20.07.2011 - UNESCO

Improving social impact of community centres through better access to information in Namibia

A meeting for the development and adoption of an inclusive information society action plan will be organized in Tsumeb (Oshikoto, Namibia) from 26 to 27 July 2011. This meeting is a follow-up to the survey on access to information and diversification of content among different community centres present in the Oshikoto region, which took place last April. The Oshikoto region had been chosen for the survey after a consultation with the Namibian Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

Representatives of different community centres, which were identified in cooperation with the relevant stake-holders, will meet for two days in order to define a regional vision for access to information. They will also discuss how to raise awareness on this vision, agree on a management structure for the action plan and establish a network of partners. Issues related to technological infrastructure will also be addressed and some pilot projects will be identified for the region.

During the meeting in Tsumeb the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) will help to address the training needs of the community centres through a tailor-made training session. UNIC is an official UN documentation centre, which carries a wide variety of information and provides the public with access to comprehensive collection of the United Nations reports, official records and audio-visual materials.

UNIC will offer personalized services and guidance to participants in accessing the growing volume of information and publications available from the UN library. The Centre will also use this opportunity to introduce participants to the UN Internet browsing facilities and provide access to information that is not commonly available.

This initiative seeks to elaborate an action plan on access, exchange and dissemination of information and knowledge, covering local content in rural Namibia, culturally and linguistically diverse. Such an action plan will strengthen networking among the different centres in order to increase their social impact through improving access to information and knowledge.

This initiative lies within UNESCO’s objective to assist its Member States in establishing and implementing national information policy frameworks for the professional management of information. It is also in line with the Third National Development Plan, which seeks the achievement of a knowledge-based economy in Namibia. Similar initiatives are planned to be repeated in other regions of the country.




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