Katiba Institute, with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi, is implementing a three-year project to empower state institutions and citizens to use access to information to promote human rights and good governance. The project, targeting Nairobi, Nakuru and Samburu counties, aims to promote proactive disclosure of information by public entities, thus encouraging citizen participation. When citizens are empowered with information, they can have a basis to hold the government accountable. The project will also support institutions to respond to human rights violations and fundamental freedoms.
While signing the project agreement, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi acknowledged Katiba Institute’s work on access to information and around the rule of law:
“Excited to announce our continued partnership with Katiba Institute, a key actor supporting the rule of law in Kenya. Under the new agreement, the embassy will support KI in their work on access to information and promoting meaningful public participation.”
Katiba Institute will undertake several activities within the project period, including capacity building on access to information compliance, public interest litigation, media and community engagement to create awareness of Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya and the Access to Information Act, 2016.
Katiba Institute work on access to information
Katiba Institute regularly uses Article 35 on Access to Information (ATI) to give effect to the constitutional principles of transparency, accountability and freedom of expression. It has been shown that transparency in government activities minimises the incidences of illegalities and corruption and empowers the public to hold their government to account. However, the Kenyan government and most State agencies are very protective of the information they hold, despite the Constitutional requirement that they should be proactive in disclosing information that is of interest to the public.
Other than contributing to the drafting of the Access to Information Act, Katiba Institute published a handbook on the access to information Act, 2016 https://katibainstitute.org/download/https-katibainstitute-org-wp-content-uploads-2023-09-katiba-institute-handbook-on-the-access-to-pdf/. The handbook, in simple, easy to read, language explains what the right to access information is about, how one can access information and other issues such as offenses relating to non-disclosure of information, misuse of information. It also outlines the roles of various entities involved in access to information.
KI has conducted several regional workshops across the country with diverse partners to build their capacity on the use of access to information. The workshops build the capacity of partners to develop, submit and follow up on access to information requests from government institutions.
In addition, Katiba Institute continues to make access to information requests to different government institutions to enhance transparency and implementation of the Access to Information Act 2016.