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Can an Open Access Approach be the Solution to Better Implementation of the Right to Information Act in Bangladesh?

In: Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
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Legal implementation has always been a challenge in Bangladesh. The Right to Information Act 2009 (the RTI Act) was introduced in Bangladesh with the objective of ensuring people’s access to government information for improving accountability and empowering people to participate in decisions that shape the social, economic, and political aspects of their lives. However, this article suggests that there has been no significant improvement in accessing government information despite the enactment and the strategies for the implementation of the RTI Act. Most citizens are unaware of their legal entitlements to seek and receive information. Only a small number of applications have been registered with public offices since the RTI Act was introduced in 2009. The article argues that one of the main reasons behind the lack of improvement is that the chosen implementation approach fails to engage the public to exercise their right to access information related to government services. This article claims that a proactive and deliberative approach to information disclosure is a much better alternative to the current scheme for implementing the RTI Act.

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