Latest Features

  • 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 […]

  • 13 April 2016

    Right to Information and Blackmailing

    By Er Irfan Ali Banka The author was working as Junior Engineer (Civil) for the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir “but felt it necessary to resign on 29th of January, 2016, because of huge corruption in the departments.” I work as a Social/RTI Activist. I am Founder & Secretary, In-Minds Society (J&K) and also District Coordinator, […]

  • 6 April 2016

    Dostup do Pravdy: the secret of FOI success

    This article was originally posted April 1 on the website of mySociety, the UK NGO that developed the FOI software Alaveteli. Last week, Ukrainian Freedom of Information site Dostup do Pravdy processed its 10,000th FOI request. That’s pretty impressive, given that they launched just a couple of years ago, in 2014. We offer hearty congratulations to the Dostup […]

  • 30 March 2016

    Digital Bangladesh – Right to information and climate finance

    By Saleemul Huq The author is Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University, Bangladesh. This article originally appeared in Business on March 30. As Bangladesh and the world enters post-2015 era with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Sendai Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) – […]

  • 24 March 2016

    OGP Has Failed as Platform for FOI in The Philippines

    By Nepomuceno Malaluan The author is a Trustee of Action for Economic Reforms (AER), an independent policy analysis and advocacy organization working on macroeconomic and governance issues. He is also Co-Director of the Institute for Freedom of Information, a partnership program of AER and the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism, and Co-Convener of the Right […]

  • 24 March 2016

    J&K Government Failing to Implement RTI Act Effectively

    By Er Irfan Ali Banka The author was working as Junior Engineer (Civil) in J&K REW, Govt. of J&K “but felt it necessary to resign on 29th of January, 2016, because of huge corruption in the departments.” I work as a Social/RTI Activist. I am Founder & Secretary, In-Minds Society (J&K) and also District Coordinator, J&K […]

  • 16 March 2016

    Federal Agencies Fail to File Key Report on Email Management

    By Lauren Harper The author is a staff member of the National Security Archive, the publisher of FreedomInfo.org, which published this report March 14. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of the Treasury’s Comptroller, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are among a handful of agencies that have already admitted they will not meet […]

  • 16 March 2016

    Next Step: Reconciling 2 US FOIA Reform Bills

    By Nate Jones The author is the Director of the Freedom of Information Act Project for the National Security Archive, the publisher of FreedomInfo.org. Proving again that the Freedom of Information Act may be the last bastion of bipartisanship in Washington DC, Senators Patrick Leahy, John Cornyn, and Chuck Grassley today marked Sunshine Week by passing the […]

  • 10 March 2016

    Will RTI Ever Be Promulgated in Tanzania?

    By Deus Kibamba The author is trained in Political Science, International Politics and International Law. This article first appeared The Citizen. There are things worthy of not forgetting in life. One of such very memorable landmarks during the Fourth Phase government of Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is his 10-year promise to legislate for the right […]

  • 22 February 2016

    China Promotes Open Government as it Seeks to Reinvent Its Governance Model

    By Jamie P. Horsley The author is a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, on leave from the Yale Law School China Center. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author. China’s recent actions under Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping at home and abroad have prompted many observers to […]

  • 22 February 2016

    Does FOI Work? An Academic Review

    By Ben Worthy, Peter John and Matia Vannoni The following is an excerpt from a larger paper that shows FOIA requests to be more effective than informal inquiries in small government entities in the United Kingdom. The paper: “Transparency at the Parish Pump: A Field Experiment to Measure the Effectiveness of Freedom of Information Requests,” […]

  • 15 February 2016

    Where is transparency in the hype cycle?

    By Rupert Simons The author is the chief executive office of Publish What You Fund. This column first appeared Feb. 11, 20 2016 in the PWFP blog. Development fashions go through predictable stages. At first, breathless blog posts proclaim the idea: budget support, microfinance, laptops. Soon, governments and funders are jumping over themselves to adopt […]

  • 4 February 2016

    Access Should Be Granted to Indian`356’ Reports

    By Venkatesh Nayak The author is Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. The border State of Arunachal Pradesh in the northeastern corner of India in the news again – for all the wrong reasons – again. For several weeks crisis had been brewing over the existence or the lack of majority support […]

  • 3 February 2016

    Right to Information – A catalyst for change in Bangladesh

    By Shamsul Bari and Ruhi Naz The authors are Chairman, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and Project Coordinator (RTI section) of RIB respectively. This article originally appeared in The Daily Star. Talking to citizen’s groups in different parts of the country recently, two things came out clearly. One, there is a slow but steady increase in […]