International Day for Universal Access to Information 2021


The theme of the 2021 International Day for Universal Access to Information highlighted the role of access to information laws and their implementation to build back strong institutions for the public good and sustainable development, as well as to strengthen the right to information and international cooperation in the field of implementing this human right.  More information here.


Panel 2: The importance of independence and efficiency of oversight bodies and legal frameworks

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Within the framework of the celebrations of the International Day of Universal Access to Information 2021, the 2nd Panel highlighted the importance of independence and efficiency of oversight bodies and legal frameworks.

Why is it important to have oversight bodies when it comes to protecting Access to Information?

How can their independence and efficiency be guaranteed or strengthened?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that these institutions play an essential role to oversee the right to information, where a number of countries have been experiencing challenges regarding reliability, accuracy and completeness of information about the virus.

The second panel of discussions held on September 28 as part of the International Day for Universal Access to Information celebrations focused on the protection and promotion of access to public information by specialized bodies and legal frameworks.

Speakers discussed methods of managing appeals to information requests, enforcing compliance with access to information guarantees as well as transparency and proactive disclosure as key elements to establish efficient laws.

They shared best practices and discussed examples for worldwide implementation.

Results of SDG 16.10.2 survey on the implementation of Access to Information laws in 106 countries would be shared during this debate.


  • Michael Karanicolas, Executive Director, Institute for Technology, Law & Policy, UCLA, United States of America;


  • Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena, Chair, National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI) / International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC), Mexico.
  • Elizabeth Tydd, Information Commissioner, Information and Privacy Commission New South Wales, Australia.
  • Gloria de la Fuente, President of the Council for Transparency of Chile.
  • Quinn McKew, Executive Director, Article 19; United States of America.
  • Jose Maria Costa, Director of Transparency at the Paraguayan Supreme Court, Paraguay.