The right of individuals to access information held by the government or public authorities, commonly referred to as the right to information (RTI), is recognized under both international law and the Afghan Constitution as a human right. Afghanistan’s current Access to Information Law (ATI Law), adopted in 2018, ranks as the strongest such law in the world, according to the respected RTI Rating. However, it is one thing to have a strong law and another to implement that law properly. On the second anniversary of the adoption of the ATI Law, Integrity Watch Afghanistan has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of the Law, relying on the RTI Evaluation, the complementary methodology to the RTI Rating.
Overall, Afghanistan achieved a mediocre grade.
This was based mainly on the stronger performance of the Access to Information Commission, which received a strong yellow grade, while individual public authorities received red grades in all three assessment areas relating to them, doing particularly poorly in terms of reactive disclosure. To some extent, this result could be blamed on the relatively recent adoption of the ATI Law, but it is clear that much still needs to be done to improve implementation.