Katiba Institute and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Partnership on Access to Information

Katiba Institute is partnering with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) to undertake activities to promote the implementation of the Kenyan Access to Information (ATI) Act 2016. The CHRI is an independent, non-partisan, international non-governmental organization, mandated to ensure the practical realization of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth. CHRI has supported access to information work in India and several Commonwealth countries. Its main office is in New Delhi and it has other offices in London and Accra. In what can partly be attributed to organisations such as the CHRI, a rating project by Access Info Europe and the Centre for Law and Democracy has, in all years since the project started in 2011, ranked India among the top six countries with it thrice emerging as number two. The project looks at how Right to Information laws function across countries that have introduced them. India is, therefore, a good case to study considering that Kenya’s implementation of the Access to Information Law is just starting. The institutions that are required to disclose information can, for example, learn how best to disclose information and the people that might need information can draw some lessons from India on how to exercise that right.

In September 2017, KI and CHRI organized a learning programme in India, on access to information for various Kenyan organisations. The organisations that were represented are: three national organisations namely: Article 19 Eastern Africa; Transparency International – Kenya; and Katiba Institute; and two regional organizations namely: Mid Rift Human Rights Network that is based in Nakuru county; and Save Lamu that is based in Lamu county. The media was represented by the Nation Media Group. As part of the scaling up of that programme, KI and CHRI have organized various events in Kenya. The events include a meeting with the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ); a national workshop on access to information; and a regional workshop on the use of access to information. The workshops will bring together various Government officers, national Civil Society Organizations and ATI Advocates.

The national workshop will be held in Nairobi on 14th and 15th November 2018 and the regional one will be held in Nakuru on 16th November 2018.

The objectives of the workshops include:

  • to identify key issues involved in using and implementation of the ATI Act in Kenya;
  • to reflect on the issues and  challenges around developing delegated legislation for the ATI Act;
  • to reflect on strategies for effective implementation of the ATI Act;
  • to discuss strategies for capacity building and training of the supply and demand side of access to information;
  • to better understand the procedures for seeking information under the ATI Act;
  • to explore the value of the access to information (ATI) as a tool for ensuring greater transparency and accountability; and
  • to use ATI for the purpose of evidence building to ensure greater transparency and accountability of public entities.