Access to Info Training
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  • Main points: Facilities Level Information is a required case study for access to information. Examples include compliance reports and Pollution Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs). To add this case you will select the case type of “facilities level reporting” then choose the case details from the following list: Reports on environmental compliance PRTRs Reports from industry audits select “surface water quality” for case details.
  • Explain the benefits of access to information. Use examples to illustrate.
  • Main Points: The goal of access to information is to make give the public the tools necessary to influence decisions that affect their environment Values of Access to Information include: Right to Participate: Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. This includes the promise that the public's contribution will influence the decision. (It also necessitates access to information. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way—meaning it has to work in tandem with access to information)   Communicating Needs: Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.   Actively encourages involvement: Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.   Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.  
  • Main Points: The indicators for access to information ask questions about: What information about decisions is available and at what stage of the decision-making process What is the quality of the government effort to disseminate information? Is disclosure timely? Is the information affordable? Is public access to information easy or difficult? What is the quality of information the public can obtain? (note this is not about the credibility of the information but whether the public has access to the data and the analysis of the data that is available) The LAW indicators for access to information measures: the presence and quality of guarantees, laws, provisions, regulations and rules whether access to information is considered a general right or specific to types of information For example how inclusive is the interpretation of “environmental information in the public domain?” --explain
  • Main Points: This is an example of a access to information indicator. This is a CORE indicator #23. Trainer reads the full question and the values. Researchers are provided with more information than this—there are also research guidelines. It is VERY important that you read the guidelines as it explains, for instance what a “clear description” is. Guidelines for this question are: Adequate access to information includes the assurance that the public will be able to receive requested information from government agencies. Definitions: There are no definitions for this indicator. Recommended Research Methods and Sources: 1. Document Request: On behalf of persons not known to the agency, send 3 requests for information asking for different levels of detail and complexity. Requests should ask about one or more of the following: a. The state/quality of the environment or a selected element of it (e.g., water) b. Factors that influence the selected environmental element c. Effects on human health and the environment caused by the factors d. Any policies, measures, and actions taken or proposed to reduce, alleviate, or remove negative effects Responses should also be assessed whether they provide: a. The different levels of detail requested b. Information that will enable the recipient to act if necessary
  • Main Points: This is an example of a access to information indicator. This is a CORE indicator #23. Trainer reads the full question and the values. Researchers are provided with more information than this—there are also research guidelines. It is VERY important that you read the guidelines as it explains, for instance what a “clear description” is. Guidelines for this question are: Adequate access to information includes the assurance that the public will be able to receive requested information from government agencies. Definitions: There are no definitions for this indicator. Recommended Research Methods and Sources: 1. Document Request: On behalf of persons not known to the agency, send 3 requests for information asking for different levels of detail and complexity. Requests should ask about one or more of the following: a. The state/quality of the environment or a selected element of it (e.g., water) b. Factors that influence the selected environmental element c. Effects on human health and the environment caused by the factors d. Any policies, measures, and actions taken or proposed to reduce, alleviate, or remove negative effects Responses should also be assessed whether they provide: a. The different levels of detail requested b. Information that will enable the recipient to act if necessary
  • Main Points: This is an example of a access to information indicator. This is a CORE indicator #23. Trainer reads the full question and the values. Researchers are provided with more information than this—there are also research guidelines. It is VERY important that you read the guidelines as it explains, for instance what a “clear description” is. Guidelines for this question are: Adequate access to information includes the assurance that the public will be able to receive requested information from government agencies. Definitions: There are no definitions for this indicator. Recommended Research Methods and Sources: 1. Document Request: On behalf of persons not known to the agency, send 3 requests for information asking for different levels of detail and complexity. Requests should ask about one or more of the following: a. The state/quality of the environment or a selected element of it (e.g., water) b. Factors that influence the selected environmental element c. Effects on human health and the environment caused by the factors d. Any policies, measures, and actions taken or proposed to reduce, alleviate, or remove negative effects Responses should also be assessed whether they provide: a. The different levels of detail requested b. Information that will enable the recipient to act if necessary
  • What does the TAI assessment evaluate? (Quick introduction to the TAI methodology) Main points: The TAI assessment measures both LAW and PRACTICE at a national level. The law evaluation is completed with legal research and assesses the quality of the access rights as enshrined in the law. Capacity building evaluation looks at the legal requirements to provide capacity building on access rights. The case studies assess PRACTICE. Look at “on the ground” experiences with access. Case studies captures gaps in implementation (gaps between law and practice). It also identifies areas in which practice may be better than the legal framework.
  • Main points: Case studies capture the “on the ground” measurements of access rights. Access to information case studies look at 1) Emergencies: A large scale emergency is required, a small scale emergency is optional 2) Air Quality Monitoring system: required 3) Water quality monitoring system: required 4) Facilities level reporting 5) OPTIONAL: State of the environment reports Reminder: There are no case studies designed to measure “capacity building”. Rather, capacity building questions are built into ALL of the case studies. Reminder: 2 case studies need to employ the poverty guidelines for all of the indicators
  • The access to information cases in more detail are: Large scale emergencies (required). This involves national authorities Small scale emergencies (optional). This involves local authorities Air Quality monitoring (required). Water Quality monitoring (required) Facilities level reporting (required) State of the Environment reports (optional)
  • Main Points: Poverty case studies are designed to capture the concerns of the poor. The Poverty Guidelines are to be used for all TAI assessments. The poverty sensitized indicators are to be conducted for 6 of the 18 case studies. The 6 case studies must include at least two (2) but no more than three (3) case studies in : access to information, .
  • Main points: Capacity Building is measured as a component of each case study and does not require any case studies of its own.
  • Main points: Large scale emergencies is a required case study for access to information. Examples of large scale emergencies are oil spills (like Valdez oil spill) and chemical spills (like Bhopal) or sulfuric acid spill. To add this case you will select the case type of “information in an emergency” then select “other” for case details.
  • Main points: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR LARGE SCALE ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY CASE STUDIES ONLY. THIS IS REQUIRED All case studies should: Be involve measurable impacts on: 1) human populations and/or 2) the Environment and/or 3) Biodiversity. Please note that a case study does NOT have to have impacts in all three of these areas. One area of impact is required. The also need to: involve the response of the national authorities (as this is what you are trying to measure) Be representative. Meaning not best or worse practice. Similar emergencies have occurred before and will likely occur again. If they are not representative, this needs to be noted in the research. Be recent. Meaning no more than 5 years old
  • Main Points: Small scale emergency is an optional case study for access to information Examples include discharge of untreated waste from a industrial site into a waterway or an isolated chemical leak. To add this case you will select the case type of “information in an emergency” then select “other” for case details.
  • Main points: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR SMALL SCALE ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY CASE STUDIES ONLY. THIS IS OPTIONAL. All case studies should: Be involve measurable impacts on: 1) human populations and/or 2) the Environment and/or 3) Biodiversity. Please note that a case study does NOT have to have impacts in all three of these areas. One area of impact is required. The also need to: involve a private facility (not state owned) involve the response of the local authorities (as this is what you are trying to measure) Be representative. Meaning not best or worse practice. Similar emergencies have occurred before and will likely occur again. If they are not representative, this needs to be noted in the research. Be recent. Meaning no more than 2 years old
  • Main points: Air Quality Monitoring is a required case study for access to information. Examples of air quality monitoring is the extent to which the government’s environment bureau is fulfilling it duty to provide information on ambient air quality of the capital city to the public. To add this case you will select the case type of “information from regular monitoring” then select “air quality” for case details. For additional case studies on “information from regular monitoring” researchers may want to consider monitoring of soil, forest cover, wildlife, GMOs and radioactive wastes.
  • Main points: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR AIR QUALITY MONITORING SYSTEM CASE STUDIES ONLY. THIS IS REQUIRED All case studies should: Be in an urban area Be representative. Meaning not best or worse practice. If they are not representative, this needs to be noted in the research.
  • Main points: Water Quality Monitoring is a required case study for access to information. Examples of water quality monitoring is the extent to which a Water Board is fulfilling its duty to post information on water quality on public notice boards. To add this case you will select the case type of “information from regular monitoring” then select “surface water quality” for case details. For additional case studies on “information from regular monitoring” researchers may want to consider monitoring of soil, forest cover, wildlife, GMOs and radioactive wastes.
  • Main points: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR WATER QUALITY MONITORING SYSTEM CASE STUDIES ONLY. THIS IS REQUIRED All case studies should: Be operated by the government Be representative. Meaning not best or worse practice. If they are not representative, this needs to be noted in the research.
  • Main points: Facilities Level Information is a required case study for access to information. Examples include compliance reports and Pollution Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs). To add this case you will select the case type of “facilities level reporting” then choose the case details from the following list: Reports on environmental compliance PRTRs Reports from industry audits select “surface water quality” for case details.
  • Main points: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES CASE STUDIES ONLY . THIS IS REQUIRED Case studies for industrial facilities should: Be from a priority sector Perform at least one type of reporting Have at least 10 employees Be representative. Not good or bad practice. Be recent, meaning they have reported recently.
  • Main points: State of the Environment Report is a OPTIONAL case study for access to information. To add this case you will select the case type of “State of Environment Report” then select “link to scale” or “other” for case details.
  • Main points: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT CASE STUDIES ONLY . THIS IS OPTIONAL. Not all countries have SOE reports, so this will not be possible for some countries Case studies for SOE reports should: Be a SOE report or series of reports Should be the MOST recent report What is a SOE Reports? It is published in electronic or paper form It must deal with environment and natural resource concerns It must be reliant on numerical data (and usually contains graphs, charts and maps) It must be country wide or regional It should be useful to policy makers and/or development planners

Access to Info Training Access to Info Training Presentation Transcript

  • TAI Training: Access to Information
  • Four Pillars Acce Justic Acce Info Public Par Capa Buildi
  • Access to InformationAccess to Information  Gives people the tools to participate  Allows for informed decision-making  Promotes transparency
  • Valuing Access to InformationValuing Access to Information
  • Access to Information IndicatorsAccess to Information Indicators What is the quality of the information? Are thereprovisions, regulations orrules? What information is available? Is it easy to access information? Are there information systems? Is disclosure timely? Is it affordable?
  • Valuing Indicators: LawValuing Indicators: Law 9. To what extend does the law support public access to comprehensive information about the environmental area concerned in the selected case?
  • Valuing Indicators: EffortValuing Indicators: Effort 24.How complete, relevant, and accurate were responses to requests for information in the selected case?
  • Valuing Indicators: EffectivenessValuing Indicators: Effectiveness 43. In the selected case, to what extend did stakeholders have the skills and knowledge to obtain the information they needed?
  • TAI Assessment StructureTAI Assessment Structure Constitutional Law Case Studies Access to Information: 27 indicators Public Participation: 31 indicators Access to Justice: 33 indicators 6 constitutional law indicators applied once per assessment + General Law 16 general law indicators applied once per assessment + Capacity Building: 12 capacity building indicators applied once per assessment
  • Access to Information Case Studies Emergencies Air Quality Monitoring Facility Reporting Policy-Level Decision Regulatory-Level Decision Project-Level Decision Access to Information Public Participation Environmental Harm Water Quality Monitoring State of Enviro Reports Non- Compliance Access to Justice Access to Information Public Participation
  • Access to Information Case Studies
  • Poverty Case StudiesPoverty Case Studies Captures the concerns of the poor Two (2) case studies must use the poverty indictors Poverty-sensitized indicators
  • Number of Case StudiesNumber of Case Studies Prescriptive Case Types Case Types at Researchers’ Discretion Total Minimum Cases Access to Information 4 4 8 Public Participation 3 3 6 Access to Justice 3 1 4 TOTALS 10 8 18
  • Choosing Priority Sectors Economically Significant • Significant contributor to GDP • Large employer • Unique to your country Environmentally or Socially Significant Representative • Significant environmental impacts • Significant health impacts • Impact vulnerable populations • Should reflect average practice • If it is NOT an average case, then this must be noted in the assessment
  • Sample Priority Sectors IMPORTANT SECTORS  Water and sanitation  Extractive Industries  Biodiversity  Forestry  Agriculture  Poverty  Electricity  Tourism  Women  Manufacturing  Services  Children and Youth  Government  Fisheries  Minorities  Chemicals  Transport  Health  Toxics  Indigenous Peoples  Trade  Globalization  Genetically Modified Organisms  Illegal immigrants
  • Large Scale Environmental Emergency
  • Guidelines for Case Selection CASE STUDIES SHOULD INVOLVE MEASURABLE IMPACTS ON: Human Populations Representative Recent Large Scale Environmental Emergency CASE STUDIES SHOULD ALSO: Environment Biodiversity Involve response by national authorities
  • Small Scale Environmental Emergency
  • Guidelines for Case Selection CASE STUDIES SHOULD INVOLVE MEASURABLE IMPACTS ON: Human Populations Representative Recent Small Scale Environmental Emergency (optional) CASE STUDIES SHOULD ALSO: Environment Biodiversity Involve response by local authorities Involve a private facility
  • Air Quality Monitoring
  • Guidelines for Case Selection Be in an urban area Representative Air Quality Monitoring System CASE STUDIES SHOULD:
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Guidelines for Case Selection Be operated by the government Representative Water Quality Monitoring System CASE STUDIES SHOULD:
  • Facilities Level Reporting
  • Guidelines for Case Selection Be from a “priority” sector Perform at least one type of reporting Representative Industrial Facilities Recent Reporting CASE STUDIES SHOULD: Have at least 10 employees
  • State of the Environment Report
  • Guidelines for Case Selection A report or a series of reports Published in electronic or paper form Supported by numerical data State of the Environment Report Country-wide or regional What are State of the Environment Reports? Deals with environment and natural resource issues Useful to policy- makers or development planners Case study should be: Recent