This Comprehensive Methodology
provides a structured tool for
assessing the quality of implementation
of a Right to Information Law.
This section of the methodology looks at how the RTI law is implemented at the central level. Central institutions serve two main functions: processing appeals and undertaking promotional measures.
This section looks at what individual public authorities have done to implement the RTI law. In any particular jurisdiction, there will always be a great number, normally hundreds and sometimes thousands, of different public authorities of different types and levels.
This section looks at proactive disclosure or the release of information by public authorities without an RTI request. This is often done through websites and annual reports.
Whereas proactive disclosure looks at whether public authorities make information available even in the absence of a request for it, reactive disclosure is about how public authorities respond to RTI requests.
1. Assess Feasibility of Doing Assessment
2. Put in Place the Governing Structure
3. Develop an Implementation Plan
4. Apply the Assessment Tools to Collect Information
5. Analyse Information and Score Results
6. Draft Report and Recommendations
7. Publish Report
8. Conduct Follow-up Advocacy and Activities
The Comprehensive Methodology evaluates the implementation and performance of a jurisdiction’s RTI laws by its central authority and public authorities. In any given country, there will be 100s or even 1000s of authorities, and it will not be possible to assess all of them. The Methodology, therefore, calls for a minimum of ten public authorities to be selected for assessment. The central and public authorities are evaluated at the institutional level. The public authorities are further assessed based on their performance of proactive and reactive disclosure requirements. According to a three-part scale, both the jurisdiction and the individual institutions are assigned grades: poor, mediocre, excellent.
The following constitutes an overview of the methodology. The complete methodology is available for download here.
This section of the methodology looks at how the RTI law is implemented at the central level. Central institutions serve two main functions: processing appeals and undertaking promotional measures. In almost every country where an independent oversight body (often called an information commission) exists, it bears primary responsibility for the first function. In many countries, the information commissions both process appeals and are the main official body that is responsible for promotional measures. However, in others, the oversight body is supported by a nodal body—either internal or external to the government—that undertakes the promotional functions, including assisting individual public authorities. For the purposes of this Methodology (available for download in full here), the information commission and nodal body (if any) should be evaluated as one.
This section looks at what individual public authorities have done to implement the RTI law. In any particular jurisdiction, there will always be a great number, normally hundreds and sometimes thousands, of different public authorities of different types and levels. Acknowledging that it is unrealistic for assessors to review every single authority, the Methodology requires the Project Lead to select a subset of authorities representing the whole. In this subset, the Project Lead should only include public authorities that receive a volume of RTI requests that makes proactive disclosure—which this methodology measures—reasonable. This subset of authorities will be reviewed across all three assessment areas: Institutional Measures, Proactive Disclosure and Reactive Disclosure.