Development of information guides to ease understanding of ATI

Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has said the development of an information guide will help to faster truck the operationalization of the Access to Information Act.

Chairperson of the Access to Information Committee, Commissioner, Baldwin Chamwaka said this Wednesday at Chikho Hotel in Mponela during the official opening of the two-day workshop on the development of Information guides in the Access to Information (ATI) Act. 

He said the development information guide remains crucial in the country owing to the fact most Malawians have not had access to the ATI Act.

“We believe the development of the guide will help us to bring in the much-needed information closer to the people on the grass root. We need to translate the guide into various local languages for easy access to all,” Chamwaka said.

Chamwaka: Information guides will help institutions to understand ATI pic by Tione Andsen (Mana) 

He said the information guides would assist the public with ease of understanding the procedure for requesting information as provided in the Act and Regulations. 

The Commissioner noted the presence of an information gap that needs to be addressed so that the public should be enlightened on the processes of how to access information from various institutions. 

Chamwaka commended Oxfam Malawi for collaboration with MHCR in the implementation of ATI and for providing financial support to the workshop.

MHRC Deputy Executive Secretary, Winston Mwafurliwa said the meeting would help the participants to reflect on how to develop an information guide for use in the implementation of the Act.

He said the information guide would provide the necessary support to information holders and seekers when the need arises. 

Oxfam Malawi ATI Programme Officer, Frank Toto said the guides public institutions and individuals to take a proactive approach and process information requests by citizens.

He said this would reduce bottlenecks in providing access to information by information holders. 

Oxfam Malawi and its partners, Youth and Society and development Communication Trust with funding from European Union (EU) are implementing a project titled influencing the effective implementation and enforcement of a regulatory framework that guarantees the right to information.