Metrics of Open Government in Mexican Fisheries
Given the failure of existing top-down policy solutions to reverse the deterioration of fisheries in Mexico, it is necessary to have measurements that assesses government-society relationship in the construction of public policies that promote a healthy marine environment, while ensuring the social welfare of fishers. This is part of a move to implement an open government perspective to fisheries management based on transparency and public participation.
This paper presents the use of metrics tools on Open Government in Mexican Fisheries. A first tool is the Transparency Index of Fisheries Policy, which monitors the progress on access to information on fisheries policy. It contains four indicators that assess the compliance with legal requirements on transparency, access information as service to users, quality and usefulness of the information for policy accountability, and adoption of best practices on open data on fisheries policy.
The second tool is the Index of Citizen Participation in Fisheries and Aquaculture. This index represents an x-ray of the state of citizen participation within the formal mechanisms of participation in Mexican public policy: the Fisheries and Aquaculture Councils. It is composed of variables that analyze the norms and the operation of the Councils based on good governance criteria: inclusion of actors, impact on the decision-making process, autonomy of the participation spaces and transparency and accountability.
The two tools were implemented together, as part of a strategy to promote transparency and citizen participation in the fisheries sector by civic organizations. As such, they test the premise that the act of measuring with specific governance metrics enhances civic society advocacy capabilities directed to influence governmental agencies in implementing a more inclusive and transparent public policies in natural resource management.