Making the Right to Information a Reality

More than 90 countries around the world have laws guaranteeing the right to information. But getting an information law on the books is only the beginning. Making sure that public information actually reaches ordinary citizens is a challenge of its own.

In the first three years after India passed its 2005 Right to Information Act, there were over two million requests. Even with a network of information commissioners in place to facilitate applications, the system was facing crushing backlogs. Shailesh Gandhi, a Central Information Commissioner in New Delhi, set out to create a new approach to keep cases moving.

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