Transparency International Pakistan in collaboration with Centre for Advocacy Research & Democracy (CARD) organized a workshop in district Hyderabad, Sindh on the topic: “Importance of Access to Information in COVID -19 Context”. The workshop was attended by 32 participants including 12 females. Different segments of people included students, teachers, volunteers, transgenders, minorities, government workers, journalists and social workers attended the workshop and participated actively.
The workshop was moderated by TI Pakistan’s representative Ashfaque Ahmed who discussed Access to Information laws particularly Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act 2016, its process, important clauses including proactive disclosure. It was also discussed in the workshop that even at the time of COVID-19 emergency, no one can violate people’s fundamental right to have access to information which is given by the Constitution of Pakistan. The Right to Information law ensures transparency in government procurement and availability of true information at the time of emergency to avoid unnecessary panic among citizens. It is the right of the people to know the actual number of COVID-19 cases, facilities provided by the health department for the patients, patients’ death and recovery rate. In the workshop, it was also discussed how TI Pakistan is ensuring transparency of the procurement made during COVID -19 pandemic. Mr. Kashif from CARD highlighted the work of their organization with TI Pakistan for the promotion of RTI laws in the province. In the Q&A session, participants asked various questions and also shared their experience. In the end, certificates were distributed among the workshop participants. The workshop was highlighted in local print, electronic and social media.