Methodology

The Global Right to Information Rating is a programme which comparatively assesses the strength of legal frameworks for the right to information from around the world. At the heart of the methodology for applying the RTI Rating are 61 Indicators. For each Indicator, countries earn points within a set range of scores (in most cases 0-2), depending on how well the legal framework delivers the Indicator, for a possible total of 150 points. The indicators are divided into seven different categories, namely: Right of Access, Scope, Requesting Procedures, Exceptions and Refusals, Appeals, Sanctions and Protections, and Promotional Measures.

It important to note that the RTI Rating is limited to measuring the legal framework, and does not measure quality of implementation. In some cases, countries with relatively weak laws may nonetheless be very open, due to positive implementation efforts, while even relatively strong laws cannot ensure openness if they are not implemented properly. Regardless of these outlying cases, over time a strong access to information law can contribute to advancing openness and help those using it to defend and promote the right of access to information. It is also important to note that, while openness extends to factors beyond the legal framework for RTI, a strong legal framework is an important pre-requisite to full implementation of the right to information.

The first step in the RTI Rating was to develop the Indicators around which the whole Rating methodology revolves. The Indicators were developed by analysing a wide range of international standards on the right to information, as well as comparative study of numerous right to information laws from around the world. The next step was to develop a standardised scoring tool, based on the Indicators, to ensure that the points under each Indicator were allocated consistently across different countries.

Once the scoring tool had been developed, it was honed in two ways. First, AIE and CLD conducted a pilot application on a number of countries from around the world, adapting them to address any problems that arose. Second, an Advisory Council* of renowned experts on the right to information provided detailed advice to AIE and CLD on the development of the Indicators.

The scoring tool was then applied to each of the 89 countries which, as of September 2011, had RTI laws on the books. This work was carried out by researchers at CLD and AIE. To check these assessments, and to be sure that the wider legal context was taken into account, local legal experts** were asked to review and comment on the original assessments, and these comments were then integrated into the scoring.

Since the RTI Rating was first launched on Right to Know Day, 2011, CLD and AIE have continually updated it, adding new countries as new RTI laws were passed. The scoring tool has also been used to assess a variety of international and sub-national RTI frameworks. In the years since the Rating was unveiled, it has been widely cited among global press, and has become recognised as the gold standard for assessing the strength of an RTI framework.

* The Members of the Advisory Council are: Yaman Akdeniz, Eduardo Bertoni, Mukelani Dimba, Andrea Figari, Katleen Janssen, Alexander Kashumov, Dani Kaufman, Johan Lidberg, Marcos Mendiburu, Venkatesh Nayak, Priscilla Nyokabi, Darian Pavli and Nataša Pirc Musar.

**The list of local experts is as follows:
Emmanuel Abdulai, Sierra Leone
Zahid Abdullah, Pakistan
Ioana Advani, Codru Vrabie, Romania;
Khaled Saleh al-Anesi, Yemen;
Ilir Aliaj, Albania;
Nadejda Alisheva, Ainura Eshenalieva, Masha Lisitsyna and Begaim Usenova, Kyrgyzstan
Juan Pablo Guerrero Amparán, Mexico
Linda Austere, Latvia;
Helena Bengtsson, Sweden;
Anjali Bhardwaj and Venkatesh Nayak, India
Benoit Boissinot, Prisca Orsonneau, France ;
Srdjan Blagovcanin, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Javier Casa and Ricardo Corcuera Molina, Peru
Corina Cepoi, Sergiu Rusanovschi, Moldova;
Jackie Chikakano, Zimbabwe
Dance Danilovska–Bajdevska, Macedonia;
Daniel Dietrich, Klaus Gronenberg, Christian Mihr, Germany;
Mukelani Dimba, South Africa
Shushan Doydoyan, Armenia;
Agnes Ebo’o, Niger
Andrew Ecclestone, New Zealand
Francesca Fanucci, Italy;
Davida Flores, Malta;
Maurice Frankel, UK.
Carolyn Gomes, Jamaica
Candy Gonzalez, Belize
Tamar Gurchiani, Tamuna Kaldani, Georgia;
Debebe Hailegebriel, Ethiopia
Tivadar Huttl, Hungary;
Anna Celeste Januario, Angola
Malcolm Joseph, Liberia
Nozima Kamalova, Uzbekistan
Fredrick Hendrick Karanganwa, Rwanda
Alexander Kashumov, Bulgaria
Yuko Kasuya, Japan
Old_ich Ku_ílek, Czech Republic;
Edison Lanza and Mariana Mas, Uruguay
Liisa Leppavirta, Paivi Leino-Sandberg, Finland;
Johan Lidberg, Australia
Maeve McDonagh, Gavin Sheridan, Ireland;
Andres Mejia, Colombia
Thelma Mejia, Honduras
Ruta Mrazauskaite, Lithuania;
Hashhuu Naranjargal, Mongolia
Nemanja Nenadic, Serbia;
Edetaen Ojo, Nigeria
Ivan Pavlov, Russia;
Roy Peled, Israel
Natasa Pirc, Slovenia;
Vivian Newman Pont, Colombia;
Alen Rajko and Sasa Segrt, Croatia;
Laura Rivera, El Salvador
Roman Romanov, Dmytro Kotliar, Ukraine;
Moíses Sánchez, Chile
Gilbert Sendugwa, Uganda
Yahia Shukkier, Jordan
Santosh Sigdel, Nepal
Agus Sudibyo, Indonesia
Fuad Suleymanov, Fidan Najafova, Alasgar Mammadli, Azerbaijan;
Thomas Susman, USA
Chi-Hsun Tsai, Taiwan
Sinfah Tunsarawuth, Thailand
Dirk Voorhoof, Belgium;
Roger Vleugels, Netherlands;
Ben Wei, China
Enrico Woolford, Guyana