Access Initiative, The (1999; Washington; 4 secretariat staff;

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

Leadership: Carole Excell (Project Director)