Promoting Freedom of Information Activism at the Local Level in Brazil

Grantee: ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression

The aim of the project was to promote the development of a more inclusive and equal society through promoting the free flow of information to the general public so that individuals, civil servants and civil society groups acting at the local level can hold their government to account, advocate for their rights and entitlements more effectively and influence policy-making processes. Specifically the project set out to foster local activism on freedom of information and to use access to information and transparency tools to strengthen participation within municipal governments across Brazil. The project strategy was built around four specific components: a strengthened and effective network of local activists working on access to information; increased public understanding of the importance of freedom of information and how to use the concept to encourage transparency and accountability; increased public demand for governments’ responsiveness to information requests at the local level; legislative and policy reform initiatives to promote transparency at the local level. The project was highly relevant since the Access to Public Information Act had recently come into effect. This Act required each municipality to draft regulations ensuring its proper enforcement. Yet surveys had indicated a lack of interest and knowledge in many municipalities about enforcing this law.