Access to Information Programs

Democracies and market economies can function at full capacity only when they embrace the idea of free and unfettered access to information for citizens and leaders alike. Equality in access to information fosters equal access to opportunity and ensures that democracies are able to deliver. Transparency in governance and economic transactions, which sustains informed citizen choices, is a pillar of political economic freedom.

CIPE supports efforts to expand the scope and quality of information available to both the public and decision-makers. CIPE promotes increased transparency in government, expanded coverage and debate of policy issues, and greater understanding of democratic, market-oriented principles. Working with the private sector and civil society organizations, CIPE promotes exchanges of knowledge on policy reform, educates stakeholders on democratic values and entrepreneurial culture, and builds new channels for constructive dialogue.

Access to Information Programs at CIPE

  • Promote freedom of information and transparency in government.
  • Strengthen alternative sources of information including media, think tanks, and civil society.
  • Raise public awareness of policy issues.
  • Increase understanding of democratic and market principles.

Promoting Freedom of Information

Egypt: human rights law firm the United Group, with support from CIPE, developed a proposed law and constitutional article on freedom of information. Egypt’s 2012 constitution and drafts of the current constitution have included elements of the proposed article. The draft law is the result of multi-year consultative efforts to promote freedom of information on the part of CIPE and the United Group.

Colombia: To combat populism and restrictions on free expression in South America, CIPE and the Political Science Institute (ICP) created the quarterly magazine Perspectiva. The magazine presents democratic and market-oriented themes to policymakers, the private sector, and other stakeholders across the region. The magazine’s website,, integrates social media in an effort to facilitate ongoing audience participation.

Kyrgyzstan: CIPE worked with the Kyrgyzstan Stock Exchange Press Club to organize economics training for journalists in 2010. Journalists who attended the trainings published 31 articles on economic subjects during the project period. Since 2012, the Development Policy Institute with CIPE continues press sessions and study tours for practicing journalists.

Destructive Beast

CIPE’s groundbreaking documentary, Destructive Beast (trailer), exposes the economic and social costs of corruption in Yemen. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Khadija al Salami, the 43-minute documentary film captures the toll that abuse of power and bribery have taken on economic growth and development in a country already on the brink of collapse. Destructive Beast emphasizes that combating corruption is not only about pursuing high-profile offenders, but rather developing a strategy to improve governance and accountability in all institutions. Find out more.

Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism

For the Middle East and North Africa, unleashing entrepreneurs is necessary to create the 80 million jobs that the region needs over the next decade. Published in 2007, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity details what keeps entrepreneurs on a leash – institutional barriers that prevent or slow the creation and commercialization of new products and innovations. With the support of Intel Corporation, the Kauffman Foundation, and the National Endowment for Democracy, CIPE translated and published the book in Arabic in 2010. This is a major new resource for individuals and organizations on the ground needing inspiration and information on how to participate in economic policymaking that delivers jobs, growth, and prosperity to all. Watch a video about the book launch on YouTube (in Arabic).

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