Development of Right to Information (RTI) Guide Book / RTI Toolkit
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is implementing a project aimed at enhancing citizens’ access to information and their participation in local governance in selected districts in Ghana. The project seeks to increase local authorities’ responsiveness to local development concerns/challenges of their constituents.
A major challenge to good governance in Ghana has been the low level of citizens’ access to information and participation in governance processes, particularly at the local level. Information disclosure by local government authorities and access to information by citizens and media practitioners continue to remain low. The consequences have been less public demand for accountability, limited transparency in the utilisation of public resources, and abuse of public resources.
As part of efforts to mitigate the challenges, the government of Ghana passed the Right to Information (RTI) bill into law in March 2019 and the RTI Act came into effect in January 2020. As part of the strategies to effectively implement the RTI Act, the Ministry Information developed a roadmap to commence implementation and to ensure the process is effective. One of the key strategies in the roadmap is the sensitization of the public to understand the Act and how it works.
In an effort to contribute to public access to information and sensitization on the RTI Act, the MFWA seeks to develop a Right to Information (RTI) Guide Book as a toolkit to improving journalists and citizens’ access to information. The RTI Guide book is expected to cover all key aspects in the Act based on these three (3) sections: How journalists/media practitioners can use the Act, how citizens can use the Act and how information holders can use the Act to disseminate information. The guide book/tool kit must outline potential problems that may arise while seeking information under the Act and provide useful tips for journalists and citizens to mitigate the challenges. The guide book must also give practical examples on how investigative journalists and citizens can access information using the RTI law. It should further be explained in simple and easy to understand language for journalists, citizens and information holders.
The MFWA hereby invites interested and competent consultants to submit applications for the functions specified in the scope of work below:
Purpose of the Call
The MFWA is seeking an experienced individual with the ability to perform the consultancy task stated above for a short-term period.
- The call is aimed at developing RTI guide book as a toolkit for journalists, citizens and information holders to increase access to information and subsequently improving citizens participation in governance in Ghana.
Scope of Work
The work will comprehensively analyse Ghana’s RTI Act and other relevant documents on access to information to develop a guide book for journalists and citizens to use to access information.
The key deliverables are as follows and each section should open with key deliverables/outcomes and include at least, one case study/example, and end with exercises, and recommendations for further reading
- Review Ghana’s RTI Act and other relevant documents on RTI and develop an RTI Guide book/toolkit for journalists, citizens and information holders (describe why information disclosure/the Act is important within the governance and accountability framework, what the RTI can do for journalists/information holders and the public/citizens; provide case studies, emerging practices in the area of RTI) as the introduction
- The RTI Guide book/toolkit shall highlight key principles, privileges/rights processes, practical steps in using the RTI Act, invoking/redeeming rights, seeking redress/challenging rejections and other relevant information in the Act (such as exemptions, responsibility of public institutions, persons to deal with application, rights of journalists and citizens etc.) needed in accessing information under the RTI law of Ghana.
- Section 1: How can journalists use the law to access information (Give practical examples, where to go/who to ask for what information, sample RTI request letters for journalists, court cases on RTI issues between journalists and the state/information holders, opportunities available for journalists, tips on how journalists can use the law)
- Section 2: How can citizens use the law to access information (give practical examples of issues citizens can request for information on, from who and how; sample request letters, case examples of how citizens have been able to secure downward accountability; how uneducated citizens and other marginalized groups can use the law to request for information)
- Section 3: How can information holders use the law to promote access to information. (opportunities for information holders to practice proactive disclosures, ensure stakeholder inclusiveness and policy by-in, sample referral letters, roles and responsibilities of information holders)
- The RTI Book must also analyse best practices of RTI implementation in other countries that can be applied in the Ghanaian context to improve accountability and transparency in access to information
The consultant will work under the supervision of the Media Foundation for West Africa who have the responsibility to ensure the RTI Guide Book/toolkit meets the intended project goals and objectives.
Key Requirement from Applicants
- Applicant must be a legal practitioner, Policy Analyst or a researcher with an experience in the law field. Having a media background is an added advantage
- The consultant must have similar work experiences in the last 5 years
- The consultant must demonstrate the ability to comprehensively analyse a legislative document and critically make recommendations
- The consultant must demonstrate excellent knowledge of international development and National political structures and principles
- Applicant must have a considerable amount of knowledge of Ghana Local Government systems and citizens access to information in the past decade
- A detailed CV outlining your expertise in the field of interest and your ability to execute the work
- At least a sample of similar work that has been executed in the past years
- Cover letter addressed to the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa
- Any other document that further demonstrates the candidate is qualified for the work is an added advantage.
|Signing of Terms of Reference (TOR)
|June 20, 2020
|40% of consultancy fees paid
|Submission of First draft of RTI Guide Book/toolkit
|August 20, 2020
|MFWA to review the RTI toolkit and feedback
|August 20 – August 25, 2020
|Review of RTI Guide book based on Feedback from the MFWA
|August 25 – September 07, 2020
|Submission of Final Copy of the RTI Guide Book to the MFWA
|September 07, 2020
|Final payment of the consultancy fees after approval of final work
Method of Submission of Application and deadline
Applications should reach the MFWA on or before June 10, 2020. The application letter must be addressed to the Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa.