The Impact and Effectiveness of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives: Freedom of Information

19 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2013

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

Analysis of the impact and effectiveness of Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation has been hampered by lack of systematic evidence and conceptual confusion about what kind of right it represents. This article discusses some of the main conceptual parameters of FOI theory, before reviewing the available evidence from a range of studies. It presents case studies of civil‐society activism on FOI in India and South Africa to illustrate the extent to which access to information is having an impact, in particular on socio‐economic conditions. After reviewing the range of approaches used, it concludes that the academic community and the FOI community of practice need to come together to devise robust and rigorous methodologies.

Keywords: Impact, effectiveness, freedom of information, access to information

Suggested Citation

Calland, Richard and Bentley, Kristina A., The Impact and Effectiveness of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives: Freedom of Information (July 2013). Development Policy Review, Vol. 31, pp. s69-s87, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2305479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12020

Kristina A. Bentley

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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