I Deserve to Know: Katiba Institute rolls out a project on access to information in Nairobi, Nakuru and Samburu counties

Katiba Institute has started implementing a project on access to information that aims to empower state institutions and citizens to use access to information to promote human rights and good governance. KI held inception meetings on 4 December 2023 and 13 February 2024 in  Nairobi and Nakuru counties respectively and is expected to hold a similar engagement in Samburu county.

Speaking during the inception meeting in Nairobi, His Excellency Ambassador Gunnar Andreas Holm, the Ambassador of the Norwegian Embassy in Kenya, acknowledged Katiba Institute as an important partner of the Embassy regarding human rights, democracy and support for human rights defenders. He applauded Kenya’s efforts in implementing the Access to Information Act 2016, which breathes new life into the constitutional promise of access to credible, accurate, and timely information.

“Access to information is a value shared by Norway and Kenya. Norway actively promotes openness, a free flow of information and access to the internet. It seeks to initiate further steps to develop international norms on the right to access information.” The Ambassador noted.

He challenged government officials, the Commission on Administration of Justice, Civil society organisations and other actors to push forward on the implementation of the right of access to information and to help citizens fully participate in governance and decision-making processes, thereby entrenching accountable governance and a human rights culture in the society.

Jill Cottrell Ghai, Chair of the Board of Katiba Institute, called for more commitment among government officials toward acknowledging the importance of access to information. She underscored access to information’s pivotal role in ensuring transparency, fostering accountability, and substantially enhancing the quality of decision-making processes inherent within governance structures.

Commissioner Lucy Ndung’u, in charge of Access to Information at the Commission on Administrative Justice(CAJ), highlighted the collaboration between the Commission and Katiba Institute, noting that such partnerships are crucial in amplifying the importance of actualising access to information law.  

Mr. Patrick Angasa, the Director of Public Participation and Citizen Engagement at the Nairobi City County Government, represented the County Government of Nairobi at the meeting.

Participants raised challenges in accessing information from government agencies. The format in which information is provided, mostly websites, is not friendly to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. In addition, those who had attempted to request information cited a tiresome process characterised by delays.

KI in Nakuru

In Nakuru, Katiba Institute partnered with Midrift Hurinet to host the inception meeting with stakeholders, including the county government, civil society organisations, CBOs and community leaders.

Jackline Osoro, the County Executive Committee member, Public Service Management thanked Katiba Institute and partners for the access to information project in Nakuru County noting that access to information is critical for accountability and building trust between duty bearers and citizens. Edward Gitau, the Chief Officer of Public Participation and Citizen Engagement, highlighted the county’s commitment towards implementing the project. He noted that it was important that governments were held accountable and citizens could access information easily.

Participants were challenged to read relevant laws and county documents to engage effectively. Joseph Omondi, the Executive Director stated that democracy is enhanced when citizens are more informed and the duty bearers are obligated to the citizens. He urged participants to inculcate a culture of interacting with the various county documents to engage the county from a knowledge point.

Participants were concerned that some requests to the county take long to respond to or completely ignored. They also suggested the need for ministry experts to unpack some technical issues during the public participation forum. They said this will help citizens understand the issue being discussed and play a role in sound decision-making.

Next steps

KI will have follow-up meetings in the three counties to empower citizens and county officials to utilise the access to information law.


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