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The Access Initiative Online Assessment Toolkit - Environmental Governance
World Resources Institute
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At the heart of The Access Initiative’s (TAI’s) work is an online assessment toolkit that helps civil society coalitions pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in environmental governance in their countries and identify opportunities to make positive changes. Using a framework of case studies and indicators that evaluate both laws on the books and government practices on the ground, TAI coalitions answer questions such as:
• Does the government inform citizens when pollution poses a health threat?
• Do citizens have a say in how natural resources are used?
• Does the justice system equitably resolve environmental disputes?
Based on experience gained from conducting 32 assessments around the world, TAI updated its assessment toolkit in 2006. As part of the update, web-based software was developed to help TAI coalitions easily conduct assessments, analyze their findings, and store their data.
A TAI assessment consists of three major components: a national law evaluation, a capacity building evaluation, and a minimum of 18 case studies. Each of these components is addressed using a set of research questions, or “indicators,” which break Principle 10 into discrete parts or measurable characteristics. The indicators are organized into “categories,” which reflect the main components of Principle 10, and “topics,” which ensure that an assessment covers both the laws on the books and implementation on the ground. In addition, the indicators are each assigned to one or more “subtopics,” which facilitate research and analysis by linking related indicators from the three categories and from different components of the assessment