Tool to Assess the Implementation of Access to Information Legislation

Significant progress has been made globally over the past decade to establish access to information as a fundamental human right, to promote legislative standards, and to engage civil society to support this right. More than 90 countries worldwide claim a statutory right to information as a means toward better governance and increased transparency. However, many countries are failing to fully and effectively implement the law. There are no international standards or benchmarks in place to either guide or assess the extent and quality of implementation.

To address the lack of guidance and analysis, the Carter Center is developing the access to information legislation Implementation Assessment Tool (IAT). The IAT serves two purposes: it diagnoses the extent to which the public administration is able to respond to requests for information and it provides a roadmap for implementation. In other words, it aims to provide governments, civil society, donors, and international organizations a reliable tool to assess the extent and quality of implementation efforts.

The IAT has been pilot-tested in Bangladesh, Mexico, and South Africa with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Funding for this project will enable further testing in up to seven countries, including the three pilot countries. Information Commissioners in all seven countries will be actively engaged to support and promote the tool. The overall goal is to support further testing and to encourage all stakeholders to be more effective at advancing the right of access to information. The IAT will:
-establish the first comprehensive set of implementation benchmarks;
-identify the extent to which a government has implemented its law; and,
-provide a roadmap for improvements based on the tool's findings.

Once tested, refined, and peer reviewed, the Carter Center plans to distribute the IAT and its methodologies widely.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, April 5, 2012

End Date

Friday, May 30, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer

Nijhawan, Tavinder

Total funding

CA$ 250,000


Bangladesh, Mexico, South Africa, United States


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Laura Neuman


Carter Center Inc.

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website