The Access Initiative

Founding Year: 1999



Carole Excell (Project Director)

A global network of >250 civil society organizations in 60 countries that promotes access to environmental information and justice, environmental impact assessments, and public participation. They  “believe the root cause of many of our challenging environmental issues is a lack of strong and effective governance. Without strong access rights, citizens may be exposed to environmentally damaging, developmentally unsustainable and socially unjust decisions. Guaranteeing these rights is a practical means of ensuring that governments consider sustainable development concerns and the interests of the poor and marginalized.”

Projects and Programs:

  • The Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) is an interactive platform and tool that allows citizens and advocates to track their countries’ progress in protecting the public’s rights to information, participation, and justice in environmental decision-making.
  • The TAI Assessment Toolkit uses a framework of case studies and indicators that evaluate both laws on the books and governance on the ground.
  • The Rapid Institutional Analysis for Adaptation (ARIA) Toolkit helps civil-society organizations work with national governments to plan for and respond to the impacts of climate change with the full participation of the public.
  • The Water Governance Toolkit provides guidance to civil society groups interested in evaluating access to information, public participation and access to justice in decisions related to fresh water.
  • The Advocacy Toolkit helps TAI partners strategically achieve reform and policy practice around access to information, public participation and access to justice.
  • Development Alert!Helps TAI partners use technology to facilitate greater transparency and public participation in the development approval process using data obtained from the government to map new and proposed large scale development projects.


  • Blog
  • A library of  reports, briefs, tools, databases, maps and infographics, videos


The Access Initiative contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.
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  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • SDG 8 -Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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