Nepal was the first country in the South Asian region to have formal constitutional recognition of the Right to Information (RTI) at Article 16 of the 1990 Constitution. The incumbent Interim Constitution (2007) of Nepal also guarantees the right to information as a fundamental right at Article 27. The full-fledged Right to Information Act enacted in 2007 is Nepal’s further commitment towards it.
Right to information is one of the eight basic consumer rights as per the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection and is also an integral part of our Consumer Protection Act. With this constitutional and legal guarantee, Nepali citizens enjoy every right to question the government, demand it to perform better and hold it to account for the actions undertaken or for the resources spent in various development and welfare programs.
GoGo Foundation belives that when people start demanding information and details on government spending, public officials will have limited chances not to open up or to indulge in misallocation of public funds. One of the many ways to promote good governance is to create a huge public demand for accountability and transparency. And RTI law has this power to generate huge public demand for accountable and transparent governance.
RTI has given Nepali citizens the opportunity to ensure greater oversight of government functioning and enhance transparency and accountability in governance. It renews ‘social contract’ between the state and citizenry by strengthening public trust in the government machineries. From development sector to service delivery to aid effectiveness, RTI is the key to transparency and accountability in all these sectors.
GoGo Foundation strongly believes that RTI is fundamental to the realization of socio-economic rights including civil and political rights. In order to realize these rights, application of this landmark legislation must be guaranteed through the increased access to public information. To this end, GoGo Foundation has been operating RTI Help Desk at its office to provide free services to people helping them to write RTI applications and file them at the concerned public bodies.
GoGo Foundation works to generate public awareness and sensitization about the importance of right to information through media campaign and capacity development approaches. It forges collaboration with the community organizations, builds capacity of the people and public bodies alike, and catalyses local networks for its wider dissemination to promote informed application of the law by the community itself. It also conducts research on different aspects of right to information and communicates them to policy makers in various ways.