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Developing the IAT

As a first step to developing the Implementation Assessment Tool (IAT), The Carter Center engaged in considerable research to identify the breadth of national — and in some cases sub-national — implementation plans and to evaluate the commonalities. Next, the Center convened a group of renowned experts to provide inputs for the basic design and to identify potential pitfalls in creating and applying the tool. The initial meeting considered the key issues in implementation, prospective indicators, and began identifying the means by which to measure them. The two days of robust discussion not only established the importance of the IAT, but also highlighted a number of potential problems and risks that merited additional consideration. Underlying both days of discussion was how to make the study replicable and portable across varying countries and how to insure that the tool also assesses quality of the implementation, rather than just a "check the box." At the conclusion of the meeting, participants agreed that the tool's framing question would be "To what extent is the agency capacitated and prepared to provide information and respond to requests?"

Following the initial design of the IAT, The Carter Center convened a broader based group of access to information and transparency experts to peer review the indicators, application methodology, and sampling (country and ministry/agency) determinations. It was recognized that at present there are no clearly agreed upon universal best practices for access to information legislation implementation. Therefore, as part of developing the IAT, The Carter Center has identified key elements for full and effective implementation, thus formulating de facto best practices.

With the endorsement of the tool's purpose, over the course of the next months, the design of the IAT was modified to allow for assessment on both the "x" and "y" axis and a total of 70 indicators — with a scaling for each indicator — were finalized. Finally, to validate the indicators and scaling, The Carter Center again undertook an extensive analysis of existing implementation plans and practice. The result is a comprehensive tool that provides an assessment, based on a stoplight methodology, of the extent and quality of an agency's access to information implementation.

Documents:

All files are PDF and require Adobe Reader to view. Free download available here

Meeting summary August 2009

Briefing materials August 2009

Meeting summary November 2009

Briefing materials November 2009

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