Helen Darbishire is a human rights activist specialising in the public’s right of access to information (freedom of information), and the development of open and democratic societies with participatory and accountable governments. Helen is founder and Executive Director of the Madrid-based NGO Access Info Europe, established in 2006 to promote the right of access to information in Europe and globally.
Helen has worked for over 20 years as a human rights professional, focusing on issues of freedom of expression and information, media freedom, civil society development, and democratisation. Prior to setting up Access Info, Helen worked as a campaigner and project manager at Article 19 (1989 to 1998) based in London and Paris, and for the Open Society Institute (1999-2005) where she directed programmes on freedom of expression and freedom of information, based in Budapest and New York. Helen has provided expertise to a wide range of non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, including UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the World Bank. She is a founder of the global Freedom of Information Advocates Network and served two terms as its chair (2004-2010). In 2016 she was elected as a civil society member of the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership. She holds a degree in History and Philosophy of Science and Psychology from Durham University, UK. Resident in Madrid, she speaks English, French and Spanish.
Article first published on Access Info Europe.Madrid, 10 March 2017 – It’s not often that your own colleagues working on democracy issues actually question the wisdom of pressing for greater transparency, but this has happened to me a few times lately.Most…