Information, Expression and Accountability Programme

This programme seeks to protect the free flow of information and enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and to promote a transparent and accountable public sector and private sector and the incorporation of human rights into their activities.

The strategic focus areas for this programme include the following:

Promoting access to publicly and privately held information in the realisation of Constitutional rights

Ensure that access to information enables accountability in the pursuit of other rights-based struggles through:

  • Promoting the pro-active disclosure of information;
  • Developing our jurisprudence on access to information and establishing best practices on access to information in the public and private sectors; and
  • Supporting advocacy efforts to lower the cost of communication to enable access to information for poor and marginalised communities.

Effective oversight of public power and political parties through stronger civic participation

  • Support initiatives to train civil society monitoring of national and municipal elections.
  • Support research, advocacy, and litigation to ensure full participation of the public in monitoring government with a key focus on specific local municipalities.
  • Support civil society’s capacity to research, advocate, and litigate for transparency in party funding and promote electoral reform that enhances accountability and transparency.
  • Support greater transparency and accountability to ensure effective monitoring of the state’s use of public resources.

Promoting the legal and substantive right to freedom of expression

Support efforts to protect the freedom of expression as a fundamental right in the advancement of an open society through:

  • Protecting the Constitutional right to freedom of expression;
  • Protecting the right to privacy by addressing state and corporate surveillance;
  • Protecting the independence of key civilian oversight bodies;
  • Promoting the right to freedom of assembly and association as well as the right to protest; and
  • Supporting advocacy for an independent public broadcaster.

Effective oversight of the functioning of and appointments to institutions supporting democracy

  • Support monitoring key legislative and policy processes within the South African Parliament.
  • Support monitoring and advocacy in favour of an independent judiciary with a transparent system of appointments.
  • Support monitoring, research, and advocacy relating to specific Chapter 9 institutions to strengthen their oversight role and ability to fulfil their constitutional obligations.

Strengthen public interest media

We seek to do this through:

  • Supporting investigative and original journalism that holds public and private power to account;
  • Supporting an independent media and press freedom; and
  • Supporting efforts to hold media accountable.

Effective oversight of private power to ensure accountability and transparency

  • Support efforts to promote human rights conscious business practices.
  • Support organisations seeking to hold corporations to account for human rights violations either through litigation or public advocacy.
  • Support research, strategic litigation, and advocacy to strengthen accountability and transparency in the private sector (for areas not already covered by our other programmes).