In May 2009, the Lebanese Parliamentarians Against Corruption (LebPAC) and Nahwa al Muwatiniya (Na’am), ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) partner organizations and members of the ABA ROLI-supported National Network for the Right of Access to Information, began a campaign encouraging members of parliament to support the country’s access to information bill. If passed, the bill, which fosters enhanced transparency in government, will mark an important step in anti-corruption efforts. With the support of ABA ROLI, LebPAC and Na’am have been training a diverse group of volunteer lobbyists to reach out to all factions in the parliament and to secure their support for the bill.
In addition to regularly discussing it with members of parliament, the lobbyists include the bill in their political agenda, work to advance it within their political party and endorse the legislation during public events. Of the 28 parliamentarians the lobbyists have met, each has offered verbal support for the legislation and 11 have signed a commitment. All told, the efforts have been encouraging. Na’am Project Coordinator Rana Yazigi said that members of parliament “have expressed their appreciation for our efforts and promised to help in any way they can.”
The ABA ROLI-supported National Network for the Right of Access to Information is a multi-sector network of 17 Lebanese organizations. Established in April 2008, the network seeks to enhance transparency and accountability and to strengthen the rule of law and civic participation in Lebanon by enhancing access to information and whistleblower protection. For more information about the network, visit www.a2ilebanon.net, www.kbabrouna.net.
To learn more about our work in Lebanon, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <email@example.com>.