- Email: Sarah.Holsen@idheap.unil.ch
Sarah Holsen is a research associate and doctoral candidate at the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP).She holds an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a Masters degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies and International Studies from Northwestern University.
Sarah was a research fellow at the Constitution Unit from July 2004 through October 2007. Among her accomplishments at the Unit were:
- monitoring the implementation of the UK Freedom of Information Act at the local government level,
- organizing the Unit’s Information Policy seminars and FOI Live conferences,
- leading the ESRC research project to examine the impact of FOI on central government in its first year, in particular designing data collection methods for the study, and
- designing and teaching the School of Public Policy course ‘Governance of the Information Society’.
At IDHEAP Sarah has recently finished working on a Swiss National Fund research project studying the effects of the Swiss Law on Transparency on the workings of the federal administration and in 2009 she contributed to an evaluation of the legislation’s implementation for the Swiss Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Information.
Sarah’s PhD thesis, which she will defend at the end of 2011, is a comparative case study of information commissioners in four jurisdictions: Germany, India, Scotland and Switzerland. Her main research question is: How does an oversight body contribute to the objectives of FOI policies? She is interested in
how the information commissioners and their staff, as inter-governmental regulatory bodies, view the objectives of their respective FOI laws,
- how they incorporate those objectives in their work,
- the challenges they face in achieving their objectives, and
- the innovations they use to overcome those challenges.
In addition to transparency, Sarah’s broad research interests include policy implementation, intra-governmental regulation, citizen participation and trust in government.
Publications and conference papers
Holsen, S. & Pasquier, M., 2010. The Swiss federal Law on Transparency: Much ado about nothing? In The Future of Governance: Selected Papers from the Fifth Transatlantic Dialogue on Public Administration Conference. Published by the National Center for Public Performance (NCPP) on behalf of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), pp. 151-167.
Holsen, S. & Pasquier, M., 2010 (April). Case closed or not yet open? Exploring the reasons behind negligible use of the Swiss Law on Transparency and German Freedom of Information Act. Conference paper presented at IRSPM 2010. Bern, Switzerland.
Holsen, S. & Worthy, B., 2010. Open Government at the Local Level in England: FOI Implementation from 2005 to 2008. In R. A. Chapman & M. Hunt, eds. Freedom of Information: Local Government and Accountability. Surrey, England: Ashgate, pp. 27-41.
Holsen, S. & Pasquier, M., 2009 (June). The Swiss federal Law on Transparency: Much ado about nothing? Paper presented at the Fifth Transatlantic Dialogue on Public Administration Conference. Washington, DC.
Glover, M. & Holsen, S., 2008. Downward Slope? FOI and Access to Government Information. In R. Hazell, ed. Constitutional Futures Revisited: Britain's Constitution to 2020. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 178-196.
Glover, M. &Holsen, S., 2007 (April). What is freedom of information for? An exploration of the objectives behind the FOI Act 2000.Conference paper presented at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference. Bath, England.
Holsen, S., MacDonald, C. & Glover, M., 2007. Journalists' use of the UK Freedom of Information Act. Open Government Journal, 3(1). Available at: http://www.opengovjournal.org/article/view/771/791.
Glover, M., Holsen, S., MacDonald, C., Rahman, M., & Simpson, D. 2006. Freedom of Information: History, Experience and Records and Information Management Implications in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, Pittsburgh, PA: ARMA International Educational Foundation. Available at: http://www.global-dcc.com/documents/FreedomofInformationinUSUKandCanada-FINA.pdf.