By Riby Rachel Mathew (CEPT University, Gujarat India) |
Information transparency is an essential tool of public institutions to inculcate democratic legitimacy, accountability, public trust, institutional effectiveness, and engagement with citizens to govern. While in recent times, cities have been deploying digital technologies to improve governance and to promote citizen-driven city-making through the use of ‘Open Data’. In this digital era, Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives have become vital for public institutions to promote informed decision making, to ensure transparency in governance, etc. In this context, the study aimed to explore the relationship between information transparency and citizen participation in the urban governance realm. The case study has been carried out in Kerala India, as Kerala is a state having an institutionalized system for participatory planning and also integrated Community Based organizations into the local planning system. The study reveals multiple forms of transparency exist, based on the nature of information and mode of information, and the degree of citizen participation is determined by various socio-political and economical factors. Therefore, “Open Government Data” programmes of the public institutions are merely a technology-driven application and don’t foster citizen participation, rather nurturing new business models in govt data extraction.