Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Right to information and local government: an exploration

Anand, P B (2011): Right to information and local government: an exploration. Published in: Journal of Human Development and Capabilities , Vol. 12, No. 1 (February 2011): pp. 135-151.

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Abstract

This paper attempts to explore issues related to right to information (RTI) and RTI laws, in the context of local governance. The paper focuses on four case studies—namely, India, Indonesia, Uganda, and Nicaragua—to highlight some of the complexities in campaigning for RTI laws and in implementing them. Based on these, a framework is developed as a tool to map alternative approaches to making local governance more effective and accountable. At present, there are two schools of thought: one focusing on supply-led or state-led mechanisms such as public expenditure tracking surveys, and the other focusing on a human rights-based approach with RTI law at its centre. The framework developed here suggests that these alternative approaches need not be considered mutually exclusive approaches but can be seen in terms of Dreze and Sen’s argument of democratic institutions and democratic practice. Thus, activists can choose approaches that best suit a context at a given point in time as intermediate steps in the journey towards developing just and inclusive institutions.

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