EUROsociAL+ and the RTA launch a measurement model to assess access to information in Latin America

The model and its first measurement were presented at the International Conference of Information Commissioners, held in Johannesburg (South Africa) and attended by representatives from 30 countries

EUROsociAL+, the European Union and Latin America cooperation programme, helped the Transparency and Access to Information Network (RTA) to develop a measurement model assess the right to access public information. 

The model's first measurement was presented at the International Conference of Information Commissioners, which was held in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 10-13 March this year. The central theme of the conference was "International cooperation to strengthen public access to information". It was attended by right of access to information commissioners and authorities from more than 30 countries, as well as international bodies and organisations that work in this area.

The RTA and EUROsociAL+ actions are in line with the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16.6 "Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels", 16.10 "Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements” and SDG 17 to strengthen international alliances to achieve the goals.

The initiative seeks synergies with UNESCO in its work to measure SDG 16.10.2 in Latin America.

The Measurement Model quantifies developments in different aspects of transparency and access to information policy. It is a tool that identifies the challenges, shortcomings and strengths of the transparency policies of RTA countries, as well as providing comparable information.

The model was designed within the framework of EUROsociAL+ with expert technical support from Gloria de la Fuente, and the Sustentia Social Innovation Consultancy. RTA institutions took part by sharing their experiences.

The Model has three Dimensions:

  • Dimension 1, Resources (Rc): indicators that measure recognition (subdimension 1) and the guarantee to the right of access to information (subdimension 2).
  • Dimension 2, Processes (Pr): indicators referring to the level of inclusion and performance of guarantor functions (subdimension 1), promoters (subdimension 2) and the installation of basic capacities in the entities involved (subdimension 3).
  • Dimension 3, Results (Rs): indicators that calibrate results in the implementation of transparency policies and the right of access to information. This dimension was not measured.

A initial measurement of the Resources and Processes Dimensions was performed in eleven countries: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.

There is a high level of compliance with formal aspects of Access to Information Laws among RTA countries, a trend that is weaker in terms of implementation. In short, the measurement model detects:

  • A high level of recognition of the right and its guarantee.
  • Average levels in the guarantor function.
  • Deficiency in the promoter function.
  • Low level of installation of capacities in entities obliged to comply with the law.

EUROsociAL+. Área de políticas de gobernanza, FIIAPP / governance policies unit. FIIAPP