World Bank Previews Study of RTI Law Implementation

19 November 2014

The World Bank Nov. 19 previewed a detailed analysis of the factors that determine effective implementation of right to information laws,

The  analysis is based on a closer look at 12 case studies done over the last several years by the Bank. Analysts coded the information from the studies to isolate factors that influenced implementation effectiveness. The report is expected out next week, but was previewed at a webinar (hear recording).

The study is another step in a World Bank effort to encourage better implementation of right to information laws. (See previous report.) The work is being done primarily by Stephanie E. Trapnell, a Bank specialist in open government and accountability.

The analysis may be the basis for future evaluations in 5-10 countries, funding permitting.

The researchers identified four “domains of RTI implementation:

– enabling conditions,

– demand for information,

– administrative operations, and

– oversight.

 These domains are further expanded. For example, the “drivers of effectiveness” for “administrative operations” are listed as:

  • intra-governmental collaboration;
  • updated, formal practices;
  • staffing levels;
  • staff capacity (training and resources); and
  • staff incentives.

Two “magnifier effects” were discussed: state society collaboration engagement that isn’t adversarial and technology.

The Bank researchers feel that the administrative operations area is the top priority.

The research has also explored what should be measured, with three main areas identified:

– the plumbing,

– compliance or performance, and

– impact.

With regard to “outcomes,” the study broke it down into three categories:

  • responsiveness to demands for information
  • the strategic use of RTI to establish accountability measures and improve operation efficiency, and
  • and the institutionalization of information access and improved development outcomes
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