Group of trainees from the Access to Information Workshop in August 2017 ©UNESCO/S.Habibullah

Access to Information in Afghanistan

08.01.2018 | Within UNESCO’s International Programme for Development of Communications (IPDC), and in close collaboration with the Oversight Commission on Access to Information (OCAI), and with the support from the Government of Netherlands, a total of 71 journalists and civil society actors completed their training to become certified trainers on the right to access public information and the Afghan Access to Information Law.

A series of trainings was conducted for media actors from civil society and government institutions from Kandahar, Balkh, Herat, Laghman, Nangarhar, Zabul, Helmand, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Maidan Wardak, Bamyan, Khost, Jawzjan, Logar, Parwan, Panjshir, and Kabul provinces.  

The trainings focused on brainstorming to identify priorities with and capacity building of OCAI’s communicators, and selected journalists and civil society activists to become dynamisers and role models for the use of the right to information.

The project also aimed to foster people’s right to know and request public information, to encourage participation enhancing sustainable development, democratic practices, good governance, rule of law, fairness and inclusion for all – all towards the aim to support the full implementation of the Access to Information Law. The workshops considered the Sustainable Development Goals as a proper frame to produce feature stories, investigative reports and civil society activities using the Access to Information Law as the available tool to support the government in meeting its international commitment regarding the SDGs.

As part of the project implementation a MoU was agreed with the Ministry of Information and Culture focusing on two main objectives: a) the Facilitation of the venue for the Access to Information workshops, and; b) MoIC will interact with UNESCO Afghanistan and OCAI’s foreseen joint lobbying and advocacy activity at the Ministries of Education, Higher Education and related Faculties at the main Afghan Universities, to foster the inclusion of the right to information in their respective curricula, and at the Ministries of Interior and Defense to consider measures to protect the rights and safety of journalists.

Fifteen thousand copies of the Access to Information toolkit developed by UNESCO and translated in Dari and Pashto were printed and delivered to the Oversight Commission on Access to Information (OCAI) for distribution at the capital and provincial level.


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