The aim of this study was to capture citizens’ perceptions on open governance data (OGD) in Uganda, with a view to making prospective open governance initiatives in the country responsive to the needs and aspirations of citizens.
The study revealed that there is a high level of knowledge about open governance in Uganda, as well as great expectations of the benefits which OGD would bring to the country. Numerous benefits were mentioned such as raising accountability by duty bearers, minimising corruption, promoting transparency, encouraging citizen participation in governance, monitoring service delivery and aiding private sector innovation. However, there were also fears about opening up government data, such as misrepresentations and misinformation, increase in violent demonstrations and strikes as backlash from disgruntled citizens, mutiny in the armed forces, as well as the increased administration costs associated with preparing data for open access. These fears need to be managed by both the state and by civil actors advocating open governance in order to convince both citizens and government that OGD is for the good of the country.
This study establishes what we believe is a key reference point that government should build on to roll out OGD, and that civil society can use in advocating and raising awareness about open governance in Uganda.