The right to Information Act: issues and challenges of its implementation in Bangladesh
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 23:08 authored by Harold Sougato Baroi
Over the past few decades, there has been a trend to introduce right to information laws. Even though much of the existing literature regard this trend as a new phenomenon, it was integral to the overall development of international human laws that has taken place over time. In 2009, Bangladesh introduced the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which guarantees people's access to information and aims to reduce corruption and empower people to access their social, economic and political entitlements. This thesis raises the question, 'To what extent has the implementation of the RTI Act contributed to improving people's access to government information?' Few studies have raised this question since the Act was introduced. The existing literature is fragmented and inconclusive. This study aims to address the gap in the literature and investigate the implementation of the RTI Act, particularly at the local level. This thesis strives to ascertain whether the implementation of the RTI Act has been successful in achieving its objectives. The empirical findings of this study show no significant improvement in people's access to information. It presents arguments that support why the top-down approach used to implement the RTI Act in Bangladesh is inappropriate in achieving the desired goals. The study argues that there are various factors-institutional, behavioural, cultural that had a major impact on the implementation of the Act. The proposed Open Access Model is to overcome implementation challenges. In a nutshell, this thesis aims to provide a new perspective and to encourage more studies on approaches to ensure the successful implementation of the Act.