New unified methodology developed by CSOs and Ombudsperson to monitor access to public information   

Kyiv, 31 August 2016 – With UNDP support, the Office of the Ombudsperson and 3 leading CSOs in the area of access to public information developed and presented a new methodology for the monitoring of public authorities.

14124523 1072796339434658 100260056421634903 oThis publication features a longstanding experience in the monitoring of access to public information. It is clear and simple for any non-lawyer activists. Therefore, everyone will be able to examine how well the authorities implement the Law "On access to public information."
Since October 2015, the civic monitors under the umbrella of the 'Ombudsman Plus' platform have conducted the public monitoring of access to public information in all regions of Ukraine. The monitoring campaign of leading CSOs resulted in gathering data that was further incorporated into the annual Ombudsperson's report and presented to duty-bearer institutions as recommendations.
14107757 1072796389434653 4129447750173225526 oSince the organizations used their own methodologies and rating scales, the results of their campaigns could not possibly be compared and generalized. Moreover, public authorities underlined the differences in gathered data to justify unsatisfied findings of activists.

"Without relevant monitoring, any Law won't have full force and proper effect. However, any comparative evaluation process requires identical criteria and standards," Mr. Viktor Taran, Director of the Center of Political Studies and Analysis "Aidos", underlined in his remarks to civic activists.
14195248 1072796669434625 3956154478398566685 oAs far as this issue is concerned, UNDP supported expert inputs into developing and enabling a more effective screening of access to information through equipping the civil society with a simple-to-use methodology for authorities' assessment. The Representative of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights on the right to access to public information, Ms. Iryna Kushnir, said: "The work appeared to be not so easy and quick as we initially planned, but finally we have got a unique tool, which provides every monitor with methodology for analysis of relevant sphere, issue (website, meetings, etc.). Due to unified approaches, different monitoring results as pieces of the puzzle can be folded into a single picture to assess the overall situation with the right to know in the country."

14114917 1072796916101267 9046135103539988635 oThe presented methodology covers the spheres of assessment of official documents related to access to information, quality of the information request replies, the study of official websites of government agencies, as well as access to authorities' premises. Each section has its own evaluation scale. To calculate the overall level of compliance with access to information, the results are summed up in percentage for each section. As a result, the duty-bearer institutions will get an assessment on following scale: unsatisfied, low, satisfied, middle, and high level of access to public information.

"Relevant implementation of the Law aimed on providing the right to know is possible under proactive position of the right-holders. Today, joint efforts of civic activists and leadership of the Ombudsperson's Office made it possible to develop a tool to evaluate the right to know," noted Coordinator of UNDP's Project on Support of the Ombudsperson's Office Ms. Svitlana Kolyshko.