Public Discussion on Access to Public Information during the Covid-19 Pandemic

News | Rule of Law and Human Rights | Article 18 June 2021

On June 18, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) with the support from the European Union (EU), within the project Monitoring Covid-19 related public spendings and human rights protection during the state of emergency and after, held an online public discussion about access to public information during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

The aim of the event was to share experiences of media representatives, NGOs and other actors of the civil society on the problems and challenges of access to public information during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Opening remarks were made by Levan AVALISHVILI, the Programs Director of IDFI and Dominika SKUBIDA, Programme Officer for Civil Society, Delegation of  the European Union to Georgia, .

 

After the opening remarks representatives of Radio Liberty, Cactus - Media, Studio Monitor, OC Media, Squander Detector, iFact and IDFI shared their views and experiences on the topic. The speakers of the event were:

 

- Mariam GOGIASHVILI – Analyst, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) 

- Nastasia ARABULI – Journalist, Radio Free Europe

- Tsira GVASALIA – Medical Journalist, Cactus-Media

- Mariam NIKURADZE – Co-founder & Co-director, OC-Media

- Nino ZURIASHVILI - Editor, Studia Monitor 

- Ana ABASHIDZE – Senior Researcher, Squander Detector

- Nino BAKRADZE – Co-founder, Ifact.Ge

- Giorgi DAVITURI - Chief Legal Officer, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

 

Each of the speakers made remarks on the restriction of the access to public information during the pandemic and the low standard of the government accountability in terms of the management of the pandemic. The importance of the public information was outlined to avoid panic in the times of crisis through informing the public. Unfortunately, this possibility was not provided for most of the actors represented in the discussion.

 

After the brief speeches, the discussion was held and the attendees had the opportunity to share their views and ask questions.

 

IDFI plans to continue activities on this topic in order to develop recommendations on the identified challenges and contribute to the improvement of the access to public information through advocacy.

 

The discussion recording can be found on the link.

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