Exploring the role of civil society in the formulation and adoption of Access to Information laws: the cases of Bulgaria, India, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
This paper analyzes civil society's contribution to the passing of access to information (ATI) laws in five countries: Bulgaria, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Civil society involvement has impacted upon this process in a number of ways: through advocating for ATI legal reform; building popular support for ATI and helping create and focus the demand for information; participating in the process of drafting and shaping legislation and lobbying members of the legislative process; helping citizens understand ATI and how to use legal rights of access; training public officials in the handling of information requests; promoting awareness of best practices, both nationally and internationally; monitoring the implementation of ATI laws; and helping citizens use ATI legal rights to achieve wider social goals.
The paper concludes by drawing out some of the key lessons from the case studies—reviewing the range of ways that civil society can contribute to promoting the ATI regime, from inception of a campaign through to implementation.
Access to Information Working Paper Series, World Bank Institute, 56 pp.