Latest Features

  • 16 June 2016

    Tunisia breaks down government’s secrecy walls

    By Kouloud Dawahi The author is Common Law, Internet Policy Analyst with IGMENA, “a Hivos programme that brings voices together from the MENA region on Internet Governance and policies.” This article was posted on the IGMENA website June 8 and is reprinted with permission. Public sector information The Internet has played a major role in […]

  • 16 June 2016

    Bangladesh RTI Act: A powerful tool against poverty

    By Shamsul Bari and Ruhi Naz The writers are Chairman, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and Project Coordinator (RTI section) of RIB respectively. Their email is: rib@citech-bd.com. This article first appeared in The Daily Star on June 15and is reprinted with permission, Rezia Khatun, a 36-year-old woman, became destitute after her husband suddenly died. With three […]

  • 9 June 2016

    The FOIA’s Best of Times, The FOIA’s Worst of Times

    By Lauren Harper The author writes a weekly round-us of US FOIA news. Click here to sign up for the weekly FRINFORMSUM email newsletter. Harper works for the National Security Archive, also the parent of FreedomInfo.org. Tom Blanton, the National Security Archive’s Executive Director, recently told a packed house at Columbia School of Journalism’s FOIA @ 50 conference […]

  • 6 June 2016

    The Geospatial Information Bill in India Criticized

    By Debaditvo Sinha The author is Senior Research Fellow with the Public Health and Environmental Justice Initiative at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. This article appeared June 3 on Scroll.in and is reprinted with permission. Original headline: “The Geospatial Information Bill will deal a body blow to environmental democracy in India.” The draft Geospatial Information Regulation […]

  • 6 June 2016

    Why Torontoist is Launching an FOI Column

     By Jessica Smith Cross The author is a staff member of the Torontoist. This June 2 article is reprinted with permission from the Torontoist. As Torontonians, we have a right to know how the Scarborough Subway ridership projections were made. We own the statistics on police carding and can demand to see them to learn what they reveal about […]

  • 26 May 2016

    Nigerian FOI Law Not Effectively Implemented

    Below is the concluding chapter from the April 2016 report by the Carter Center on its examination of selected agencies in Uganda using the Center’s Access to Information Legislation Implementation Assessment Tool, which is described in the report. Nigeria adopted a Freedom of Information law on May 28, 2011 when former President Goodluck Jonathan signed […]

  • 23 May 2016

    Progress, Weaknesses Seen in Ugandan FOI Law Implementation

    Below is the concluding chapter from the April 2016 report by the Carter Center on its examination of selected agencies in Uganda using the Center’s Access to Information Legislation Implementation Assessment Tool, which is described in the report. Overall the findings of the Implementation Assessment Tool reveal that as compared to the initial seven ministries […]

  • 18 May 2016

    India: Evidence Rebuts Attacks on RTI 

    By Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri The writers are members of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information. Their article first appeared May 16 in The Indian Express with the subtitle, “MPs must not run down a law that promises a more informed citizenry.” The Right to Information (RTI) Act has undoubtedly been a […]

  • 18 May 2016

    Bangladesh: A Good Law Gone to Waste?

    By Dr. Shamsui Bari The writer is Chairman of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB). This article, subtitled “Right to Information Act 2009: The role of media,” first appeared in The Daily Star. Media’s power to shape public opinion is succinctly captured in a story from Peru, dating back to the 1990s. Alberto Fujimori was the president of […]

  • 18 May 2016

    Transparency Needed for Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Council

    By Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena The author is a Colombo based civil liberties advocate and a regular contributor to The Sunday Times where this column appeared May 15. In a notably pungent observation at the close of her mission visit to Sri Lanka this month, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers […]

  • 11 May 2016

    Building and Empowering a Global Practitioners Community

    By Nikhil Dey and Aruna Roy The authors lead Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), India. The following article, reprinted with permission, is among 18 articles commissioned by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a consortium of funders. The entire collection is here. Progress From its initial local struggles to the building of a national campaign—which ultimately fueled a broad-based people’s push for […]

  • 11 May 2016

    Analytic Overview of Essays on Transparency and Accountability

    By Thomas Carothers The author is Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C. The following article, reprinted with permission, sums up 18 articles commissioned by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a consortium of funders. References in this article are to the contributions by other authors. The entire collection is here. Second-Generation Guideposts Although the contributors […]

  • 11 May 2016

    RTI and Citizens: Emerging Trends in Pakistan

    By Zahid Abdullah The author is Program Manager for the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives. This article appeared May 8 in The News. One of the core principles of Right to Information (RTI) legislation is that the process of filing information requests should be easy and cost-effective. The logic behind this principle is to facilitate […]

  • 28 April 2016

    China’s FOIA Turns Eight

    By Jamie P. Horsley The author is a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, affiliated with the Kissinger Institute for China and the U.S., on leave from the Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author. May 1 marks the eighth […]

  • 28 April 2016

    New Vietnam Access Law Criticized

    The following report was published by the group Viet Tan (English version, French). “The mission of Viet Tan is to overcome dictatorship, build the foundation for a sustainable democracy, and demand justice and human rights for the Vietnamese people through a nonviolent struggle based on civic participation.” The Access to Information Law, passed on April […]

  • 28 April 2016

    Nigerian Commentary: Freedom of Dis-Information!

    By Eugene Enahoro The author describes himself on Twitter as an “HR & Capacity Development professional who writes Tuesday Column in Daily Trust Newspaper and concerns himself only with important matters.” This opinion article was first published in The Daily Trust. As the nation prepares to celebrate 17 years of uninterrupted civilian rule it’s quite […]

  • 28 April 2016

    When right to information helps the wrong people

    By Shailesh Ghandi This author is a former Indian information commissioner. This commentary was originally published in The Times of India. Recently, a newspaper reported that an information commissioner of the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission (TNSIC) had likened RTI applications to frivolous public interest litigation. TNSIC officials feel that of late, they have been […]

  • 14 April 2016

    Challenges to implementing RTI laws in Asia

    By Gambhir Bhatta The author is Technical Advisor (Governance), Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department at the Asian Development Bank. This article was published on the Asian Development Blog. In recent years there has been one critical instrument to making governments more responsive to citizens in how they provide services – the right to information. […]

  • 14 April 2016

    Is RTI Bill Sri Lanka Leaving Victims Behind?

    By Gehan Gunatilleke The author  is a human rights lawyer based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the Research Director of Verité Research. He is the author of The Right to Information in Sri Lanka: A Guide for Advocates (2014). He is also a Commonwealth scholar at New College, University of Oxford. Follow him on twitter […]

  • 13 April 2016

    Right to Information – Is it catching on in Bangladesh?

    By Shamsul Bari and Ruhi Naz The writers are Chairman, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and Project Coordinator (RTI Section) of RIB, respectively. This article originally appeared April 13, 2016, in The Daily Star. There are different ways to measure how the Right to Information (RTI) regime is working in a country. A common measure is to […]