Universal Access to Information

Universal access to information and knowledge is key to the building of peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue.

Open Access (OA), Open Data and crowdsourcing platforms, Open Educational Resources (OER) enable information to be freely and legally shared, providing strategic cross-cutting opportunities to improve the quality of decision-making as well as facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building, including for persons with disabilities.

UNESCO’s Open Solutions Programme targets leaders, professionals, researchers and ICT users, supporting Communities of Practice, encouraging empirical research and publications, and organizing key events at global, regional, and national levels to share best practices, with comprehensive programmes in:

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources provide teachers and learners with high-quality teaching and learning materials that allow for free use, adaptation, and distribution.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

Through the technical possibilities made available by the increased sophistication of ICTs and user oriented social media, the traditional Free and Open Source software (FOSS) models of effective collaboration and innovative sustainability have now expanded and include highly diverse realms of public domain activity. It provides a wide range of tools and processes for creating, exchanging, and sharing interoperable software and solutions efficiently and effectively.

Open Access to Scientific Information 

It enables scientists and researchers to share and access scholarly information on the latest scientific advances. Scientific information is both a researcher’s greatest output and technological innovation’s most important resource. UNESCO promotes and supports OA—the online availability of scholarly information to everyone, free of most licensing and copyright barriers—for the benefit of global knowledge flow, innovation and socio-economic development.

UNESCO believes that OA has a fundamental role to support the sustainable development and is committed to making OA one of the central supporting agendas to achieve it. UNESCO’s OA initiatives recognize the need for ensuring that scientific research addresses the needs of society and responds to current and future sustainability challenges.

OA benefits researchers, innovators, teachers, students, media professionals and the general public. It promotes global knowledge flow for the benefit of scientific discovery, innovation and socio-economic development.

The Global Open Access Portal

The Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) funded by the Governments of Colombia, Denmark, Norway, and the United States Department of State, presents a current snapshot of the status of OA to scientific information in 158 countries worldwide. For countries that have been more successful in implementing Open Access, the portal highlights critical success factors and aspects of the enabling environment. For countries and regions that are still in the early stages of Open Access development, the portal identifies key players, potential barriers and opportunities.

The Global Open Access Portal is designed to provide necessary information for policy-makers to:

Learn about the global Open Access environment;View their country’s status; andUnderstand where and why Open Access has been most successful.


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