CCRI concludes RTI TOT for Mediators

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19 September, 2018 -

Citizens Campaign for Right to Information (CCRI) has successfully concluded the series of 5-Days long TOT for RTI Mediators. Recently i.e. from 27th-31st January, 2014, the eighth event has been successfully carried out in Bardibas, Mahottari District of Nepal. CCRI provided TOT on Right to Information (RTI) to 25 mediators representing the districts of Mahottari, Dhanusha and Sindhuli.  The participants represented various sectors of the society i.e. journalists, teachers, social mobilizers, health personnel. A significant participation of females, dalits, religious minorities and other special groups and disadvantaged communities was observed.

The training was aimed at orienting the participants on RTI as a right and its ingredients as well as the consecutive roles of the Mediators to implement this right as a tool to defend the interest of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized persons of the society in future.

The overall Training Program was facilitated by Mr. DharmendraJha, Senior Journalist and the Ex-Chairperson of the Federation of Nepali Journalist (FNJ) and Mr. SarojBista, an advocate and an RTI Worker. Various techniques as power-point presentations, audio-visuals, group work, groups discussions, gallery-walk, assembly formation, pre-evaluation and post-evaluation and maximum memorization techniques were adopted for the training purposes. The event was coordinated in the local level by Mr. Ajaya Kumar Shah, an RTI Activist of the District of Mahottari.

The first day of the Training involved orienting the participants on the basics of information, right to information. Further, the presentations were made on the evolution of RTI both globally and in Nepal as well as the constitutional and legal framework allowing Nepali people use this right.

The second day of the Training involved the presentations and video displays on various aspects of RTI Act 2007 i.e. the peculiarity of RTI Act. Participants were made aware on the key features of the Act i.e. the provisions involving information officer, proactive disclosure, limitations in information seeking receiving, concept of public agencies, types of information and National Information Commission. Dedicated presentations were made by the resource persons.

The third day of the Training involved the orientation to the participants on the importance/significance of the use of RTI. Various stories of successful applications of RTI achieved in different parts of the country were also displayed. Further, the participants were oriented on the aspect of strategic use of RTI to ordinary use of RTI. The participants were oriented about various dimensions where the strategic use of RTI can bring about positive changes or make public agencies transparent and accountable.

The fourth day of the Training involved practical sessions where they were trained about the procedures involved in seeking and receiving information from public agencies. The participants were also provided with an exercise of drafting of RTI Applications to be submitted before the information officers of public agencies as well as the complaints to the chiefs of such agencies. Each applications prepared by the participants were thoroughly commented by the Trainers and were finalized.

On the fifth day of the Training, the participants were mobilized to different public agencies to file the RTI Applications and seek responses. Altogether 25 such applications were filed in 12 different public agencies located in Bardibas. Such agencies included hospitals, schools, service centre of land revenues office, district administration office and Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Animal Service Office, District Police Office etc. 23 out of 25 applications of the participants were registered and promptly responded while 2 applications were rejected.

The Closing Ceremony of the Fraining was also observed on the same day that involved the commitment seeking from the participants in forwarding RTI advocacy in the village level.  The Chief Guest, Mr. BikramRauniyar, General Secreary of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, District Office Mahottari expressed his sincere thanks to the participants for acquiring the status of RTI Mediators in the district and suggested them to file more applications in order to meaningfully use RTI.

CCRI has previously carried out such training programs in the Districts of Okhaldhunga and Udayapur on January, 2016.