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National

July 9, 2018

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Mechanism devised to assess RTI execution in Pakistan

PESHAWAR: The first-ever methodology has been developed to assess and evaluate the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) law in the country.

The methodology was worked out with the technical support of Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), a Canada-based organisation and other stakeholders including German Development Cooperation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Toby Mendel, executive director, CLD, is leading the team developing the methodology. The CLD is also providing assistance for the training of the trainers (ToTs) and the second phase of the first such programme will start here today (Monday).

This is the first time that such a methodology has been prepared anywhere in the world and the core development work on it is being done in Pakistan to assess the extent to which RTI laws are being properly implemented and looks at both oversight bodies Information Commissions and public authorities.

To intensify the implementation of the methodology, a two-day training of trainers (ToTs) workshop was held the other day, a press release issued here said.

The Chief Information Commissioners (CIC) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission and Punjab Information Commission along with officials and representatives of the government and civil society organisations also attended.

“It is very exciting that this work is taking place in Pakistan,” Azmat Hanif Orakzai, CIC, KP Information Commission said and added we believed that the methodology will make a very important contribution in advancing the cause of RTI in Pakistan and hopefully in other countries as well.”

The methodology focuses on the measures being taken for the implementation of the RTI laws by Information Commissions, Public Information Officers and public bodies.

The methodology so developed will now be applied in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in the first phase. The same exercise will subsequently be carried in other parts of the country where RTI law has been extended.

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