Since 2009, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
has evaluated the level of openness of government
and public institutions in its annual Transparency
Assessment. Carried out by MISA Chapters alongside
local researchers, the study seeks to establish the
ease or difficulty with which citizens can access public
The study assesses whether public institutions
proactively make relevant information available via
an online presence in the form of a website or social
media accounts. It further evaluates to what degree
information is made available to citizens upon request.
Every year, on 28 September, MISA joins the international
community in commemorating the International Day
for Universal Access to Information. MISA marks the
occasion through:

The regional
launch of the MISA

Hosting National
Golden Key and
Golden Padlock
Awards Ceremonies

The total number of points allocated to categories
1 and 2 is 20 points (n = 20) each.
Points are awarded based on the researcher’s
answer: yes (2 points); partial (1 point); no (0
Public organisations fall into one of the following
groups in accordance with the number of points
they received:

Category 1: Website Analysis
Group 1 (0–6):

Group 2 (07–13): Average website containing
some relevant public
Group 3 (14–20): Well-organised, transparent
website providing a good
amount of relevant public

Category 2: Requests for Information
Group 1 (0–6):

Category 1:
Evaluation of government and public institution
websites to determine the accessibility and presence
of credible and updated public information, which
includes but is not limited to: powers and functions
of the institution in question, budgetary allocations,
procurement procedures and contact details.

Category 2:
In this category, information requests are submitted
to government and public institutions in order to
determine the ease with which public information is
obtained from government and public institutions.

Absence of a website or
an extremely poor website
containing no or almost no
relevant public information.

Denied access to reasonable
information requested or acted
with high levels of secrecy.

Group 2 (07–13): Displayed an average level of
openness in allowing access to
public information.
Group 3 (14–20): Displayed openness in allowing
access to public information.
The institution was helpful and

The following countries were surveyed in
this 2020 MISA Transparency Assessment:
Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania,
Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Select target paragraph3