11 July 2018,
The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has been working closely with the Information Commissions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces in Pakistan to develop a sophisticated, comprehensive methodology for assessing the quality of implementation of right to information (RTI) laws. Although the methodology is being designed in Pakistan, it will be easy to adapt it for other jurisdictions.
“This is groundbreaking development work in the area of the right to information,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director, CLD.“It is really exciting to be able to work with the Information Commissions and other stakeholders in Pakistan on something that will hopefully have global application.”
The impetus for preparing this methodology has come in part from Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 16.10.2, which looks at whether States have adopted and implemented right to information legislation. The RTI Ratingprovides us with an accurate assessment of the first part of this – namely the adoption of RTI legislation – and this methodology supplements that by assessing implementation. The Methodology looks at four key areas, namely Central Measures, focusing on information commissions, Institutional Measures, focusing on structural measures taken by individual public authorities (like appointing an information officer), Proactive Disclosure and Reactive Disclosure (the processing of requests).
Extensive consultations around the draft methodology were conducted in February and again last week. The goal is to finalise the methodology soon and then pilot its application in one or two jurisdictions in Pakistan before revising it to take into account those results. The Methodology has been developed with the technical support of the German Development Cooperation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
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