Theme 4: Transparency and Access to InformationWritten by DfGG Admin
DFGG LEARNING PROGRAM CONCEPT NOTE
Workshops on Transparency and Access to Information Version 2.0
Implementing agency: DFGG Project Coordination Office and NCDD/OWSO.
Date: January 2011
Transparency and access to information are two key contributors to Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) and Social Accountability (SA). The RGC has the following objectives with its commitment to transparency and access to information:
1. Reduce corruption, cronyism and inefficiencies in the public administration.
2. Reduce mistrust, rumor, and ignorance regarding public issues, particularly in the rural areas, where access to public information is often limited to ‘word of mouth’.
3. Avoid tension and potential conflict caused by inadequate or inaccurate information.
4. Build a stable, functioning democracy and a vibrant, informed, and tolerant citizenry.
It is the ambition of the RCG to mainstream the achievements of various departments throughout all level of the RGC in achieving a high level of transparency and open government in Cambodia. Transitioning from hierarchical control to an administration aiming for maximum disclosure will need a continuous and concerted effort over a long period of time with efforts on both the demand and supply sides2 to remove constraints and establish a new open way of working. In government, the first phase of change is often informational -- recognizing that the current isolation of departments can be a threat to long term effectiveness and efficiency of government. On the other hand citizens and representatives of Civil Society need to feel confident that they have the right to ask for information.
It is proposed that the Transparency and Access to Information theme of the DFGG Learning Program be addressed at both the national and sub-national levels and be organized/led by PCO and NCDDS respectively. This has already been agreed with the World Bank. This Concept Note sets out each of these learning events in turn.
Part A: National level workshop on Transparency and Access to Information
Expected outcomes and outputs
The DFGG Learning Program will support workshops and the national and provincial levels to create awareness that transparency and access to information are crucial for long term development effectiveness, support efficiency in service delivery and underpin stability and peace in Cambodia. The expected outcome of the proposed workshops is to lay the seeds for a shift in prevailing norms, for senior officials to better understand the benefits of and mechanisms for transparency and access to information in public service providing ministries/in the Ministry of Interior. The process will also open a dialogue with civil society about the best next steps to take to enhance transparency and access to information about local service delivery that will contribute to the process of enhancing social accountability at the local level. The theme has synergies with the Component 2 grants and the work of the NCDDS to improve the capacity of local councilors.
The primary Outputs of the workshop(s) will be participants (high level officials) that understand the concept3 of transparency and access to information and have some familiarity with the mechanisms and tools that can be adopted to improve transparency and access to information in their administrative mandate.
After the workshop, the participants will be willing to publicly4 support transparency and access to information. They will have to ability to explain in their own words why transparency and access to information is important and what the priorities are to achieve this goal.
The contents of the workshop will be very similar to the content developed for the district level workshops by NCDDS/OWSO. The national workshop will however focus more on the strategic importance of both Transparency and Access to Information to improve the awareness of senior officials and civil society that these are priorities that need continuous attention. The following range of topics are envisaged and the exact division/integration between transparency and access to information will be worked in more detail in the detailed proposal.