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Piloting the IAT

The first phase of the pilot assessed ministries in three countries. Additional countries will be included in the later phases, with the indicators refined and perfected after each pilot phase. In preparation for selecting the pilot countries to operationalize the IAT, the Center created a list of criteria and variables. For the pilot selection, we considered the following conditions:

  • Region
  • Length of time that the FOI law/regulation has been in effect
  • Type of legal system/framework (common law vs. civil)
  • Type of civil service (professionalized vs. more partisan)
  • Development status/Income level [1]
  • Type of oversight mechanism or body
  • Availability of social scientists/civil society leaders to undertake the study
  • Existing data sets or studies related to access to information
  • Political will/interest

With these criteria in mind, starting in August 2011, the IAT was piloted in South Africa, Mexico, and Bangladesh.

The IAT will be applied in six ministries and/or agencies in each country, as selected by The Carter Center, engaging the respective high level officials. For uniformity, the same ministries/agencies in each of the pilot countries will be engaged. Criteria used in determining the specific ministries/agencies included those agencies that held information critical for fundamental human and socio-economic rights; agencies that play a role in poverty reduction and in fulfillment of the MDGs; agencies that are key in the overseeing or promoting the overall ATI regime; and a mix of Ministries and agencies.

For the future pilot assessment and subsequent reports, The Carter Center will utilize Global Integrity's Indaba, an online software platform used to manage geographically distributed researchers and information. As one of the first organizations to use the platform, The Carter Center will be able to use the site to work with researchers around the world who have specialized knowledge of their country's government, and build an accessible repository of information for civil society organizations, citizens, and particularly governments themselves.

Following each series of pilot studies, The Carter Center will assess, through peer reviews, the substantive findings as well as the efficacy of the IAT, and make any necessary adjustments to the tool. The Center will document the findings, both from the pilot countries as well as the changes in the IAT, and will disseminate broadly its full methodology and all of the IAT findings in the final year of the project.


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

Pilot Phase I

Researchers Guide Pilot Phase I

IAT Pilot Phase I Indicators

Pilot Phase I Meeting Summary

Pilot Phase II

Researchers Guide Pilot Phase II

Guía del Investigador Fase Pilota II

Indaba Users Guide

Guía de Usuario Indaba

IAT Phase II Indicators

Indicadores Fase Pilota II

Pilot Phase III

Researchers Guide Pilot Phase III

Guía del Investigador Fase Pilota III

Indaba Users Guide

Guía de Usuario Indaba

IAT Phase III Indicators

Indicadores Fase Pilota III


1 We will use the World Bank's Country Classification for income-level.

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