Bangladesharchives


Creation of “OfP Right to Information Fund – ORIF”
June 21, 2015, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Problem Statement

Right to information is inalienable for freedom of thought, conscience and speech and is imperative for the empowerment of the citizenry through ensuring transparency and accountability of all public, autonomous and statutory organizations and other institutions. RTI plays pivotal role in curbing corruption and ensuring good governance.

The Government of Bangladesh has created a milestone in this arena by legislating RTI Act 2009. The act has been the comprehensive one and full implementation of the act is intended to ensure, among others, the following:

  1. Right to Information
  2. Preservation of Information
  3. Publication of Information
  4. Access to Information

The foregoing rights cannot be ensured until there is good practice of archives and records management within public and private systems, and public awareness and knowledge about their entitlement to information and procedure of reclaiming the same. Six years since enactment, still there are millions of citizens who are not aware about the act itself and, of course, are deprived of their rights ensured by the government. The government alone cannot take this to every citizen and therefore media, civil society and different local, national and international NGOs cannot bypass the role of educating general people about the RTI Act, 2009 so that people can make the best use of the law.

The Oasis for Posterity (OfP) organized a community dialogue on RTI in 2015. The dialogues was essential for listening to members of the community, for advice about priorities, building local support for RTI activities, and introducing international supporters. The dialogue identified that a wide range of disperse activities on promoting RIT are being carried out sparsely and sporadically and establishment of a sustainable program was the expressed desire of the member of the community.

As an outcome of the dialogue and to give right back to the Bangladesh citizenry, the Oasis for Posterity (OfP) intends to take its own responsibility of promoting comprehensive development through creation of the OfP Right to Information Fund (ORIF) as a sustainable program in cooperation with individuals and organizations at home and abroad that care for human right to information in the developing countries like Bangladesh.

Objectives

The objectives of the ORIF are as follows:

Ø  enlarging people’s choices by ensuring right and access to information leading to ensuring entitlements as citizenry

Ø  promoting institutionalization of RTI

Ø  provide space for individuals and organizations to help educate general citizenry of Bangladesh about RTI

Ø  help organization to strengthen their systems to ensure RTI

Ø  provide support for training, research and development activities

Ø  promote engagement of individuals and organizations in building public awareness

Ø  promote inclusion of RTI into curriculums

Ø  ensure sustainable achievements of the above objectives

Activities

Carry out and support following RTI related activities on regular basis:

  1. formation of full time working teams
  2. campaigns
  3. conferences, community dialogues, workshops, seminars, training programs and celebration of international day
  4. research and development activities
  5. sponsorship for travel and participation in conference, dialogues, seminars, workshops, and training programs
  6. fellowship for study and activities
  7. travel support for international experts
  8. publish research article, booklet, banner, stickers and other promotional materials
  9. publication of advices from international experts and specialists

Expected Outcomes

Implementation of this fund is to create the following benefits:

Ø  General public will be aware about their rights to reclaim the same

Ø  People will be trained about archiving and record management

Ø  Scientific ways of archiving and record management will be developed through research and development and the same will be shared through publication

Progress to Date

Ø  Mr. Elias Kanchon from Kishoreganj has agreed to be coordinator of ORIF

Ø  A bank account is being opened in the name of the ORIF with the Sonaly Bank Limited, Jaldhaka Branch, Bangladesh under joint signatures of the Chair, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer of the Fund

Ø  The Board of OfP has resolved to contribute US$ 1,000 to this endowment by end of 2016

Ø  The Board of OfP has resolved to provide space and facility for permanent office of the ORIS at the OfP complex

Ø  A complete Board for the ORIS is being constituted

Ø  An website sub-domain for ORIS is under development

Action Programs

OfP will carry out the following activities to implement this sustainable program for promoting RTI:

Ø  Carry out fund raising activities to create an initial endowment of US$ 25,000 and eventually raise the same to US$ 100,000

Ø  Constitution of an International Advisory Committee (invitation is to be release to Drs. Florus Geraedts and Drs. Sigfried Janzing)

Ø  Constitution of a National Advisory Team (Mr. Elias Kanchon as the coordinator is to explore national archivists and right to information specialists)

Ø  Mr. Elias Kanchon is to develop Action Program for the Year 2016 with budget and milestones

Ø  Mr. Altaf Hossain, Coordinator of the OfP will Coordinate with Mr Ilias on the Activities

Creation of this endowment has been confirmed in an informal meeting at the OfP during observance of the International Archives Day and the Chairman of the OfP joined the meeting and the observance and the meeting over phone. The members present in the meeting expressed optimism that creation of this endowment is first of its kind in Bangladesh and will help carrying out of RTI activities on sustainable basis and the team desired cooperation from friends of OfP at home and abroad to realize the mission of creation of the endowment.

Further Infomration:

Mr. Altaf Hossain

Coordinator at OfP

info@ofpbd.org

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