There is something ironic about an organisation that works on freedom and transparency being based in a former jail. But that’s the situation that the South African History Archive finds itself in. SAHA is involved in a number of programmes, but it’s their freedom of information work that brought them to our attention. They have been running this particular piece of work for a number of years now and aim to:
- Create awareness of the right to information and its power as an enabling right that can be used to protect, promote and fulfil other human right
- Empower individuals and organisations to understand and utilise the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) as a strategic advocacy tool
- Increase compliance with, and the use of, PAIA
As part of this work, SAHA have built a community of users around PAIA and designed a digital tool to help organisations submit and track FOI requests. To date, the Tracker has several hundred requests on there to dozens of government agencies and bodies. It’s a powerful tool capable of issuing alerts, creating a trail of communications and monitoring compliance with a request. To ensure it continues to meet the needs of users, Indigo is proud to be supporting SAHA with a grant of around £11,000. The grant will be used for upgrades to the Tracker and to ensure that the contact database underlying it is up-to-date and will also be made available to the public.