Latest Features

  • 18 December 2014

    Zambia Promises but no Action: 12 years waiting and still counting

    By Edem Djokotoe The author is a Ghanaian journalist and media consultant.  This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Zambia’s Access to Information Bill is currently in limbo, three years after the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government promised to enact […]

  • 11 December 2014

    From Open Data to a Right to Data

    The following article is reprinted from the Worldwide Web Foundation website where it appeared Dec. 9. For more information, contact Savita Bailur, savita.bailur@webfoundation.org FreedomInfo.org is interested in your reactions to this article. Please send comments to freeinfo@gwu.edu. “Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability,” says a new UN report. We couldn’t […]

  • 11 December 2014

    Zimbabwe: Time for Constructive Engagement

    By Jacqueline Chikakano The author is Legal officer, MISA–Zimbabwe. This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Zimbabwe is currently led by an elected government that came into power after the July 31, 2013 elections following the unity government that had […]

  • 11 December 2014

    Access to Information as a tool for the sustainable development of roads in Uganda

    By Sam Mutabazi The author is Executive Director of Uganda Road Sector Support Initiative (URSSI). This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Information exchange is vital in setting the development agenda of a country. Governments that are liberal in sharing […]

  • 2 December 2014

    Starting and Sustaining a Youth Movement for FOI

    By Jeff Crisostomo The author is the Founding Convener of the FOI Youth Initiative (FYI) in the Philippines. The FOI Youth Initiative (FYI) is a national network of more than two hundred Filipino youth and student organizations that call for transparency, accountability, and participation in government through the immediate passage of the People’s Freedom of Information Act. […]

  • 26 November 2014

    Tanzania in Yet Another Lost Century

    By Deus Kibamba The author is Executive Director, Tanzania Citizens’ Information Bureau. This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Despite a strong history of pan– Africanism and being one of the first countries to embrace open competitive elections, the […]

  • 26 November 2014

    Rwanda’s commitment to transparency, a key to development

    By Wakesho Kililo The author works for Article 19 – Eastern Africa. This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Rwanda has ratified all African Union treaties that promote the right to information, except the African Charter on the Values […]

  • 20 November 2014

    New Tool Examines Jamaica’s Development Projects

    By Carole Excell and Stephanie Ratte The authors work for World Resources Institute. Excell is Project Director of WRI’s Access Initiative. Ratte is Project Coordinator/Research Analyst with the Governance of Forests Initiative. Portland Bight (PBPA) is Jamaica’s largest protected area, extending more than 200 square miles of land and 524 miles of sea. The region is home to […]

  • 19 November 2014

    Private Bodies Carrying Out Public Functions

    The following is a chapter from the third “International Survey of Information Commissioners,” conducted by the Centre for Freedom of Information, University of Dundee, Scotland. Responses were provided by 53 commissioners or ombudsman in 33 countries. (See FreedomInfo.org report.) In the last survey we noted that “increasingly a number of public functions and services, such […]

  • 13 November 2014

    Nigeria: a case of progressive implementation

    By Edetaen Ojo and Ann Iyonu Ojo is Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda.  Iyonu is Program Officer, The Right to Information Initiative (R2K), Nigeria. This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Apart from the African Charter on Values and Principles of Public […]

  • 13 November 2014

    Namibia Imprisoned in a Secrecy System

    By Natasha H. Tibinyane The author is National Director of  MISA Namibia.  This is a chapter in a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The Government of Namibia is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and has also ratified the African […]

  • 12 November 2014

    Latin American Countries Make OGP Access Commitments

    By Jesse Franzblau The following is an excerpt from a summary prepared by Jesse Franzblau for the Open Government Partnership Civil Society Hub blog. The article reviews the commitments made by the 17 OGP member countries in Latin America in their national action plans. This section, minus footnotes and some lovely formatting, describes the access […]

  • 6 November 2014

    Malawi Political Delays vs. Civil Society Initiatives

    By Michael Kaiyatsa The author is Training and Research Coordinator, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation.  This is a chapter in a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Malawi has demonstrated exceptional leadership in terms of ratification of African Union treaties that recognize the […]

  • 6 November 2014

    Mozambique Parliament Makes an Important Step on RTI

    By Alfredo Libombo The author is Executive Director, ACREDITAR, Mozambique. This is a chapter in a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The Republic of Mozambique has demonstrated political commitment to accountability on the basis of African treaties. The government has ratified five of the […]

  • 4 November 2014

    China’s Leaders Endorse Disclosure as the `Norm’

    By Jamie P. Horsley The author is Executive Director, The China Law Center and Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School In an important policy decision adopted at the conclusion of a four-day plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee from October 20-23, the Party endorsed disclosure as the norm, with non-disclosure as the […]

  • 29 October 2014

    Court Finds Database Redaction Too Burdensome

    By Harry Hammit Hammit is publisher of Access Reports, a bi-monthly report on U.S. and Canadian freedom of information legal developments. A ruling by Judge Rudolph Contreras finding that personally identifying information contained in several FTC complaint databases is protected by Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy), while almost certainly correct based on case law interpretation, […]

  • 29 October 2014

    Getting Serious About Protecting Access to Public Email

    By Emily Shaw The author is National Policy Manager at the Sunlight Foundation and oversees its state and local policy work. This article was published Oct. 21 on the Sunlight blog. Our legally-protected access to public email records — the most voluminous source of official written records — is failing. Broward County, Fla. charging journalists […]

  • 23 October 2014

    Kenya: Clear Need to Respect the Right of Access to Information

    By Riva Jalipa The author is Legal Officer, ARTICLE 19–Eastern Africa. This is a chapter in a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The violence that followed the 2007 general elections triggered wide–ranging debates and changes that form the basis of Kenya’s reform agenda today. […]

  • 23 October 2014

    Liberia: Law Implementation and Exclusion of Access

    By Malcolm Joseph The author is Executive Director, Center for Media Studies and Peace Building.  This is a chapter in the recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Liberia is struggling to rebuild after 15 years of civil war in the 90s and 2000s. In […]

  • 21 October 2014

    Analyzing FOI Law Compliance in Four Nigerian Agencies

    This report is reprinted from the website of the Cleen Foundation. To download the full report, visit www.cleen.org In March 2014, the Access Nigeria (AccessNG) project trained and deployed 12 representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) to collaboratively access information from the government agencies at the fore of the fight against corruption and trans-national organized crimes […]