Chilean CSO Request System Successful, Research Says

17 March 2014

Requests for municipal information in Chile that were made through an automated system run by the civil society group Ciudadano Inteligente were more likely to get positive results than requests submitted through normal channels, according to research by Cristobal Marshall.

Ciudadano Inteligente several years ago launched http://www.accesointeligente.org/, an online FOIA liaison platform that has aimed to increase the number of FOI requests, secure the right to anonymity when submitting them, and develop a database of requests.

The results of the study indicate a response rate 12.4 percentage points higher when requests were sent through accesso inteligente. The effect was not seen in municipalities that had adopted their own automated systems

A separate report analyzed usage of the accesso inteligente system in depth and makes recommendations.

The report, also by Marshal, found savings in time and resources to both users and receiving organizations. “We also found suggestive evidence than the repository helped them to better structure their requests.”

Improvements were suggested to improve communication between users and the receiving organization, to facilitate monitoring, and to strengthen the repository.

The studies (both here) were funded by Open Society Foundations.

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