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Media, Civil Society and RTI CIC, 3 rd Annual Convention 3 – 4, November 2008, New Delhi Presented by Dr N Bhaskara Rao, Chairman CMS

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Presentation on theme: "Media, Civil Society and RTI CIC, 3 rd Annual Convention 3 – 4, November 2008, New Delhi Presented by Dr N Bhaskara Rao, Chairman CMS"— Presentation transcript:

1 Media, Civil Society and RTI CIC, 3 rd Annual Convention 3 – 4, November 2008, New Delhi Presented by Dr N Bhaskara Rao, Chairman CMS ; Website :

2 2 CMS Transparency Unit  Ongoing studies on RTI  Governance issue based studies  Advocacy with stakeholders – media, civil society, policy makes, implementers, etc  Capacity building across  RTI campaigns  Corruption studies –citizen

3 3 CMS-Good governance  Citizens charter 1993  Social Audit  Transparency studies Transparency Review Right to Information specific contexts Tracking news media  Citizens & corruption surveys  Capacity building among Civil Society groups  RTI implementation / effectiveness – 2008 survey among BPL hh

4 4 CMS India Corruption Surveys  Unique methodology – P+E+E  2001 Vigilance week of CVC  2002 Metros corruption & citizen  2003 Cities  2004 Urban India  2005 Urban-Rural; PEE; HH+Users;  2007 With focus on RTI/ IT use  2008 paying for votes

5 5 Source : CMS

6 6 RTI Act &Citizen Charters (2008) (percent) RTI Act Citizen Charter Heard about 10 6 Also knew about it BPL hh Source : CMS

7 7

8 8 Karnataka 0.4 Tamil Nadu 0.2 Kerala 0.6 Uttarakhand 0.1 Maharashtra 0.1 West Bengal 0.8 Source : CMS

9 9 Services for which applied for States Hospital ServicesChattisgarh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh PDSChattisgarh, Guajart, Kerala, Rajasthan, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh EducationChattisgarh, Gujarat NREGSChattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan Banking ServicesGujarat, Punjab Services Source : CMS

10 10 Summing up  Yes, number of applications increased, not so the applicants  Yes, rural applications have increased marginally,  Yes, more “disposed”, few responded  Yes, awareness increased, but how to go about is limited  Too few women applicants and female centric issues  More applications were for selfish end/grievance  Relatively more use where ever civil society was active.  Even more where there was collaboration with news media.

11 11 So far…RTI is availed by  Mostly by men  Mostly by those in powers  Mostly by those in metros  More for personal reasons  More for service matters  More by the same  More for individual grievance

12 12 Why hesitation?  Doubts/ despair about implementation continues  Centre / State Governments yet to promote the Act  Political parties / leaders, too, have not yet  Commissions also, not going beyond press meets / civil society interactivity  Contempt of SICs towards civil society groups  Even more disappointing is academics – at all levels

13 13 The best bet to consolidate RTI and take forward  Active citizenry, individually and groups  Civil Society activism  Pro-active News media  Civil Society + News media work together  Includes academics / educational stream  Independent ongoing tracking in districts  Beyond awareness; Write back, talk back  Together with social audit, citizen charter

14 14 An Opportunity to news media  Enhances credibility  Helps go beyond, substantial reporting  Scoops, scandals; and leads for follow up  Irrespective of seniority in journalism  RTI route as good or better than sting  Pro-active coverage, revelations, redressal, systemic  Easier, no costs – all that needed is concern  Regular features, not just reporting judgments of Commissions

15 15 Networks of Civil Society  A far more effective theme for sustained community service  A better route for redressal too  Networking civil society / voluntary groups for reinforced  Rope in research input academic support for focus, effect  Clearing house responsibility – judgments, appeals,etc

16 16 Information Commissions  Proactive initiatives - reach out, enforce  Next round of Commissioners  One civil society activist in each  Periodic open house sessions – regionally  More serious concern for suo-moto disclosure  Partner with news media/ civil society groups  Recommendations to State Government about implementation?  Comprehensiveness of annual reports.

17 17 Issues of Good Governance? Expected Outcomes of RTI  Transparency in public offices/services  Responsibility/ accountability and more Responsive Govt. offices  A more decentralized governance  Decline in Corruption involving citizen and at other levels  Participative citizens – willing with feed back/ complaints, suggestions.  Ease in seeking and efficiency in the delivery of public services

18 18 Challenges for 4 th Year  Seriousness of Governments  Promotion,  prompt response,  More individual – depend response  Suo-moto initiatives – computerization – networks  Active involvement of academic world, sustained role of political parties  News media coverage - follow up & partnership  More revelations, not redressal  Discussion in Assemblies of annual reports  We need more indicative criteria for implementation  The figures being put out by Commissions be made reflective

19 19 Research Issues :Effects / What Difference RTI has Made  Tracking its use – who, where, what, when, how  Who is taking advantage of the Act, what difference it is making  Which section is benefiting or for whose advantage  Activating – the poor, the far off ones,  Better efficiency of targeted schemes, utilization of allocations  Mind set of service providers, PIOs,  Implementation of various (dormant) laws  Credibility of bureaucracy, decline in work loads, delays, etc.

20 Let us make RTI a turning point and also a tipping point…

21 21 Thank you…


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