IFAP Working Groups
At its seventh session, the Intergovernmental Council of the Information for All Programme (IFAP) requested that the Secretariat invite Member States to nominate national experts to participate in the activities of the IFAP Working Groups.
The Working Groups conduct their activities primarily through on-line exchanges under the guidance of a Working Group Chair, who is an elected Member of the IFAP Bureau. The multi-stakeholder composition of Working Groups with representatives drawn from government, the private sector, networks of information professionals, researchers and other relevant parties, provides the interdisciplinary perspectives and expertise to address the challenge of information for all.
Working Groups play an important role in the implementation of IFAP’s activities and are responsible for developing detailed contributions, such as standards and guidelines; supporting their integration into national policy frameworks; and organizing conferences and other IFAP events. Working Groups are also expected to support the application of the National Information Society Policy: A Template in national policy frameworks, and to develop supplementary information policy templates.
IFAP’s Strategic Priority Areas and Associated Working Groups
Information for development
Information has an important role to play in addressing development issues, but this requires access to information as well as the availability of relevant and useful information. This Working Group has an important role to play in collecting case studies and supporting research on information development, promoting freedom of information and access to public information, as well as seeking to strengthen links between information and development policy.
Information literacy provides the competencies, skills and attitudes that enable persons to seek, evaluate, use and create information, thereby empowering them to effectively participate in the knowledge societies. This Working Group has an important role in supporting capacity-building, the development of tools, resources and indicators for information literacy as well as promoting the incorporation of information literacy in education curricula and national information policies.
The increasing rate of information production coupled with changes in technologies, formats as well as the fragility of new data storage media is putting at risk our future ability to access digital knowledge. This Working Group interacts closely with the Memory of the World Programme to build the capacity of information professionals to develop and implement digital preservation standards and techniques as well as to support the exchange of best practices. Other roles include working with professional communities and policy-makers to raise awareness of this threat.
Information Ethics covers the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the applications of ICT and derive from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Working Group seeks to better understand and raise awareness of the impacts of emerging technologies, contribute to enlarging the international debate on information ethics and support the development of guidelines in this field. By identifying emerging trends, the Working Group seeks to assists policy-makers in developing appropriate responses.
This Working Group addresses a range of issues linked to ensuring the availability, accessibility and affordability of information, as well as addressing the specific needs of people with disabilities so as to facilitate their participation in the knowledge societies. The Working Group’s interventions include contributing to policy resources and guidelines, working with various stakeholders to support and promote open standards, conducting capacity building and raising awareness amongst key stakeholders.
Language is a primary means for communicating information and knowledge, thus the ability to access content on the Internet in a language which one can use is a key determinant for the extent to which one can participate in the knowledge societies. Through its work with various international partners this Working Group is promoting international exchanges, research, the development of tools and resources that contribute to realizing multilingualism on-line, capacity-building and raising awareness of policy-makers and key stakeholders.
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