"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be."
Lord Kelvin

Transparency and Integrity: The Online Presence of Hungarian Municipalities. Analysis of urban municipalities’ websites in Hungary – 2018

 

11 March 2019

Transparency and Integrity: The Online Presence of Hungarian Municipalities. Analysis of urban municipalities’ websites in Hungary – 2018

Results of a joint research program with Budapest Institute

The transparency of the operation of the local governments and the follow-up of their decision-making process by the citizens are very important to achieve good governance. It is vital that citizens should easily access the data concerning the decisions made by their local governments, the background studies, and the preparatory reports for the decisions and concepts.

In addition, responsibility is also crucial at the political and professional decisions made by the local governments. Not only are the publication of the following year’s budget or data on public procurement decisions relevant, or, whether the citizens can find them on the website, but also whether these documents indicate or not the name of their authors or decision-makers. It is not only important whether the data concerning the budget or public procurements appear on the local governments’ websites, but also whether the decision-makers “give their face” to these decisions, and the citizens could reach the decision-makers through the local government websites.

The present study summarizes the results of a content analysis of town websites of the Hungarian towns investigating their transparency. As in the 21st century the internet has become the most commonly used means of communication among individuals, particualry, as a means to search for information about politics, what a local government uploads to its website says a lot about its quality. If a government functions well – so they have nothing to hide – then every important piece of information will be on its homepage.

 

The report in English (pdf)

Summary in Hungarian (pdf)

Datatables (csv)