This issue of Development Dialogue is entirely devoted to the topic of access to information, with a particular emphasis on Southeast Asia. It contains nine articles which from different perspectives discuss urgent problems related to this issue today. The various contributions reflect the global and the Southeast Asian situation as well as present trends in Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and rural India. In addition, the lack of transpar-ency in many areas of the information policy of multilateral organisations is dealt with in two contributions. Among the most vital concerns in the world today – both in their own right and as a cornerstone of the efforts to build democracy on all continents – are the questions of access to information and the right to free expression.