Suva, Fiji - Academics from different schools and faculties will be upgrading their knowledge on the values and practical application of right to information and open data for the advancement of public integrity, transparency and accountability. The training of trainers (TOT) on the ‘Right to Information in Practice’, a series of four modules provided over two weeks, commenced today hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) and USP Students’ Association (USPSA). The training is provided under UNDP’s Pacific Anti-Corruption Project supported by the UK government.
The TOT is designed for academics and practitioners to further share knowledge and inspire constructive dialogue on right to information (RTI) and its relevance for promoting and practicing transparency, accountability, integrity and openness. The initiative aims to create genuine, inclusive and effective citizens’ demand for accountability with specific focus on civil society organizations, youth, women entrepreneurs, and people with disabilities.
Mr. Mani Mate, President USPSA and Chair of Student Council said, “Participants engaging in the four modules facilitated by an RTI expert, are expected to learn from good practices and experiences at international level on citizen-friendly models for right to access to information.”
“They will then review the applicability of the models to the Pacific context, and explore the values of cross-sectoral partnerships on advancing the right to information agenda, said Mr Mate.
Ms. Nicola Noble, Head of Pacific Conflict, Stability and Security Programme, British High Commission said, “The right to information is an important anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability mechanism. The UK government is pleased to support this important initiative for advancement of the right to information and open data in the Pacific through knowledge-sharing, practical training and advocacy activities at USP and USPSA, in partnership with UNDP.”
By the end of the training, participants will be equipped with new skills related to the concept and values of RTI and open data for improved accountability, transparency and integrity in the public sector. Through interactive learning process and dialogue, the participants will learn how to spread this knowledge, including specifically among civil society organizations, youth, women entrepreneurs, and persons with disabilities.
Mr Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said that the TOT module was well-designed to strengthen participants’ awareness and knowledge of the values of right to information and inspire further interest, further research and development of practical tools for improved exercise of the right to information.
“It aims to contribute to the advancement of the ‘Teieniwa’ Pacific Unity against Corruption Vision and progress against Agenda 2030, with focus on Sustainable Development Goal 16 on building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, added Mr Bouadze
The project, Strengthening Anticorruption, Transparency and Accountability in Pacific Island Countries (‘Pacific Anti-Corruption Project’) supports promotion of right to information agenda, including citizens’ access to information, open data and oversight role of non-state actors to strengthen integrity anti-corruption systems at national and subnational level in the Pacific.
Tomoko Kashiwazaki, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org