First Look

JFJ to Launch Project to Improve Accountability and Transparency in Government

JAMAICANS FOR JUSTICE | 2012-03-20 17:45:00

WHO: Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) with the kind support of Canadian International                    

Development Agency (CIDA)

WHAT: The launch of project – ‘Strengthening Information Access and Analysis for Improved          


WHEN: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Wyndham Hotel, 77 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5; (Ballroom 2)                   

JFJ has been documenting human rights abuses for years. By using data to write reports, take legal cases to International human rights bodies (such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights), and lobby for change, JFJ is possibly the only Jamaican NGO currently documenting human rights abuses on the island and using this information to build momentum for change. As a result, JFJ's databases play a crucial role in monitoring human rights abuses and agitating for government accountability.

JFJ has also been collecting information on the use and function of the Access to Information (ATI) Act in a specialized database. The information collected has been used to conduct lobbying activities with ATI Units and public authorities as well as inform public education activities. Additionally, JFJ's ATI database produced the only statistical analysis of the functioning of the ATI Act for Parliament.  

This documentation has increased awareness of societal leaders of human rights and ATI issues; increased dialogue around issues; and increased awareness among leadership at various levels of the human rights imperatives of communities as well as the use of ATI. This has contributed to increased government accountability and strengthened democracy.

However, in order to efficiently monitor the functioning and the reform of the justice system and the effectiveness of the changes that will be applied to strengthen the ATI Act, JFJ needs to have a database system that works properly. Also, in order to make the government accountable for its actions, JFJ needs to be better equipped to access government information using the ATI Act, to document and track the response to ATI requests and to monitor and analyse breaches of fundamental rights.

The global objective of this project is to strengthen the capacity of Jamaica’s civil society to promote, protect and advocate for human rights by documenting problems in order to lobby for improvements thereby increasing the Government of Jamaica's accountability.

Guest speakers for the launch will be Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, Minister without Portfolio with Responsibility for Information in the Office of the Prime Minister and Marie Legault, Counsellor and Head, Development Cooperation at CIDA.

Posted By :Dr.Barry Wade


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