Come to a shared understanding of access rights. Talk about access rights on an international level and Principle 10 as well as how it is being implemented on a national level. Create a common vision of TAI for your country. This should be aspirational. Who do you want to influence? What kind of “on the ground changes do you hope to see? Understand TAI research methodology. Measuring “governance” is often seen as subjective. TAI has developed a sound methodology and this will be the subject of much discussion. The end objectives of TAI is on the ground change. Work begins, not ends with solid research. A “plan of action” harnesses the research to push for real, lasting changes. Finally, the research team will divide up tasks and prepare to start working!
International development of access rights principles Main points: Most important international agreement on access rights is Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, 1992. 178 countries signed the Rio Declaration. The three “procedural” access rights. 1) access to information 2) public participation 3) access to justice are codified in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. Principle 10 is the most important international agreement on access rights and establishes important principles of access. However, access rights have to be implemented on a NATIONAL level.
International development of access rights Main points: Six years after Rio, UNECE adopted Aarhus The most important articulation of Principle 10. Importantly, it is LEGALLY BINDING on states that ratify it. The convention has “teeth” It is a European convention but open to all countries to join
Main points: UNEP created Draft guidelines for the development of national legislation on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters The purpose of these voluntary guidelines is to provide general guidance to States, primarily developing countries on effective implementation of their commitments to Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development within the framework of their national legislation and processes.
What are access rights? Main points: Access rights ensure that people have a right to participate in decisions that affect the environment. It ensures more representative, equitable and effective environmental decision-making. There are three “procedural” access rights. 1) access to information 2) public participation 3) access to justice All of these are propped up by the substantive right to a clean or healthy environment. Access rights have been incorporated into many national governments consitututions.
What is access? And what does it look like? Main points: Who’s voice is being heard? (inclusive) Do they have all of the information they need? (transparency) Who is not there? Will the concerns be addressed? (accountability)
Explain the benefits of access to information. Use examples to illustrate.
Explain the benefits of public participation. Use examples to illustrate.
Explain the benefits of access to justice. Use examples to illustrate.
What is the access initiative and how does it fit in? Main points: The access initiative was started in 2000 to assess the progress of implementing Principle 10, ten years after Rio. TAI is now the largest global network of Civil Society Organizations working to promote access rights on a national level. Network now includes over 150 CS0s in 40 countries. Over 32 Country assessments have been completed. TAI network combines research with “on the ground change”
How is the global network organized? Main points: The access initiative was started in 2000 to assess the progress of implementing Principle 10, ten years after Rio. TAI is now the largest global network of Civil Society Organizations working to promote access rights on a national level. Network now includes over 150 CS0s in 40 countries. Decentralized leadership Three levels of leadership; 1) Global secretariat 2) Regional lead organizations 3) National coalition of CSOs (not shown on diagram)
Main Points: Introduce regional lead organizations Their contact information can be found at the end of the training manual
Main points: On an international level there are two main roles 1)global secretariat 2) Regional leads TAI as a network is decentralizing, meaning that regional leads have greater power and autonomy. Discuss the roles of the global secretariat and the regional leads.
Main points: On a national level the TAI network has three major roles 1) national lead 2) National TAI coalition 3) National Advisory Panel Discuss the roles and responsibilities of each one
Main points: The ultimate goal is to close gaps in access law, institutions and practices We do this through evidence-based advocacy: the study of real events, real institutions and real problems to come up with real solutions Look at legal, institutional and capacity structures at the national level Rely on national level CSOs and build capacity of CSOs to improve access nationally
Main Points: Fill in with text from Carole’s section in the Training Manual
Main Points: Explain each of the 7 steps. This training will focus almost entirely on step 3 The training should prepare you to complete steps 4-7
Main Points: Widen network: Engage more countries and more CSOs Deepen Advocacy: Place greater emphasis on post-assessment advocacy and work for on the ground changes Diversify Activities: Make several levels of assessments available (full, core, single pillar, sectoral, water, climate change, etc)
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: The TAI assessment measures LAW and PRACTICE for access to justice, public participation, access to justice and capacity building. LAW is measures the legal framework. It requires desk research only and evaluates the quality of constitutional and national law. The law indicators are generated by looking at pieces of legislation, regulations etc. This includes the general provisions provided in the Constitution to the specific rules that impact access to information, public participation, access to justice and capacity building. PRACTICE indicators measures access “on the ground” through case studies. The are designed to look at access across a variety of scales and types of decision-making processes as well as look sat efforts to build capacity of target groups (e.g. government officials. CSOs, media, the public)
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: This is an example of a public participation indicator. This is indicator #60. 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: CSOs often play a pivotal role in bringing attention to problems and holding government accountable. It is therefore vital that effective registration and unencumbered operation of CSOs be facilitated by a country’s laws and rules. This indicator focuses on learning whether the legal framework supports CSOs’ ability to operate. Key components of an enabling environment include (but are not limited to): • consistent rules for all CSOs • reasonable registration costs • clear registration, incorporation and reporting procedures • appropriate timeframes • open (not selective) eligibility criteria Definitions: “CSOs - Civil Society Organizations” include organizations that are neither part of the private (for profit) nor governmental sectors. “Laws and rules” include the laws of the relevant geographic area (country, province, city, etc) and/or the rules and policies that govern the ministries or other government institutions that have jurisdiction over CSOs. “Enabling environment” includes consistent rules for all CSOs, reasonable registration costs, clear registration procedures, appropriate timeframes, and open (not selective) eligibility criteria. Additionally, the Guidelines give recommended research methods. For this indicator they are: Recommended Research Methods and Sources: 1. Legal Research: Review laws and rules establishing the procedures, costs, registration, reporting and other requirements for CSOs registration and operation 2. Document review: Review statistics regarding average income in the country and GDP to determine what qualifies as “reasonable registration costs.” Include the data in your assessment report and/or the Explanation for this indicator.
Main points: Case studies are the way that we measure access rights “on the ground” or access in practice. There are three categories of case studies: Access to information Public participation Access to justice In addition case studies also measure capacity building in each and every case study. 6 case studies are chosen to study the access principles and the poor. Two case studies that are relevant to the concerns of the poor are conducted in each category (access to information, public participation and access to justice.
Main Points: A case form MUST be filled out for each case that is completed. It should summarize the case. This is VERY important as it provides the context and background information in which to understand your case study. ACTIVITY: go through case form handouts and explain the information in detail.
Main Points: The sources to consult for legal indicators in the TAI research are the same across all 4 pillars (access to information, public participation, access to justice and capacity building) Sources include: National Constitution Laws on access Environmental protection legislation Regulations on the judicial process Freedom of information rules Secrecy and confidentiality laws EIAs
Main Points: Three components: Reliability, Validity and credibility Reliability - Speaks to the ability of the researcher to validate the operations of a study i.e. If the study was repeated would it achieve the same results. Validity - Conclusions have to be based on data. Credibility - The researcher should consider collecting data on the degree of probability that the issues observed or described happened in reality. Look at the issue with more than one viewpoints (i)Use a few research methods while investigating one research issue e.g. by doing both document analysis, and interviews. (ii)Look for data about certain issue from various sources (e.g. interview official, NGO member and journalist) on the same issue. Be comprehensive Don’t just look at statistical facts but on the issues influencing the development of a process that is being researched. Statistical data and other analysis already done by other researchers can deliver meaningful context for your case. By using these prior studies, one can estimate how typical a given case is. You should not plan to do your research based on a minimum work plan. If you are already dealing with a certain case it is very easy to get additional information needed for non-core indicators (e.g. ask one more question in interview). Use the case study protocol (increases reliability) Use the TAI procedures and research tips provided which is a set of mapped procedures that should be followed to increase reliability of your data. Create a good case study database (increases reliability) To increase reliability of your research, it is necessary to organize and document data collected for case studies. The goal is “to develop a formal, retrievable database, so that in principle, other investigators can review the evidence directly and not be limited to the written reports”. The database should contain notes, documents, tabular materials and narratives. The most frequent mistakes made during research are: consulting too few sources of information (e.g. interviewing only one official and not interviewing an NGO representative), not giving exact data on sources of information, groundless use of “not assessed” value (For example, if there was no public participation in decision-making, then the researcher should select a low value grade rather than “not applicable”), Not using the “Explanations” section.
What changes have been made “on the ground” by the TAI network? Main points: Capacity Building: Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental (CEDA) has worked with partners in Ecuador to train more than 1,000 civil servants (in both central and local governments), representatives of civil society, and academics. CEDA has worked with more than 68 capacity building workshops and 5 national forums. They have developed and published three training manuals (one for each access right), a civil society guide, and several brochures to help spread awareness of Principle 10 Legal Reform : The Thailand Environment Institute contributed to the drafting of a new Constitution, and worked with the King Prajadhipok Institute and the Union of Civil Society to draft key language that would encourage public participation in environmental matters. Government Outreach : TAI partners in Indonesia met with representatives from the government to work on the Right to Freedom of Information Law.
What changes have been made “on the ground” by the TAI network? Main points: Raising public awareness: The Access Initiative-Mexico (TAI-Mexico) has presented its findings at meetings with community groups to raise their awareness of new legislation and opportunities to participate. TAI-Mexico used the findings from the assessment to develop and publish a CD-ROM guide for participation by individuals, and communities. Additionally, they produced a short television presentation highlighting Mexico’s participation in the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Training professionals: In Hungary, the Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA) has used the assessment to create a training program for judges. Media outreach : TAI Thailand, led by the Thailand Environment institute, published newspaper articles and held press meetings emphasizing the importance of Partnership for Principle 10 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Plan of Action
Division of Labor
Principle 10Principle 10
Environmental issues are
best handled with the
participation of all concerned
citizens, at the relevant level.
Aarhus ConventionAarhus Convention
open to all
UNEP Guidelines on AccessUNEP Guidelines on Access
Adopted February 2010
Provides guidance to
implement Principle 10
Access RightsAccess Rights
Right to a
What does “Access” look like?What does “Access” look like?
Access to InformationAccess to Information
Gives people the
tools to participate
Allows for informed
Public ParticipationPublic Participation
Provides a forum
Ensures voices are heard
Promotes dialogue around
Provides a forum
Ensures voices are heard
Promotes dialogue around
Access to JusticeAccess to Justice
Provides a forum for
Ensures people are
The Access InitiativeThe Access Initiative
Network OrganizationNetwork Organization
Three levels of leadership:
1) Global Secretariat
2) Regional lead
3) National coalition of
TAI Core Team MembersTAI Core Team Members
Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment
(ACODE) Uganda; Bioresources Development and
Conservation Programme Cameroon (BDCPC) Cameroon
Environmental Management and Law
Association (EMLA) Hungary
Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment
Corporación PARTICIPA Chile; and
Iniciativa de Acceso-Mexico, Mexico
Thailand Environment Institute (TEI)
World Resources Institute (WRI) USA
Duties and ResponsibilitiesDuties and Responsibilities
• Facilitate global
• Global networking
• Fund raise
• Assist in training
• Training national
• Develop regional
•Primary support for
• Review assessments
• Fund raise
• Final review of
Duties and ResponsibilitiesDuties and Responsibilities
• Convenes national
• Coordinates training
• Organizes researchers
• Communicates with
• Handles budget
• Conducts legal
• Researches case
• Fills out TAI
• Writes report
• Promotes advocacy
• Primary support for
• Help select case
• Review assessments
TAI Model of InfluenceTAI Model of Influence
Close gaps in access law, institutions and practices
Governments and Int’l Institutions
TAI assessments Advocacy tools
Flexible Research DesignFlexible Research Design
Benefits of Joining TAI?Benefits of Joining TAI?
Brand and prestige
7 Step Action Plan7 Step Action Plan
Form a national coalition1.
Form an advisory panel2.
Plan a TAI assessment: Chose priority sectors
and case studies
Data Collection: interviews, legal analysis etc4.
Data Analysis: evaluate government performance5.
Draft assembly and review process6.
Publish results and begin advocacy7.
What Does it Mean to Join TAI?What Does it Mean to Join TAI?
Assess your government’s progress in
implementing Principle 10
Build National-Level Coalitions
Work with multiple stakeholders
Advocate for reform or initiate
Future of TAIFuture of TAI
• Expand to new countries
• Engage new partners
• Continue country assessments
• Continue to engage in countries that
have completed assessments
• Emphasize “on the ground change”
• Advocate for reforms
• In countries that have completed
assessments, support other activities
• Encourage action plans and better
• New water assessment
TAI Assessment: Four Pillars
How are the four pillars evaluated?How are the four pillars evaluated?
LAW The TAI
TAI Assessment StructureTAI Assessment Structure
6 constitutional law indicators applied once per assessment
16 general law indicators applied once per assessment
Valuing Indicators: Constitutional LawValuing Indicators: Constitutional Law
1. How clear and inclusive are constitutional
guarantees to the right to a clean and/or safe
What are the case studies?What are the case studies?
They study access rights “on the ground”
Capacity Building and Poverty are also measured using the above case studies.
Case StudiesCase Studies
State of Enviro
Poverty Case StudiesPoverty Case Studies
Captures the concerns
of the poor
Minimum of 6 case
Access to information (2)
Public Participation (2)
Access to Justice (2)
Information 4 4 8
Public Participation 3 3 6
Access to Justice 3 1 4
TOTALS 10 8 18
Number of Case StudiesNumber of Case Studies
Measuring Capacity BuildingMeasuring Capacity Building
1) The government’s
ability to provide
2) The public’s ability
to access the
3) The environment
for media and
Understanding the TAI IndicatorsUnderstanding the TAI Indicators
Recording SourcesRecording Sources
Case FormsCase Forms
It should include:
Sources for Legal AnalysisSources for Legal Analysis
Best Practices for ResearchBest Practices for Research