Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Access to Information UNDP Practice Note

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 17, 2006

Access to Information
UNDP Practice Note

It is the position of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that democratic governance is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and that access to information is a prerequisite "for ensuring the voice and participation necessary for a democratic society." The Access to Information Practice Note provides "a strategic framework for the support UNDP provides to access to information." The publication is designed primarily to assist UNDP governance practitioners in understanding UNDP's support for work in efforts to provide access to information.

Part I: UNDP and Access to Information
This section of the publication describes what UNDP means by "access to information", introduces a conceptual framework for information and communication, and describes how UNDP can make a difference in this area. The conceptual model introduced is based on three interrelated principals: transparency; active participation; and responsiveness / accountability. The publication describes how each of these elements are strengthened by particular types of access to information, and how they work together to bring forward democratic governance.

Part II: Practical Guidance for Programming
The second section provides practical guidance for how UNDP can offer support in increasing access to information. Primary areas of support suggested are:

  1. Strengthening the legal and regulatory environment for freedom and pluralism in information
  2. Supporting capacity strengthening, networking and elevation of standard of media at national and local levels to promote the exchange of independent and pluralist information
  3. Raising awareness on rights to official information and strengthening mechanisms to provide access to information
  4. Strengthening communication mechanisms for vulnerable groups

Also included in this section are some general guidelines for effective programming in access to information:

  • establishing a baseline;
  • reviewing access to information proposals; and
  • partnerships.

Click here for access to the full document as a PDF in English, French, Spanish, Arabic or Russian.

Click here to read a summary of UNDP's 2004 Right to Information Practical Guidance Note.

Publisher: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Cost: Free download.
Date of publication: October 2003
Number of pages: 19
Language(s): English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Oslo Governance Centre
Inkognito gt. 18
0256 Oslo, Norway
Tel: +47 22 12 27 00
Fax: +47 22 24 20 65
UNDP website

Source: Message from Elizabeth McCall to the Communication Initiative, December 18 2003.

Placed on the Communication Initiative site August 21 2005.
Last Updated August 21 2005.

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