual, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[18] l’OBS avec Rue89 (2014), “La carte de (presque) tous les accidents de la route en 2012”, (accessed on 28 May 2018).

[11] Mairie de Paris (2018), La Charte parisienne de la participation est adoptée –, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

[12] Mairie de Paris (2010), Charte Parisienne de la Participation, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

[22] Ministère de l’Intérieur, 2017 (n.d.), Élections,

[15] OECD (2019), Open Government in La Marsa, Sayada and Sfax, OECD,

[3] OECD (2017), Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity, (accessed on 30 January 2018).

[6] OECD (2017), Accompagner les réformes de la gouvernance locale au Maroc : Guide de Bonnes Pratiques.

[7] OECD (2017), Le rôle des élus au sein des collectivités territoriales du Maroc : vers une démocratie locale plus proche des citoyens.

[20] OECD (2017), Recommandation du Conseil sur le Gouvernement Ouvert, (accessed on 19 April 2018).

[1] OECD (2017), Recommendation of the Council on Open Government, (accessed on 19 April 2018).

[2] OECD (2016), Open Government: The Global Context and the Way Forward, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[4] OECD (2015), Open Government in Morocco, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[19] OECD (2013), Regulatory Consultation: A MENA-OECD Practitioners’ guide for engaging stakeholders in the rule-making process, (accessed on 21 March 2018).

[16] OECD (2011), Government at a Glance 2011, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[5] OGP (2017), OGP Local Program | Open Government Partnership, (accessed on 21 March 2018).

[17] Open Knowledge Foundation (2017), Qu’est-ce que l’Open Data?, Open Data Handbook, (accessed on 19 April 2018).

[21] Paris, O. (n.d.), Open Data Portal Paris,

[13] Ville de Dieppe (n.d.), Direction relation aux Citoyens, (accessed on 30 January 2018).


← 1. The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a Steering Committee including representatives of governments and civil society organizations.”

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