Panos publishes Policy Brief on Access to Information
Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) has published a Policy Brief on Access to Information, to serve as a reference tool in advocacy for the enactment and implementation of ATI laws in Southern Africa.
The Panos Policy Brief on Access to Information (ATI) was produced with input from our partners in civil society, the media and cooperating partners. Although the Policy Brief can be applicable in any country, it’s publication was largely influenced by Panos’ ongoing advocacy work to influence Zambia’s enactment of an ATI law as a step towards an enabling policy and legal environment for the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression, right to know and access to information. This was necessitated by the fact that Zambia has been on a long and winding journey towards the enactment of an access to information law.
The Policy Brief is expected to contribute to the production of quality, relevant content, strengthen the enabling environment for independent media, and advance social and online platforms that allow for free expression and access to information.
This Policy brief defines Access to Information (ATI), and attempts to demonstrate why ATI is important in the context of modern and democratic societies. The Brief further highlights the fundamental elements of an ATI law, based on international standards and best comparative practices, highlights key issues that may affect the implementation of ATI laws; and recommends practical steps for addressing them.
Finally, the Policy Brief also different possibilities for institutional arrangements for the effective implementation of an ATI law. The contents of the Policy Brief may not be exhaustive, but it provides a useful resource for decision makers like government line ministries and Members of Parliament, the media, lawyers, civil society, and other stakeholders.