World Press Freedom Day - Special focus on Right to Know

Posted on:04-05-10
Today (May 3rd) is World Press Freedom day. Ever since it’s proclamation by the UN in 1993, the World Press Freedom Day has aimed at raising awareness about media freedom issues and to promote the right of journalists to collect and disseminate information without risk to life or liberty. The theme for this year's World Press Day is the "Right to Know" or “Freedom of Information". Today more than 80 countries around the world have introduced laws that guarantee citizens the right to access information held by public authorities.

Community-Funded Participatory Journalism: New era of Grievance Redresser

Posted on:03-05-10
By Sruti Bandyopadhyay

The Indian government is spending crores of rupees on welfare schemes. However that is news to Sharan, whose house is half built as the money from Indira Vikas Yojna was inadequate to even complete the roof. Sharan lives in a village just 10 km away from Purnia town. While symbols of modernity like mobile phone have made inroads, welfare lags. Sharan said officials asked for a 200 rupee bribe for a job card under NREGA -a charge echoed across several villagers.

So Where's the Debate?

Posted on:29-04-10
The Budget Session of Parliament has been on from February 22nd and will continue till May 7th , but with a little over a week left of the session, it begs the question – where has been the debate? Rather – what has Parliament been debating ?

Accountability News Update - 16 April 2010

Posted on:16-04-10
A fortnightly round up of accountability news and views from around the world.

UK: Web-inventor calls for government data transparency
The inventor of the World Wide Web talks about the need for countries to open up and make public data accessible to all citizens.

What gets measured gets done - but about outcomes?

Posted on:09-04-10
Sapna Desai

Nirvikar Singh’s recent piece on Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) (see link) is a welcome call to address the ‘social determinants’ of health. The causes of the causes, so to speak, of illness and mortality, like education, environment and income are indeed key indicators of women’s health status and survival.

RTE sparks a centre-state row: We want your views!

Posted on:07-04-10
India made international headlines last week with the official enactment of Right to Education Act (RTE) guaranteeing the right to free and compulsory education to every child between the age group of 4 and 16 years. But barely a week after it was passed by Parliament, the RTE has been mired in an intense debate over centre-state relations. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati has led criticisms of the RTE, arguing that the new law puts an immense implementation and fiscal burden on already cash strapped states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Social audit under JNNURM

Posted on:26-03-10
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, is planning to include social auditing in its Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) Schemes.