The 2012 World OER Congress has been organized within a full partnership between the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and UNESCO.

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

The Commonwealth of Learning adopted a full OER Policy in 2011 that

  • recognises and promotes OER in support of quality teaching and learning, as one tool for using technology to increase equity in access to education;
  • facilitates collaboration among institutions, governments and organisations in the use of OER;
  • promotes relevant capacity strengthening processes for stakeholders; and
  • shapes and promotes new models for OER generation, publication, access and re-use.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The Congress is partially supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA) which has been making grants since 1967 to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. Since 2002, the Hewlett Foundation has worked with OER grantees to improve education globally by making high-quality academic materials openly available on the Internet. The Education Program continues to work toward establishing a self-sustaining and adaptive global OER ecosystem and demonstrating its potential to improve teaching and learning.

OER Africa and SAIDE Initiative

To provide an opportunity to civil society organizations, academia, and individual experts to present on their Open Educational Resources initiatives, UNESCO is organizing a parallel Open Seminar & Exhibition from 21 to 22 June 2012 in UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

The Open Seminar & Exhibition is organized in full partnership with OER Africa, a SAIDE initiative.

Latin American Partners

In order to raise global awareness for the June 2012 Open Educational Resources Congress, UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) held a number of Regional Policy Forums on Open Educational Resources in all UNESCO regions.

For the Latin America Forum held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 28 – 29 March, 2012, the following partners provided substantial financial or logistical assistance:

  • Municipality of Rio de Janeiro
  • Telefonica Foundation
  • Universidade Gamo Filho
  • Núcleo de Informática Aplicada à Educação (NIED)
  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), and
  • REA Brazil
  • Escola Municipal de Saúde
  • Prefeitura de São Paulo

Open Society Foundation (OSF)

For the Arab States Regional Policy Forum held in Muscat, Oman from 7 – 8 May, 2012, Col and UNESCO received a generous contribution from the Open Society Foundation (OSF).

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