Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Information for All Program (IFAP)

Go to the IFAP website.

The Information for All Program is the only intergovernmental program exclusively dedicated to promoting universal access to information and knowledge for development. This is a key plank in building Knowledge Societies, and an important element in realizing the hopes created by the World Summit on the Information Society.

The objectives of the Information for All Program are to:
* promote international reflection and debate on the ethical, legal and societal challenges of the information society;
* promote and widen access to information in the public domain through the organization, digitization and preservation of information;
* support training, continuing education and lifelong learning in the fields of communication, information and informatics;
* support the production of local content and foster the availability of indigenous knowledge through basic literacy and ICT literacy training;
* promote the use of international standards and best practices in communication, information and informatics in UNESCO's fields of competence; and
* promote information and knowledge networking at local, national, regional and international levels.

The Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Program is composed of 26 member states of UNESCO. It has been invested with the authority to speak on strategic priorities and to lobby and create awareness about issues pertaining to the use of information and ICT for development at the international level.

The Council is, or course, responsible for guiding the planning and implementation of the Information for All Program. In particular, the Council is to consider proposals on the development and adaptation of the Program, recommend the broad lines of action that the Program could take, review and assess achievements and define the basic areas requiring increased international cooperation, promote participation of Member States in the Program and support all fund-raising efforts for its implementation.

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 20 to 22 March 2006.

3rd session of the IFAP Council (May 2004)

The documents of the session are available here.

A provisional list of participants is available here.

The Bureau for the Intergovernmental Council, composed of representatives of eight of the members of the Council, is effectively its executive committee. The Bureau will be meeting on the 23rd of March.

A New Zealander, Elizabeth Longworth, is the Director of the Secretariat of the Council, and Secretary of the IFAP Council.

Unfortunately, the United States has not contributed to this program, and it of course has therefore not been elected to the Intergovernmental Council.

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