In the public eye: Citizens' views on access to information

A large majority of citizens (84%) support the passage of an access to information law. Furthermore, eight out of ten citizens think that information held by public authorities should be accessible to ordinary citizens (77%). They also think that access to this information would reduce or prevent corruption and other wrongdoing by public officials (80%).

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled In the public eye: Citizens’ views on access to information. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,330 respondents across Mainland Tanzania (Zanzibar is not covered in these results) in March and April 2015.

Citizens are in favour of having a clause in the access to information law that makes public officials who do not comply with the law punishable by law. Almost half (47%) list this as the most important feature of the law. One out of five (21%) say that the most important aspect of the law is to compel public authorities to publish information. There is similar support for the protection of whistleblowers (18%).

Read more: accountability



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