19 April 2010

PAIA case studies needed for SAHA DVD

SAHA has secured funding from the Claude Leon Foundation and the Open Society Foundation of South Africa to develop a DVD that will be used to assist in training initiatives and in raising awareness of PAIA. By showing how normal citizens have interacted with PAIA, it is hoped that this DVD will bring to life the possibilities PAIA presents  as a strategic advocacy tool. This DVD will form a key component of the Freedom of Information Programme's education and training strategies and will be made available to other organisations interested in improving the implementation of PAIA.

To construct the DVD, SAHA is looking to identify around 10 case studies (which will be about 5-7 minutes each) that will show real-life stories about ordinary citizens using PAIA to realise different human rights. These case studies will hopefully include examples of ordinary citizens, with no legal background and low levels of literacy, interacting with the law rather than solely focusing on examples where an organisation such as SAHA has done the work to use PAIA on behalf of an individual or community group. It is intended that the DVD will also highlight many of the persistent challenges adversely affecting the effective implementation of PAIA in South Africa.

Already identified case studies include the environmental organisation, Biowatch, which used PAIA to access information on genetically-modified foods in South Africa. Also being considered is the story of an elderly woman in Braamfischerville, who successfully used PAIA as a tool to pressurise government into replacing her RDP house which, as they had mistakenly built it on a wetland, proceeded to flood every time there was rainfall.

If you can think of any further case studies which may be relevant to the development of this DVD, please email the details and contact numbers for such case study to Gabriella Razzano.