Access to Information and E-Governance

 Photo: UNDP UzbekistanPhoto: UNDP Uzbekistan

Democracy flourishes when all voices are of equal importance and everyone participates in decisions affecting their lives. Two rights stand out in all open democratic societies — freedom of expression and access to information.

Democratic governance requires the participation of the people yet the voices of the poor, women and minorities too often go unheard. It requires 'inclusive participation' in which all people take part in the government of their country. To be effective, they will need access to information, and modern technology can play an important role.

Access to information is vital for transparency, accountability, participation and rule of law — all hallmarks of democratic governance. It empowers people to take an active part in political decision-making, including the free and open debate essential to sustain pluralistic regimes.

  • UNDP supports national efforts that foster access to information for all people. This work is related to Communication for Development, with its focus on participatory approaches.

E-governance involves a public investment in information and communication technologies (ICTs) to strengthen governance processes. Access to and use of ICTs can provide new and innovative communication channels that empower people and give voice to those who previously had none, while allowing them to interact via networks and networking.

  • UNDP promotes e-administration, e-service delivery and e-participation in a people-centred and pro-poor approach.

Countries are using ICTs to increase public participation in decision-making processes, improve how their public institutions function, and enhance the delivery of public services. UNDP ensures that these efforts include the poor and marginalized.