par Mabillard, Vincent ;Kakpovi, Bellarminus ;Cottier, Bertil
Référence International review of administrative sciences, 86, 1, page (134-151)
Publication Publié, 2020-03
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Transparency is nowadays at the top of the agenda for most governments. The number of countries that have adopted a law on access to administrative documents is on the rise. Access to information laws do not provide a substitute for transparency, but they may signal the willingness of a government to increase openness. So far, most studies have focused on states where such laws exist, especially in Europe and North America, while very little research has been conducted in Africa. This contribution is intended to capitalise on previous research to present the case of Benin. Research questions focus on the development of access to information, barriers to an introduction of a stronger law in that country and the administration’s expectations regarding transparency. Data are based on interviews with civil society organisations, an official in charge of access to administrative documents in Benin and several employees of the national administration. Findings show how contextual and institutional differences shape transparency reforms, the importance of the issue of global awareness and access, and how current practices influence the approach towards access to administrative documents in Benin. Points for practitioners The case of Benin shows how openness can be fostered by the media, members of the parliament and civil society organisations. The combined action of these diverse stakeholders, also supported by regional and international partners, can lead to increased administrative transparency. This article highlights the commitment of public sector employees to create a more open administration, although they are still facing central implementation issues, such as undertrained staff, lack of resources or the dissemination and understanding of information among the population.