Of the 93 countries in the world that have adopted Right to Information (also known as Freedom of Information—FOI) laws, four are in South Asia. They are Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
RTI laws allow citizens to access government-held information and records. By doing so, they are able to monitor the work of government bodies and contribute to their transparency and accountability.
In South Asia, Pakistan led the way by promulgating the Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002 through a Presidential decree. This was followed by the adoption of RTI Act 2005 by Indian Parliament, and RTI Acts 2007 and 2009 respectively by Nepalese and Bangladesh Parliaments. Efforts continue for the adoption of RTI Act in other countries of the region.
This paper looks at the progress of RTI in the four countries under consideration.
Anon. Protifolon Issue 5. Challenges of Right to Information in South Asia. Institute of Informatics and Development (IID), Dhaka, Bangladesh (2012) 8 pp. [IID Policy Brief 1.]