WATCH: RTI Law Community Awareness On Ambae Island – 2:50 Minutes.

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU recently visited the island of Ambae to inform the people there about the National Right To Information Law which which became an official in Vanuatu on 6 February 2017.

In some of the places that we visited the people were part of the consultation process and gratefully acknowledged the opportunity to have been involved in policy making.

This short 2:50 Minutes film briefly summaries a few interviews and shots of the walkabout.

This activity is funded by the Pacific Leadership Program.

WATCH: Short Interviews n RTI Law Community Awareness On Ambae Island

Advertisements

Photos: Right To Information Law Community Awareness –  Malekula Island  

Awareness session at Lakatoro Market House.

A Team from Transparency International Vanuatu was recently on the island of Malekula conducting community awareness’s on the Right To Information Law from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2017.

The trip to the island of Malekula was made possible through funding support from the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP).

These are a few of the photos from that activity. 

Photos taken on a phone camera.

Traveling by boat to inform people from the offshore islands of Malekula.

Mother and her baby at Lakatoro.

Citizens being informed.

Distributing RTI Posters.

Raising the Right To Information message at Lakatoro.

Putting up posters at Potovro, Malekula.

Informing whoever we come across.

Right To Information Law is ‘The Peoples Law’.

The people have the right to know.

Distributing posters and brochures along the roads.

Vendor at Lakatoro Market House getting informed.

Matanvat, North West Malekula

Rensarie College.

Informing students and teachers at Rensarie College.

MOU Signing Paves Way For Proper Management Of Records And Information

A MILESTONE MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MOU) signed yesterday (Tuesday 06 Dec 2016) ) between the Director of the Department of Strategic Planning, Policy and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) Gregoire Nimbtik, and the Director for Vanuatu Kaljurol Senta (VKS), Asal Lazare, now paves way for the establishment of mechanisms for proper records and information management under the Right To Information At.

The RTI Act was unanimously passed by parliament on 24 November 2016.

Speaking after the signing, DSPPAC Director Nimbtik said the MOU is very crucial to the pro-active and publication scheme under the implementation plan of the Right To Information policy and RTI Act.

pr

Mr. Gregoire Nimbtik (right) the  Director of DSPPAC formalising MOU with Mr Asal Lazare the Director of VKS.

Mr Nimbtik said under the MOU, the National Archives will take the lead in establishing National Records and Information Development Committee to reinforce best practice of records management and establish standards and guidelines as required by the RTI Act.

“Implementation of the RTI law will not succeed without good record keeping”, he said.

The RTI Unit under DSPPAC will work closely with VKS and the National Archives to set up respective committees under its strategic plan.

In response, VKS Director Lazare assured everyone of his agencies commitment to fulfilling the records management requirements under the RTI implemention plan.

“This signing is a historic milestone in cooperation between VKS and the Prime Minister’s Office. In the past we have been operating independently from other government departments, but that this MOU marks the beginning of closer working relationship with other agencies as we embark on the RTI implementation plan”, he said.

Mr Lazare said the MOU will also foster a recent structural change in his agency that saw the stream lining of sections from 11 down to 3, which are the Public Records and Archives, Production and the National Heritage, and the Research sections.

He believes the implementation process undertaken under the MOU will also assist in the functioning of his new structure.

The National Archives under the VKS has been working diligently in the past years to assist government agencies with records management training awareness and is committed to carrying out its strategic plans.

Source: Media Release from DSPPAC

What We Are Doing This 16 Days Of Activism

What we are doing during this 16 Days of Activism?

The Government’s Right To Information Unit, the Media Asosiesen  Blong Vanuatu (MAV) and Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) are visiting communities in Port Vila to inform the them about the Right To Information Bill that was recently passed by Parliament and how the implementation phase will roll out.

Why?

The Right To Information Law is the Peoples Law, therefore the people must be informed of how, and why, they need to use it.

Advising people that a powerful law like the Right To Information Law would just be another piece of paper unless it is used.

Lastly, now that the Right To Information Bill has passed, the people deserve the right to know what will happen next in its implementation phase.

untitled-1

 

Offshore RTI Consultations Completed, Erromango Next

THE ONGOING NATION-WIDE community consultations by Transparency Vanuatu (TV) on the Right To Information (RTI) Bill completed its eleventh campaign throughout the Efate offshore islands and has moved on to the island of Erromango.

It took more than a week to inform the people of the islands of Emau, Lelepa, Moso, Pele, 2and Nguna. The islands of Pele, Lelepa and Moso took a day each to complete while the island of Nguna took three days.

The consultation throughout the islands has been successful. On the island of Pele, for example, seventy five percent (75%) of the population were informed of the RTI Bill. Similarly, on the island of Nguna sixty four percent (64%) of the population were informed of the RTI Bill. A hundred percent (100%) of the people want their Members of Parliament to support the Bill when they were asked if their MP should vote for the RTI Bill or not.

Statistically, this means that more than half of the people from the Efate offshore islands are now aware of the RTI Bill and how the Bill will impact society when it becomes law.

1

“Many of us want accurate information, but a lot of time we get information from radio-coconut which makes our decision inaccurate. I belief that this (RTI) Bill will help a lot of people,” said the Atavi (the name represents a chiefly rank) of Piliura village, Pele Island.

The Transparency Vanuatu team that is conducting the consultations have moved on, since Tuesday the 1st of November, to the island of Erromango where the consultations were completed on the 8th of November, 2016.

6

4

On the island of Erromango the team started the campaign at Dillon’s Bay, then to Ipota, before moving out to the other regions on the island. (More reports on this campaign will be published)

Transparency Vanuatu has been involved in a year-long consultation program that aims to inform the people of Vanuatu about the Right To Information (RTI) Bill.

As the campaign moves forward more and more people are now aware of the RTI Bill, and 7more and more people are showing their support by asking their MPs to vote for the RTI Bill when it is tabled in Parliament.

This RTI campaign tours are funded by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP), based in Fiji, who supports Transparency Vanuatu’s work with the Government’s Right to Information (RTI) Unit to raise awareness and promote public interest in the RTI Policy and Bill.

5

PLP’s support has enabled Transparency Vanuatu to campaign in communities and schools and host public forums on the RTI Policy and Bill, using its strong networks in the provinces.

3

Accessibility Guidelines LAUNCHED: Accessing Information Has Just Reached A Higher Percent.

VANUATU HAS REACHED another milestone as the Vanuatu Government pushes for more inclusiveness in the sharing and access of public information. Today, the 27th of September, the Vanuatu Right To Information (RTI) Accessibility Guidelines was launched by the Governments Chief Information Officer, Mr. Gerard Metsan, on behalf of the government.

5

Information provided by the Governments Right To Information (RTI) Unit states that;

The RTI Vanuatu Accessibility Project is a short term project to develop web accessibility guidelines for use by Government agencies in collaboration with the Office of Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). The project has also tested use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to make scanned documents accessible for people with disability.

4

The project aims to ensure that the Government Right to Information and Universal Access policies
encompass all peoples of Vanuatu, regardless of ability. The project will assist the Government to achieve its target of 98% population access to broad and narrow access by January 2018.

The project has been undertaken with participation by the Vanuatu Civil Society Disability Network (VCSDN) and Oxfam in Vanuatu. The purpose of the VCSDN is to provide a forum for civil society organisations working towards disability inclusion to share ideas and strategies m learn together, support each other and reduce duplication of effort.

Funding for the project was provided by the Australian Government through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) Disability Initiative Grants, administered by Scope Global.

This means that people that live with disability will have their right to access information made physically possible with the help of technological tools. This is a huge step for Vanuatu, and it leaps Vanuatu forward from other island nations in this respect.

3

Transparency International Vanuatu has spent the last year promoting the Right To Information, and consulting with communities, and gathering opinions on the Right To Information Bill which had been listed twice for debate in Parliament but had unfortunately been withdrawn for various reasons. This RTI Campaign Tours was made possible through financial assistance provided by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP).

2

The Right To Information is seen as a key ingredient for good governance because it strengthens accountability and ensures that transparency exists across all public sectors. And now with the launch of the RTI Accessibility Guidelines the percentage of the population that can access information has just increased to a higher percent.

 

 

TIV To Conduct A Week Of RTI Awareness On Ambrym

OFFICERS FROM TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU will be visiting the island of Ambrym from the 18th to the 23rd of this month, September, to continue with the Right To Information (RTI) Bill Community Awareness Program.

The RTI bill is a new initiative being undertaken to allow citizens to have an easier to accessing information that they need from public offices. The RTI policy was launched in 2013 and it commits the government to release information to the public. Currently, the RTI Bill is ready to be discussed in parliament.

In brief, the right to information seeks to promote openness, transparency and accountability in

The functioning of every public authority. It supports and protects human rights and makes citizens a part of decision making. And most importantly it is a tool that can be legally utilized to reduce corruption in Vanuatu.

The team will begin the awareness campaign at Ulei at the south eastern part of the island and will finish next week on Friday at Craigcove before they return to Port Vila. This campaign to the island of Ambrym would be the eight of its kind to be conducted by Transparency International Vanuatu in Vanuatu.

According to the Vanuatu National Statistics Office, in 2009 the island of Ambrym has a population of just over seven thousand people. These means that if the campaign team visits several villages and manages to talk with roughly a thousand people then that would mean that about fifteen percent of the population would be aware of the RTI by the end of next week.

And given our love for ‘storian’ the RTI message should reach over half of the people that live on the island by a month or so. Our main goals at Transparency International Vanuatu are to share information on the reasons why we need to have a Right To Information law, and secondly to gather people’s opinion and to present it to the public, and to the lawmakers as supportive and actual information so that they can make the right decision when the time comes.

Information is power – but 20 to 30 years ago, such power was focused only in the hands of an exclusive few.

With grassroots campaigns and high-level advocacy, the Transparency International Secretariat (based in Berlin, Germany) has called on leaders around the world to prove they have got nothing to hide. Today, freedom of information is enshrined in the legal codes of more than 100 countries.

In countries where the right to information is already a law the Transparency International Secretariat (TIS) is working to find new and better ways to make it useful. With innovative tools and training’s, TIS is helping turn government information into citizen power.

Transparency International Vanuatu wants to ensure this trend continues in Vanuatu.

While the officers are on Ambrym community leaders who wish to have the RTI awareness conducted in their community can conduct Transparency International Vanuatu (Tel: 25715) to identify their locations so that the team can visit them to share information on the contents of the Right To Information Bill.

This RTI campaign tours are funded by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) who supports Transparency International Vanuatu’s work with the Government’s Right to Information (RTI) Unit to raise awareness and promote public interest in the RTI Policy and Bill. PLP’s support has enabled TIV to campaign in communities and schools and host public forums on the RTI Policy and Bill, using its strong networks in the provinces.

This process has built the public’s knowledge and understanding of the principles of good leadership and the importance of government transparency and given the RTI Unit insights into how the Policy can be effectively implemented.

The Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) is a regional initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that recognises the pivotal role of leadership in development. PLP builds, applies and shares knowledge on developmental leadership (i.e. individuals, organisations and other stakeholders working together on inclusive policy and institutional change for the public good).