RTI workshop in Tonga a success


The second workshop organised by the Right to Information team to test the newly developed RTI tools was held earlier this month (May 4-5, 2023) in Tonga.

Held at The University of the South Pacific (USP) Tonga Campus, RTI Project Coordinator for the School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP), Associate Professor Bibhya Sharma, said the “RTI tools being developed includes the e-course and mobile application, attracting the attention of many tech-savvy Tongan students.”

He also highlighted the importance of feedback tools from various stakeholders in the Pacific on the design and features of the proposed RTI.

“There’s a dire need to bring senior officials from the regional governments to ensure the tools are appropriately populated with information for their people. I am very thankful to the Tonga government officials for cooperating with the RTI team to secure vital tool content and facilitate the trials,” Prof. Sharma said.

The team, consisting of Associate Prof. Bibhya Sharma, Mr Vineet Singh, and Ms Mishangi Reddy, also used the opportunity to meet with stakeholders and discuss the possibility of using their organisational content on the mobile application.

Mr Singh said, “Trialing the tool in Tonga was a great way to get mobile and web app users onboard. This also allowed us to get final feedback from users for further enhancements and bug fixing of the apps.”

Associate Prof. Sharma stressed that the USP Tonga Campus students found the RTI app exciting and were looking forward to its implementation soon.

“They were amazed by the text-to-speech feature, which allowed the students to listen to the content rather than reading them. The participants also look forward to getting all the content in one place soon. Students piloted the RTI e-course, and their feedback showed a great future for their online course,” he stated.

According to Ms Selu Kauvaka, a student who attended the workshop in Tonga, “The development of the app is great because now everyone with a mobile can access information through the app”.

The team plans to spearhead more interactive workshops and tool promotions as they near the official launch of their newly designed RTI tools and e-course.

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