Islamabad — The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has unveiled a new assessment tool to monitor the implementation of Right to Information (RTI) laws worldwide.
The Right to Information Implementation Assessment: Comprehensive Methodology was launched through a presentation at the Paris Peace Forum on 12 November, according to a CLD news release.
The global RTI assessment methodology, which was developed and piloted in Pakistan, is now available online for review and use.
The methodology was prepared after a thorough multi-stakeholder consultative process.
“CLD has been working on the development of this Methodology for two years with support from GIZ and in collaboration with a range of local actors in Pakistan,” said Toby Mendel, the executive director of the centre. “It is wonderful to be launching the Methodology globally now and we are already working on applying it in different countries.”
The CLD stated that the methodology seeks to assess how well different actors are doing in meeting all of the obligations under an RTI law. It covers four main assessment areas. A Central Measures section examines the oversight body, such as an information commission. For individual public bodies that are being assessed, the methodology covers institutional measures taken to promote RTI use, proactive disclosures by the public bodies, and their responsiveness to information requests. Six assessment approaches, including desk reviews and key informant interviews, are suggested in the methodology.
The pilot assessment of the methodology was done in Pakistan for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013.
“The pilot validated the practicality and effectiveness of the Methodology, which has been tweaked to take into account the learning from that exercise,” the CLD news release stated. “CLD encourages anyone who is interested in seeing the Methodology applied in new countries to review the tool on the website and to contact us to explore opportunities for this (assessment).”
The project to develop the comprehensive methodology was one of 100 selected for presentations from among over 700 applicants at the Paris Peace Forum, a global event for governance projects.
At the forum, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai and former chief information commissioner Azmat Hanif Orakzai joined Mr. Mendel and Rosa M. Gonzalez, Deputy Secretary of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication, for a panel discussion on monitoring implementation of RTI laws.