After one year, the UK Open Government Forum now has over 600 members. The platform was established by Involve in November 2014 on behalf of the UK Open Government Network (OGN). It aims to help coordinate work on the Open Government Partnership (OGP), and build and support the open government movement in the UK.
The Open Government Forum facilitates discussion groups focused on specific topics — e.g. open data, civil participation, and open contracting — and regions — e.g. Northern Ireland and Scotland. According to Tim Hughes, Open Government Programme Manager at Involve and UK Open Government Civil Society Network coordinator, its members include representatives from charities, think tanks, campaign groups, NGOs, small businesses and governments.
Anyone can join the Forum, though membership of some groups is restricted — e.g. only to civil society.
Future plans for the Forum are to continue to build its membership, and turn it into a hub for discussions on topics linked to transparency, participation and accountability.
The UK Open Government Network (OGN) is a coalition of transparency, participation and accountability advocates, Hughes explains.
The OGN collaborates with and challenges governments in the UK to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms through the UK's membership of the OGP.
The Open Government Forum is based on an open-source platform called Lumen, which was developed by the New Economics Foundation specifically for the purpose of supporting collaboration between civil society organisations. It is a cross between a social network and conventional e-mail list. It can be used by members to send group messages directly from their e-mail account, or members can sign in to the platform to access additional features.