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PublicationFreedom of Information Access: Key Challenges, Lessons Learned and Strategies for Effective Implementation(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06-01) World BankImplementation of the right to information as established in a Freedom of Information Access (FOIA) Law provides a foundation for institutionalization of transparency and support for anti-corruption efforts. Passage of a FOIA law is only a first step toward accessibility of data and documents held by public agencies, however. Effective implementation of a FOIA requires that public agencies take additional steps to put laws into practice and overcome common implementation challenges that can render FOIA laws ineffective. This note, which builds on previous World Bank research on factors determining effective implementation of FOIA laws, reviews cases of introduction of FOIA laws around the world and summarizes the main challenges, lessons learned and key strategies emerging from these experiences. Its primary aim is to inform Italian public agencies charged with implementation of the FOIA law about steps they can take toward effective implementation. As such, it focuses on areas of activity typically within the purview of public agencies, as opposed to those typically in scope of policymakers or central agencies charged with implementation and/or legislative oversight of FOIA. PublicationBangladesh: Political Economy of Right to Information(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04-30) Ahsan, Syed Khaled; Hasan, Sadik; Imran, Nadee NaboneetaThe Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2009, was a milestone in the legal history of Bangladesh to ensure people’s right to obtain information from the government offices and other organizations. This act covers most bodies owned, controlled, or substantially financed either directly or indirectly by the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The act aims at giving citizens the right to hold the government accountable. In the 1990s, civil society advocated for the RTI Act as one of the best-fitted tools to establish good governance. The act was drafted by the government and civil society organizations (CSOs) together, following an analysis of a few other RTI Acts. A caretaker administration further cemented the path for the introduction of the RTI Act. The Council of Advisors of the caretaker administration approved the RTI Ordinance in September 2008, and it became formally recognized as a law from October 20, 2008. The democratically elected new government passed the RTI Act in March 2009, in the very first session of Parliament. The context of introducing a law for RTI in Bangladesh was different from that of India. The demand came from the grassroots level in India with a 40-day sit-in protest by a citizens’ rights body in 1996. In the case of Bangladesh, it came from Dhaka-based elites and lacked connection with the grassroots (Article 19 2015). The RTI Act, 2009, helps investigative journalism, but that is not the entire goal of this act. The goal is to empower citizens with information and make livelihoods easier for the ones who will otherwise have no means of getting answers from the state or other social actors. PublicationBangladesh Right To Information Survey 2019(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020) World BankThe year 2019 marks the tenth year of the Right to Information (RTI) act enactment in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has made good progress in implementing the RTI Act 2009 in the past decade. The RTI survey was conducted between January and March of 2019. The survey results reveal that the contribution of the RIT Act 2009 has overall been positive in the last decade. Especially, notable progress has taken place in making the supply side prepared in implementing the RTI Act. The survey will enable policymakers and RTI activists to identify and seal the pores and bring about the desired changes in perception, behavior, and actions of various stakeholders, including the citizens. PublicationLeveraging ICT Platforms to Foster Citizen Engagement For Enhanced Public Accountability: The Korean Experience(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-05-10) Bae, You-Jin; Choi, Seung Won; Kim, Min Jeong; Kim, SeongjunThis learning note aims to document the experience of the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea (BAI) and the online administrative appeals hub system of Korea’s Central Administrative Appeals Commission (CAAC) in leveraging ICT platforms for citizen engagement. The note both analyzes participatory practices and examines how the use of ICT platforms contributed to enhance public outreach by making citizen engagement in public accountability more cost-effective, scalable, transparent, and inclusive. The learning note targets accountability institutions (such as supreme audit institutions, anti corruption agencies,and so on), as well as representatives from civil society organizations and citizens around the world interested in knowing more about the experience of Korea, including the challenges and opportunities, in leveraging ICT tools to foster citizen engagement for enhanced public accountability. PublicationThe Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Reforming the Economy for Shared Prosperity and Protecting the Vulnerable(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-05-30) World Bank GroupThe Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is a constitutionally recognized semiautonomous region in northern Iraq. Its government, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), based in Erbil, has the right, under the Iraqi constitution of 2005, to exercise legislative, executive, and judicial powers according to the constitution, except in what is listed therein as exclusive powers of the federal authorities. The Iraqi constitution defines the Kurdistan Region as a federal entity of Iraq. KRG has a parliamentary democracy with a regional assembly that consists of 111 seats. KRI has been largely immune to the insecurity and conflict witnessed elsewhere in Iraq, especially following the 2003 Iraq War. KRG is facing a wide range of immediate and medium to longer-term challenges that are intrinsically linked to the overall macroeconomic situation of Iraq as well as the regional and global environment. The immediate challenge consists in coping with (a) the deep fiscal crisis, and (b) the security and social problems brought about by the conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and the resulting influx of Syrian refugees and Iraqi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). These challenges are clearly immediate priorities for the KRG, and will bear significant repercussions nationally and internationally if inadequately addressed. The medium to longer-term challenges pertain to moderating dependence on the oil sector and transforming the KRI economy into a diversified one that supports private sector-led economic growth and job creation in a sustainable manner. PublicationWest Bank and Gaza: High Level Technical Assessment on e-Government(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-01) World Bank GroupThe Palestinian Authority (PA) is in the early phase of its e‐government journey and aims to utilize ICT to deliver services to its citizens and businesses to improve social well‐being and facilitate economic development. The PA aims to serve 12.1 million Palestinians in the West Bank (2.7 million), the Gaza Strip (1.7 million), and the remaining 7.7 million Palestinians who are dispersed among 28 different countries. Many Palestinians are refugees, including more than one million in the Gaza Strip, 750,000 in the West Bank, and about 250,000 in Israel. Of the Palestinian population residing abroad, otherwise known as the Palestinian diaspora, more than half are considered stateless, lacking citizenship in any country. The combination of the ongoing Israeli‐Palestinian conflict as well as the diaspora situation makes implementation of e‐government projects in the West Bank and Gaza (WBG) unique and complex. A review of e‐government documentation and stakeholder interviews reveals that the PA has made reasonable progress on e‐government amidst a challenging environment, but it is still in the nascent phase in terms of delivering benefits to its constituents. There are numerous challenges for the successful implementation of e‐government, including geopolitical conflict, insufficient legislation to facilitate electronic transactions, limited budget to support e‐government projects, inadequate policies and standards, and limited capacity within the e‐government unit under the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MTIT). The PA is at a key moment in its e‐government journey. It is an opportunistic time to drive modernization of its public administration and public service delivery through use of ICT, offer better services to citizens, and promote economic growth. PublicationRepublic of the Philippines e-Government Transformation: Open Government Philippines and Open Data Philippines(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07-01) Capili, Miro FrancesThe Philippines is one of the eight founding members of the open government partnership (OGP) alongside Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. The overarching concept of open government recognizes that good governance derives from the principle of transparency by providing an easily accessible, readily usable, and up-to-date online platform of digitized public records. Open data is an important component and commitment area of the OGP. The Philippines developed its first national open government action plan, which detailed nineteen initiatives under four broad outcome areas, from June to September 2011. This paper aims to: (1) document the historical development, key drivers, and milestones of open government Philippines and open data Philippines, and (2) pose recommendations for moving forward with its commitments. It reviews the composition and formation of the open data task force and showcases the features of data.gov.ph. The paper seeks to pose recommendations pertaining to the following areas: (1) release and manage organized, operable, and relevant data; (2) refine technical aspects of open data; (3) institutionalize open data within government; (4) promote civic engagement and stakeholder outreach; and (5) adopt complementary metrics and measures of success. The paper also opens a series of reports on the key stages in the development of the program, including implementation and impact evaluation. PublicationOpen Data for Economic Growth in Russia(Washington, DC, 2014-07) World BankThe report reviews the latest data about companies using open data, and highlights four companies which did not exist ten years ago, which are driven by open data, and which are each now valued at around $1 billion or more. It discusses the five archetypical types of businesses using Open Data, and cites concrete examples of each, and discusses the types of data which are proving most likely to lead to widespread business adoption and innovation. One of the examples of successful open data companies is Zillow with a market capitalization of over $3 billion, provides a home and real estate on-line marketplace. Climate Corp, acquired for $930 million by Monsanto in October 2013, uses 60 years of detailed crop yield data, weather observations from one million locations in the United States and 14 terabytes of soil quality data - all free from the US Government, to provide applications that help farmers improve their profits by making better informed operating and financing decisions. The paper suggests that since Open Data is relatively new in Russia it is unsurprising that there is less evidence of actual economic returns so far. Nevertheless rapid progress has been made, with the successful publication of over 500 datasets as promised by July 2013. Subsequently the first version of the Russian Open Data portal data.gov.ru has been launched, and already contains close to 1300 datasets. In addition to the release of data from Ministries of the Russian Federation there have been creditable Open Data initiatives in several regions, with 8 regional open data portals, and in major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg. There is no fundamental reason why Russia should not be able to exploit the economic advantages of open data for itself, and indeed why Russia should not be a global leader in the exploitation of Open Data elsewhere in the region and globally. In addition to the available data and well-advanced digitization of the government, Russia has active venture capital sector with both state and private sources of capital, high-speed broadband and mobile internet infrastructure and necessary technical skills. The report makes some recommendations for policies and actions which the Government of the Russian Federation could take to maximize the economic growth possible from their data, and suggests that the Government should see itself not only as a Supplier of open data but also as a leader, catalyst and user of it. PublicationOpen Data for Economic Growth(Washington, DC, 2014-06-25) World BankMany governments are pursuing open data policies. One of the key policy drivers has been to use open data to drive economic growth and business innovation. This paper examines the evidence for the economic potential of open data and concludes that, despite a variation in published estimates and some methodological difficulties, the potential is very large indeed. It reviews the latest data about companies using open data, and highlights four companies which did not exist ten years ago, which are driven by open data, and which are each now valued at around $1 billion or more. It discusses the five archetypical types of businesses using open data, and cites concrete examples of each, and discusses the types of data which are proving most likely to lead to widespread business adoption and innovation. It suggests that governments should see themselves not only as a Supplier of open data but also as a leader, catalyst and user of it. Finally, it makes some recommendations for policies and actions which governments could take to maximize the economic growth possible from their data. PublicationPunjab Public Management Reform Program : Program for Results Operation, Detailed Technical Assessment(Washington, DC, 2013-10-01) World BankThis document includes the full Technical Assessment of the Punjab Public Management Reform Program. The Assessment is based on the technical analysis of the Program. It covers: the strategic relevance and technical soundness of the proposed Program; the Program's results framework and monitoring and evaluation; the Program s governance structure and institutional arrangements; and the economic justification of the Program. It also presents an evaluation of the technical risks, and defines the improvements proposed as part of the Program Action Plan.