Publication: Right to Information: Case Studies on Implementation

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This first round of eight case studies was completed in 2012. The case studies were prepared examining the experience of a number of countries that have passed Right to Information (RTI) legislation within the last 15 years: Albania, India, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, Romania, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. Each country case study assesses four dimensions critical to the effective implementation of RTI legislation as follows: 1. The scope of the information that the law covers, which determines whether an RTI law can serve as the instrument of more transparent and accountable governance as envisaged by its advocates. For example, a law that leaves too many categories of information out of its purview, that does not adequately apply to all agencies impacting public welfare or using public resources, or that potentially contradicts with other regulations, like secrecy laws, will not be effective. 2. Issues related to public sector capacity and incentives, additional key functions and demands within the public sector created by RTI, entities responsible for these functions, and various organizational models for fulfilling these functions. 3. Mechanisms for appeals and effective enforcement against the denial of information(whether it be an independent commission or the judiciary); the relative independence, capacity, and scope of powers of the appeals agency, and the ease of the appeals process; and the application of sanctions in the face of unwarranted or mute refusals, providing a credible environment. 4. The capacity of civil society and media groups to apply the law to promote transparency and to monitor the application of the law, and a regulatory and political environment that enables these groups to operate effectively. The in-depth research presented in these case studies was conducted to examine factors that promote the relative effectiveness of these four key dimensions when implementing RTI reforms, including institutional norms, political realities, and economic concerns. An analysis was conducted to determine which models have the potential to work in different contexts and what lessons can be drawn from these experiences to help countries currently in the process of setting up RTI regimes.
Trapnell, Stephanie E.. 2014. Right to Information : Case Studies on Implementation. Right to information working paper series;. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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