Earlier this week marked the celebration of the 12th Annual International Right to Know Day.
The event was first proposed during a meeting of access to information advocates in Sofia, Bulgaria in September of 2002 and has since grown to an internationally recognized celebration promoting freedom of information (FOI) initiatives worldwide.
Twelve years later more than 60 countries having access to information legislation celebrate the day (and in some cases, the week) by promoting FOI initiatives and their results. Primarily hosted by civil society organizations (CSO’s), citizen groups, and academic/research institutions, the idea is to help citizens engage with their governments to become active participants in the democratic process.
With more governments and partners adopting transparency initiatives, advocates of access to information continue to see the movement expand worldwide. Events like Right to Know Day are critical to the success of global Open Development initiatives in that they promote the strong collaboration between various partners in order to spread awareness on a larger scale. Citizens are engaged through these events, allowing for millions of individuals worldwide to learn what their governments and organizations are doing for them, and learning what they can do to hold their governments accountable.