On March 31, 2021, KosovaLive published the Manual for Access to Public Documents, in the framework of activities to increase the skills and abilities of journalists, researchers, and citizens.
(Browse here: https://kosovalive.org/…/2021/02/qasja_ne_dokumente.pdf)
Available in three languages, Albanian, English and Serbian, the guide provides a detailed explanation of the process, which can be easily followed, illustrates concrete cases of investigative journalists who succeeded in increasing transparency and improving the accountability process, and contains ready-to-use forms during the search process.
Admirim Luboteni, one of the co-authors of this manual briefly explains the process of accessing public documents.
Gramos Buçinca, Deputy Director of ORCA, contributed with the case study “How did the transparency of qualifications at the University of Prishtina start to increase?”. Gramos reveals concrete steps that led to increased transparency and quality improvement at the University of Prishtina, analyzing professors’ CVs and qualifications for over two years. He also explains the effective cooperation with the injured parties, which helped to establish a more efficient grievance redressal process.
Saranda Ramaj, a journalist at Koha Ditore, contributed to the guide by telling about the process she followed to work on the project “How was the Repository of Pharmaceutical Abuse repository unveiled?”
She explains the process of analyzing the price of medicines for years, and inspecting the essential list of 400 products. Saranda also emphasizes the importance of challenging sources for the veracity of information.
Adelina Ahmeti, a journalist at BIRN, describes the process as “How was it uncovered that grants from the Ministry of Agriculture were being awarded to undeserving persons?” She explains the process of cooperation with citizens and reporting by whistleblowers on mismanagement of subsidies.
Civic engagement in accountability and transparency is the bedrock of every democratic state, which ensures functionality and social and economic stability.
This guide aims to facilitate the engagement of citizens and journalists in seeking accountability and transparency from public institutions.
The Project “Promoting Media Education and Strengthening Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans” is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through the British Embassy in Pristina.