Does Access to Information Empower the Poor? Evidence from the Dominican Republic
49 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: May 1, 2014
This paper summarizes the results of the impact evaluation of the Access to Information pilot project on empowerment of citizens in poor municipalities in the Dominican Republic. Among the dimensions of empowerment investigated are civic knowledge, awareness and use of the right to information, perceptions of and trust in public services and institutions, civic participation, and measures of local governance. Data were collected in two rounds: a baseline round at the end of 2010 and a follow-up round in mid-2012. No impact is found on awareness and the use of information under the specific Access to Information rules. However, it is observed that individuals address more general complaints to governments as a result of the Access to Information program regardless of whether these are classified under the ATI law or not. Some positive and statistically significant impacts are found on local government responsiveness, prioritization and decisions about the municipal budget, and trust in and satisfaction with some local government services.
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