Freedom of and access to information are some of the most crucial aspects of good governance and corruption prevention. The opportunities for citizens to see public sector documents, to approach their government representatives and to have access to data on public finance are not only important ways to engage citizens but also real tools to promote transparency.
Although TI Lithuania had been working in these areas since its establishment, its first project, Citizen empowerment through access to information, financed by the UK Embassy in Lithuania, was implemented in the autumn of 2010. This initiative formed the basis for the study, Information accessibility in Lithuania. The results can be found here: download (1,0 MB)
The results from the research showed the various aspects of information accessibility in Lithuania and suggested that during the past 2 years only 29% of respondents have approached public institutions to access information. After a detailed legal analysis, TI Lithuania found that the legal measures in place were sufficient and did not create any barriers of access for citizens. Because of this, TI Lithuania decided to concentrate on ways to encourage and engage citizens to take advantage of their right to access and use information. TI Lithuania created and distributed How to get information from state and municipality institutions, published in the newspaper 15min. A digital copy of the publication can be found here: download (5,2 MB)
In order to present and discuss the findings of their research, TI Lithuania organized a conference on Public sector communication with society: challenges and trends.
Currently, TI Lithuania is actively working in this area by collaborating with international defenders of open information freedom from the network FOIAnet, organizingtraining sessions and seminars about information accessibility and data processing for journalists. Furthermore, the importance of open and easily accessible data is always stressed when meeting with students and citizens.
In addtion, TI Lithuania created this internet tool to promote information accessibility:
Using this tool, you can enter an address to find out who your representatives in the government (mayors, municipal representatives, members of national and the European parliament(s)) in the area are and send them a private or public letter. All public letters are visible to other visitors. The website also suggests how to use your civil rights to get information – a brochure for such purposes is available for download. The tool has been online since 2011.
TI Lithuania study on information accessibility in Lithuania
About the study:
The aim of this study was to determine the situation of information accessibility in Lithuania and present possible ways to solve identified problems with reference to national sociological surveys and expert evaluations.