Access to information is essential to enable people to exercise their human rights. Without relevant, timely and accurate information,right-holders cannot know which services they are entitled to, what the costs are (if any), which complaint mechanisms exist to seek redress when their right to education is violated, etc. For instance, without clear and easily accessible information about a school scholarship programme, parents may not know whether their children are eligible for a programme that may be their only means to afford to send their children to school.
Transparency is also the backbone of accountability. The efforts of civil society organisations and the media to hold governments accountable for the provision of quality education can be significantly undermined without regular access to government documents, data and records. For instance,lack of access to adequate budget data makes it harder to hold a government accountable for policies that are supposed to address inequalities in education.
In order to evaluate whether the education policy / programmes you are monitoring are adequately transparent, you may examine the following indicators, amongst others:
- Public availability of information on education produced by the State:Is the education data gathered by the State publicly available?Does the State body responsible for monitoring the education system produce regular and publicly available reports on the state of education?
- Service provision:Are there transparent procedures for the hiring process of teachers and for contracts / tenders for education services?
- Criteria for targeted programmes:Are the criteria used to select the schools or children that benefit from targeted programmes publicly available?
- Budgetary information:Is there public access to key public financial documents related to education?
- Legislation on access to information: Is there a freedom of information law? Are the provisions of this law adequate to comply with thehuman rights principle of transparency?