Public access to information (ATI) is an essential driver of sustainable development. Accurate facts and figures are needed to ensure education for all, to foster inclusive economic progress, and to better protect the environment. Any thriving democracy is built on well-informed, critical, and resilient citizens.
In a joint project, Deutsche Welle Akademie, Free Press Unlimited, and the Global Forum for Media Development in consultation with the Centre for Law and Democracy and local partners advocated for ATI in Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Serbia, and South Africa.
The selection of these countries was based on their ATI legal framework and their intention to present a Voluntary National Review about their implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum. The joint project aimed to highlight how open government supports not only the achievement of SDG 16 but also of the entire 2030 Agenda.
In each country, the state of ATI was assessed through a methodology (developed by the Freedom of Information Advocates Network) and discussed in depth during consultative multi-stakeholder meetings. Similar assessments were made in Canada, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
This global spotlight report sheds light on the initiative and includes specific recommendations for each country as well as overall recommendations distilled from the outcomes of the meetings and the assessments. It aims to serve as a first concrete step in providing data on the implementation of ATI and in encouraging improvements in the near future.