In a democratic system, access to information is recognized as a basic right of citizens. In authoritarian or semi-authoritarian contexts, as it is the case in most Arab countries, the struggle for access to information is one of the area’s most suitable for civil society to conduct what could be called a “surgical intervention” in the governance sphere that can make a difference.
The 'Access to Information Law' aims to facilitate the public’s access to official documents, granting access to almost all types of information, except those classified as “secret”, as per legislation on protecting state documents and secrets. But after about 11 years of going into effect, the law is still not applied the way it should be, yet many Jordanian do not know about it and also journalists have not utilized the law to its full potential. In addition Jordan has among the most progressive media laws in the region, nevertheless improvements are still possible. Self-censorship and conservative editorial policies continue to hinder media development.
The main goal of the workshop, which was conducted in cooperation with the Arab World Center for Democratic Development - UniHRD on September 23, 2018 in Madaba, was to:
UniHRD and HSS believe that also small groups within a society can affect change if their strategy is well designed. More precisely, change can successfully occur when civil society organisations and individuals decide to work together on a specific issue, build alliances with parliamentarians or influential figures within the government and when they are well informed of the global debate and international norms and are able to use influential players from outside to gain leverage within their national context. For the workshop University students were invited who are studying Journalism, Political Science and Law as well as political activists from various governorates.