16.04.2008 -

UNESCO's IFAP to measure information literacy

UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP) releases a paper providing a basic conceptual framework for measuring information literacy. Entitled Towards information literacy indicators, the publication includes a definition of information literacy; a model that links information literacy with other adult competences, such as ICT skills; and a description of information literacy standards in education.

While recognising the considerable effort being invested by many international organizations in "measuring the information society", UNESCO's IFAP aims to identify additional indicators to measure the development of knowledge societies. Measurements of knowledge societies focus more on people and government priorities than on the information itself or the information technologies. They focus more on the impact of information on societies than on access to information, for example.


Information literacy is part of an integrated set of skills which adults need to be effective in all aspects of their lives. As derived from the Alexandria Proclamation of 2005, information literacy is the capacity of people to:

  • recognise their information needs;
  • locate and evaluate the quality of information;
  • store and retrieve information;
  • make effective and ethical use of information, and
  • apply information to create and communicate knowledge.

The development of indicators of information literacy is a priority at both national and international levels. Information literacy underpins many of the Millennium Development Goals, for instance, combating diseases and enhancing employment opportunities. Indicators of information literacy can help countries to identify the effect of policies to foster information literacy development and to know the extent to which their citizens are able to participate in a knowledge society.


This is why UNESCO, through its Information for All Programme, decided to engage in the development of an international framework for measuring information literacy through which achievements at both international and national levels can be demonstrated and future efforts can be better focused.


The publication is available online in PDF: <a target="_blank" href="ev.php?URL_ID=26596&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">click here</a>.

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