The Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) is a groundbreaking effort to promote international cooperation to ensure that all citizens have access to media and information competencies. Yet, organizations from over eighty countries have agreed to join forces and stand together for change.
This pioneering initiative was launched during the Global Forum for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) which took place from 26 to 28 June 2013.
The Global Forum for Partnerships on MIL (GFPMIL) was held at Nicon Luxury Hotel, in Abuja, Nigeria, under the theme "Promoting Media and Information Literacy as a Means to Cultural Diversity".
THe GFPMIL wasn't another academic meeting but a more focused and permanent mechanism aiming at:
- articulating concrete partnerships to drive MIL development and impact globally;
- enabling the MIL community to speak as one voice on certain critical matters, particularly as it relates to policies;
- further deepening the strategy for MIL to be treated as a composite concept by providing a common platform for MIL related networks and associations globally.
Media and Information Literacy, a priority
Drawing upon over 40 years of UNESCO's experience in MIL, it has become absolutely essentiel to establish more enduring partnerships that are necessary to amplify the impact of MIL. MIL empowers citizens, including children and youth, with competencies related to media, information, ICT and other aspects of literacy which are needed for 21st century.
To this end, GAPMIL is a joint initiative of UNESCO and other key stakeholders such as the United Nation Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), UNICEF, Open Society Foundation, IREX, European Commission and other UN agencies and international development partners who agree to come on board in future.
UNESCO, as part of its ongoing work, has a lea role in the GAPMIL, in cooperation with the organizations just mentioned and in consultation with a central/core group of partners-made up of regional and international organizations that are actively involved in MIL actions and have agreed to be part of the alliance.
Establishment of GAPMIL
The GAPMIL was establishd through a call for interest which was distributed to stakeholders groups globally. Close to 300 organizations responded and agreed to be associated with the GAPMIL. This was followed by a three-month online debate and culminated with the gathering of partners and further debates in Nigeria from 27 to 29 June during the Global Forum for Parterships on MIL, incorporating the International Conference on MIL and Intercultural Dialogue.
Speakers and participants discussed, amended and adopted a framework and a plan of action for the GAPMIL. An eleven-person steering committee comprising two people from each region was established. It includes six women (one a youth representative) and five men.
This process was necessary to enhance co-ownership and galvanize consensus on what shape the GAPMIL should take.
GAPMIL seeks to globally reposition MIL around the core objectives of:
- Articulating key strategic partnerships to drive MIL development globally and its application to eight key development areas:
- Governance, citizenship and freedom of expression;
- Access to information and knowledge for all citizens;
- Development of media, libraries, Internet and other information providers;
- Education, teaching, and learning - including professional development; Women, children and youth, disabled and other marginalized groups;
- Linguistic and cultural diversity as well as intercultural and interfaith dialogue;
- Women, children and youth, persons with disabilities and other marginalized social groups;
- Health and wellness;
- Business, industry, employment and sustainable economic development;
- Agriculture, farming, wildlife protection, forestry and natural resources conservation as well as other areas.
GAPMIL's Name and Logo
The use of the name and logo of GAPMIL, the Global Alliance for Partnership on Media and Information Literacy, is subject to rules laid down by the Alliance and UNESCO.