Building National Information Policies: Experiences in Latin America
"Building National Information Policies: Experiences in Latin America" is the title of a new book launched by the UNESCO Office in Kingston at the Association of University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) conference held on 5-11 June in Puerto Rico.
The book emphasizes the importance for Latin American and Caribbean countries to adopt National Information Policies (NIP) to preserve their people's right to access information.
Special focus is placed on the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in this process. The text embraces Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; (...) to investigate and receive information and opinions and to dissinate them, without any limitation by borders, by any means of expression."
The publication provides the reader with an in-depth understanding of the concept of NIP, describing its historical evolution worldwide and its concrete development in nineteen Latin American and Caribbean countries. It essentially challenges governments of the specified regions to address information access, use, application, filing and preservation as part of their state policy.
The book further identifies the goals of a National Information Policy and describes the relevant action areas that should be pursued. The importance of information and the need to implement NIP to protect it and make it accessible are subjects that run throughout the text.
An analysis of the latest national trends in Latin America and the Caribbean and guidelines to assist countries that have not yet designed or adopted such policy in harmony with international standards are also included.
The content of the text is based on the expert opinions of four Latin American authors, namely Gustavo Soler (Argentina), Rosalba Pajaro-Quezada (Columbia), Valeria Betancourt (Ecuador) and Jose Bustamante-Quiroz (Peru).
The text is structured in four parts and an attachment, prepared independently by each author. Along with the text comes a compilation called "Digital Agendas" for the region's countries.
The book is an example of the fulfilling of UNESCO's mandate through the Information for All Programme (IFAP). This programme was created as a response to the growing technological challenges and opportunities of the 1990's, which ushered in the age of an information society and widened the 'digital divide.' Today, IFAP is the only intergovernmental programme of its kind exclusively dedicated to "promoting universal access to information and knowledge for development".
The publication can be downloaded on the <a target="_blank" href="http://infolac.ucol.mx/">INFOLAC website</a>.