Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries
23 October 2013 - A Dynamic Coalition on in Bali,Indonesia
This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay. This is a little bit traditional. We're going to give it another two or three minutes to let people finish coffee, so we will start in approximately two or three minutes.
>> STUART HAMILTON: For those of you who don't know me, I'm the director of policy and advocacy at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, or IFLA, the co-convener of this coalition, along with electronic information for libraries, who can't be with us today but still remain a strong member of this coalition.
The coalition itself held its first meeting last year at the IGF in Baku, so this is the second meeting, and as I understand is customary, it falls to me to give you an update on the activities of the coalition over the past 12 months. That's going to be one of the things we look at today.
I'll give you a bit of an idea of things we're going to be discussing. One of the partners in the coalition will follow that with an update of what they have been achieving over the last 12 months. Their mandate is very much public access to ICTs through libraries, so we'll look forward to what they have to say. What we're going to try to do with the bulk of this meeting for today is to move on a little bit from one of the strong points of the IGF, which is talking about doing things to actually discussing what the library community is going to do about a specific issue. And that issue is the formation of the new post-2015 development framework, which is currently under discussion at the United Nations. It's a very complex framework process, which is why we have brought in one of Unesco's best men, Cedric, who has a slide here. We're going to have a bit of a panel discussion.
I'll introduce my panelists when we get there and that discussion is going to lead us toward a bit more of an understanding of what libraries and their partners -- because we really very much want to use this meeting to reach out to other organizations, to talk about what can we all do together to ensure that access to information is included in some fundamental way in the UN's post-2015 framework.
And then when we've had that discussion, we'll finish the meeting today with a short introduction to a major IFLA project launched in August, the IFLA Trend Report, which looks at some of the changes we can expect to see in society over the next ten years or so and what their effects on access to information will be.
Just by running you through the business end of the meeting, from the screen to my left is a slide that on the left-hand side states the activities that we said we would undertake as a Dynamic Coalition between the last IGF in Baku and the IGF here in Bali. We have a report card that will be marked by ourselves. I'd give us a pretty good mark in the last 12 months. I think being a Dynamic Coalition in the IGF is something that can be quite difficult sometimes. You are very often trying to inform members of the coalition of your activities while doing six or seven other jobs and wearing three or four other hats.
One of the first things we said we would do was to take a look at other similar Dynamic Coalitions in the IGF and contact them to explore areas for synergy. We had positive responses on internet rights and principles and neutrality, and we've been involved in their sessions here at the IGF this week and they've been involved in ours. So already we're crossing over nicely to the work that's being done by other Dynamic Coalitions.
The main bulk of our work was to identify national and regional IGF chapters and events and engage with them to put public access in libraries to their agendas. That involved a mapping exercise to see where they were taking place and to make sure, where possible, we were able to put library people to participate in panels. In the last 12 months, we have been active in the Arab IGF, the African IGF, the Asia Pacific IGF, which took place in the last four weeks, and the European Internet Governance Forum, or the EuroDIG, in June.
And whilst we've been involved in a number of sessions at all of those IGFs, I can say that EuroDIG we organized two workshops, one on copyrights, intellectual property rights and access to information and one on access to ICTs for vulnerable and disadvantaged persons.
And then at the Asia Pacific IGF last month we organized a workshop on public access to ICTs in the community. So it's been actually very pleasing, the feedback we've been getting from our appearances at these events, and we would have actually had representation at the Latin American IGF if the organizers had actually included contact details on their web page and responded to repeated emails for us to attend. The next thing on the list is that we were going to look into hosting an open forum during the IGF and we've just co-hosted one earlier this afternoon which looked at the recommendations that came out of our workshop in Portugal at the EuroDIG on access for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. I should point out that we do have reports available for all of these activities, and if you are interested, please see me and I can share information on what we've done. I think the one area where we've -- you can see there's a big gap in the next bullet point. The one area where perhaps we have more to do, which is to promote the mailing list that we've set up for the public for the Dynamic Coalition to people outside of the library community.
Next is to promote the mailing list we've set up for the Dynamic Coalition to people outside of the library community. When you set up a Dynamic Coalition within the IGF, you do have to have support of a number of different stakeholder groups, and we were successful in getting that initial support, but I think since then I think it could be said that we've remained a little bit too internal-focused, and I think there's more work for us to do to actually bring in people from outside of the library community over the next 12 months. So there's no point in not being honest about that. We'll have to up our game in that area.
We have, on the other hand, paid attention to our core constituency, and we have produced and shared information across the library community about the IGF Internet Governance and the Dynamic Coalition. So IFLA has prepared a new set of web pages on the Information Society which contains very basic primers on what WSIS is, and I've put out URLs there.
One of the most important things we did this year is update IFLA's position on Internet Governance. We produced a position in 2003 when the first WSIS -- when the WSIS process was first kicked off and the first meeting took place in Geneva. And we've updated that statement to really reflect the changes over the last ten years. And if you visit the web pages, you can find the new IFLA position on Internet Governance.
Obviously making plans for this IGF was a big part of our activities. We've had a number of workshops here where we've been represented, mostly looking at access for disadvantaged and indigenous people, and I can see a number of people who have been at those workshops for coming. Thank you for coming to those workshops and for coming to this Dynamic Coalition meeting. Earlier this morning we had representation also on panels relating to copyrights. We were also doing a workshop on copyright yesterday, and we were in a workshop on internet neutrality earlier this afternoon, the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, but the footprint is heavier than just public access and we do cover a lot of other topics, which of course will eventually impact on the sorts of frameworks that let us provide access in our libraries.
And the last point was to promote public access. We did submit comments on the structure for this IGF, but public access was not chosen as one of the main themes. But we will continue to blow the horn for public access.
So at that point I'm just going to stop. There's -- the business side of the meeting is almost slightly closed and just ask if any of you have any questions about what we are -- or what we have done during the last 12 months. At the end of the meeting we'll discuss very briefly what we plan to do over the next 12 months. But do any of you have any questions about what we've been up to?
>> DON HOLLANDER: Thank you very much. Don Hollander from New Zealand. What about national IGFs? Have you or constituents been active and, from my perspective, quite particularly in the Pacific?
>> STUART HAMILTON: Actually, we have, I'm pleased to say. I perhaps really should have put them in there. Our German colleagues have been attending the national IGF there and also in Denmark and Europe. Winston Roberts from the National Library of New Zealand attended the closest thing to a New Zealand IGF. Winston attended the Asia Pacific IGF, where we particularly focused on the public access problems of remote and small islands.
I'm trying to think off the top of my head other national IGFs that we've attended. I'd have to go back in the records. I think we did have somebody at the American one. But we -- IFLA itself has been lucky enough to be able to fund participation mostly at the regionals, and we paid more attention there because we hope that our members can try to go to the national ones under their own steam. But I think as part of the mapping exercise we know that these national IGFs increase year on year.
There was another question from this lady just in front.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Indonesia. I hope this not only provides the library itself, because, for example, in my country even there is library, but the person sometimes, they don't have just that -- I mean, how to encourage people to read, to understand, just a good book, and spread the information to the communities. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So are you talking about the sort of need for literacy development programs as well?
>> AUDIENCE: Yes. Yes. Yes.
>> STUART HAMILTON: That's something I certainly hope all of our members are doing all of the time. Within the context of this Dynamic Coalition, I think that we're not looking at literacy programs explicitly, but I would like to think that some of the work that we're doing through programs like the Beyond Access program, which Rachel will talk about in just a moment, but also through the work of sort of IFLA's members are, you know, helping to build literacy efforts around the world.
I can tell you that explicitly we have been working on not just basic literacy, but media and information literacy, which of course is a different type of literacy, but we are about to have a set of recommendations on media and information literacy go before Anesco's General Conference next month with the hope of having them endorsed.
To address your question directly, we see it clearly as one of the main priorities for libraries in both developing and developed countries to ensure that we are cultivating a culture of reading and helping people access our resources for increasing their literacy.
Okay. Another question.
>> AUDIENCE: The lady's question and your response to it, Stuart, reminds me of another development. At least within America, I have been reading that libraries increasingly are disposing of their books, of their physical copy books, and moving toward ebooks and other types of media. As someone who grew up on books, I consider this quite alarming. Most of the rest of the world is not necessarily going to have access to electronic media, but more likely would have access to books. I'm very concerned about this trend and wonder how that -- is that in fact a trend that you're seeing? And how does that fit overall into the access to information movement?
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay. This is worthy of a workshop in itself, this question. I'm conscious that actually in the room there is a lot of library expertise. I'm looking at you, Margaret. Because I think -- we'll try to tackle this very quickly, this question, because I think we meet once a year in this environment, and it is true there is a shift from print to digital in some of the more developed countries and that's going to be held up as an example.
I wonder if you might say a couple of words about what it's like as a public librarian to deal with that.
>> MARGARET ALLEN: Hi. I'm Margaret Allen. I'm CEO of the State Library of Western Australia, so we have responsibility for helping public libraries with their stock.
It's a very difficult question because there's a lot of emotional attachment to print. I grew up on print. I understand that. But libraries have always reflected what the communities want, and certainly in a lot of developing -- developed countries people want electronic books. So we're responding to that.
In the case of public libraries, the collections have never meant to be long-term preservation collections, but collections that are active, dynamic and meeting their users' needs. And we know from study that if you have old books on the shelf, it actually detracts from your use. Libraries that have switched to actively weeding their collections, making sure they look good, that they're changing and have lots of content refreshment actually see their usage go up.
So it's a very, very difficult issue. One of my colleagues in Queensland has done some research on expectations of both library members and nonmembers about print versus ebooks. That's the Brisbane City Council Library. I think you can find the slides on the website. That shows there is going to be a big shift to digital, but in other, such as children's, people are still saying that they want print.
So I think it's something that's not yet settled, but importantly libraries are there to help serve their customers' needs. If customers are demanding e-material, then libraries need to respond to that.
On the other hand, if you look at my state library, which is a preservation library, we're also making some really hard decisions about storage that we have, what's being used, what's available digitally and what we might actually actively deselect from the collection. But it's not a preservation, a legal deposit collections. These are other collections. So it is a very difficult issue for staff working in libraries, for clients. Some people find it really difficult to reconcile that actually we are moving books out of our organizations.
>> AUDIENCE: [Off microphone]
>> MARGARET ALLEN: That I'm not sure. There is an issue with lack of access in other than English. Those markets suffer from not a large publishing industry anyway. If you look at hardback versus ebook, that's another challenge entirely, and many of the large publishers are not -- we know that we're having difficulty as libraries even getting access to ebook content. There are publishers that refuse to allow us to access it under any conditions, at any cost, so that's another overlay of the dilemma.
>> STUART HAMILTON: And that's a whole nother workshop as well.
>> MARGARET ALLEN: It certainly is.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Duncan does have a comment. If you could just introduce yourself as well.
>> DUNCAN EDWARDS: So my name is Duncan Edwards. I'm from the Institute of Development Studies in the U.K., and we do a lot of work within the global south, particularly with libraries.
I think one of the things that's kind of important to kind of register within that debate is the use and value of material beyond the immediate community that individual library is serving. So we're doing a lot of work in terms of digitalization of material not available anywhere else. So we're trying to get that kind of material available within the kind of global kind of knowledge pool and I think it's really important to think about that within that debate.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay. So I think we'll move on, and I'd now like to introduce Rachel Crocker from Beyond Access. Rachel's going to introduce us to what Beyond Access is. I know many of you in the room will already be familiar with this. But we'll also hear about what's happened over the last year or so in the Beyond Access program and what you've got coming up next. So Rachel.
>> RACHEL CROCKER: Thanks, Stuart.
Yeah. So happy to be here to sort of share a little bit about what Beyond Access is and what it has been doing over the last year.
So for those of you that don't know, Beyond Access is a coalition of 11 organizations that work across the world, and they work with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Our driving goal is to see libraries recognized as a catalyst for development of both social and economic development.
So to achieve this goal we sort of have three main areas that we work in. So the first one is really building up a community. So we have -- we pull in teams from -- we have -- currently have teams from over 30 countries. All of these teams, some of which are actually represented here today, are composed of three types of members. So each of them include one librarian, one representative from government and one representative from civil society. This we feel like really provides the -- a pattern that we're looking for of starting to build partnerships across sector of libraries actively partnering with government and civil society to contribute to social and economic development.
To build -- help build up this community, we've held three regional events this year. So the first one happened in September in Latin America with 12 teams from Latin America. Our second event is finishing right now with 12 teams from Asia and Europe. And then we will have one more event in December with teams from Africa and Europe as well. The goal of this is to really sort of recognize and support libraries that are doing innovative activities, that are doing more than just the traditional book-lending activities, but are really actively involved in their communities, are really providing access to information and connecting that access to information to the ways that it helps promote the development and the improvement of their communities. And a key part of that as well is starting to work to change the perceptions of how people see libraries, working towards people recognizing libraries not just as book-lending institutions, but as really vital information points, public access points, community centers within their communities.
The second piece that we're involved in is contributing to the dialogue that is happening in development and policy. So we want to make sure that libraries have a seat at that table, that they are actively involved in events just like this one. So we support libraries coming to IGF.
We also help libraries attend and present at other international development conferences, really getting the library voice outside of the library echo chamber and contributing to post-2015, as we'll hear in a little bit, as well as just other policy discussions.
As a part of this, too, we also actively produce publications, promote through our blog and through social media the ways that we're contributing to that conversation. So along those lines, we've actually brought a number of those publications with us. I've set them all out on the table in the back. We have a series of policy briefs talking about the ways that libraries are connecting to key issues. So this includes open government, this includes public access points, connecting girls and ICT. We also have a number of briefs on specific countries that we're working in and how they're involved in policy discussions and social and economic development.
And that sort of moves us to our final piece, which is building partnerships. So we currently have four test projects that we're running right now. These are in the Philippines, in Myanmar, in Peru and in Georgia. And these projects are really working to prove that our ideas work in practice, that you can actively build these partnerships between libraries and governments, between libraries and development organizations and that we can expand the work of the library.
So the goal of these projects will be to insert libraries into different types of programs, so some of them are more traditional literacy programs, but also we're looking at libraries being inserted very actively into open government initiatives and e-government initiatives and into promoting economic opportunity, into expanding those sort -- in those key development areas, inserting libraries practically into those policies and development projects. And we're aiming to do this around the world. We have four test projects.
In the coming year, we're be expanding to build up more of these partnerships in connection -- connecting libraries to government and to development programs.
>> RACHEL CROCKER: Oh, yes. If you want to find out more, invite you to check out our website, which is justbeyondaccess.net, and there you will find an ongoing blog where we hit on key development issues, as well as profiles of all of our member teams and as well as electronic versions of all of our policy briefs.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay. I'm conscious that we actually want to get into a little bit of discussion. We really actually want to get to the point where we are talking about how do we share some of these great examples with policymakers who are now looking at defining the next development framework for the world's nations.
And to do that and to help those of you in the room understand what is actually a pretty complex process, I've been very lucky to have been joined by my panelists here, who are going to attempt to explain to you what is going on and why libraries and why those of us within the IGF who are concerned with access to information should be aware of and willing to engage with the post-2015 development framework process so.
We're going to have three short presentations. First of all, on my left, Duncan, who's already introduced himself, is going to be talking to us about access to information and development. Then he'll be followed by Ari, on the right-hand side of the panel, who is Beyond Access manager/director, who will also talk a little bit about the same subject, but begin to bring libraries in. And we're extremely lucky to be joined by Cedric Waccholz, which I hope I've pronounced correctly, who is a program specialist at UNESCO, and you need the specialist part of that job title to understand what we're getting ourselves into here.
Once we've had these three presentations, I'm hoping that you'll understand a little bit more about what is going on. But before we start, I'm going to attempt to introduce exactly what's going on, and then we can see if my interpretation of this bears any relation to reality.
United Nations, as many of you will know, defined a set of millennium development goals which are due for, shall we say, completion in 2015. I'm sure some of us will have been involved in those processes and maybe have contributed to the achieving or almost achieving of those goals.
In order to review and report upon whether or not they met their targets, the United Nations has instituted a review process to assess how well we did and at the same time is undergoing an extensive consultation on what the next development framework should look like. And as you can imagine, there are a large number of civil society organizations and member states involved in these discussions, all of which have an interest in seeing their particular issue be addressed in this framework. The eventual framework, I am sure, will cover a lot of very important topics. But the point I'm trying to make is that if you are not involved in the discussions around this framework, there is no reason that you should feel that the issues close to your hearts -- and librarians feel that access to information is close to their heart. If you don't get involved in this process, then you cannot expect to get anything out the other end.
So we are now into sort of the last 18 months of the review process and the development framework process at the United Nations. Meanwhile -- and here comes the slightly tricky bit -- there is a parallel review process going on of the World Summits on the Information Society, which took place in 2003 and 2005, and the IGF, of course, is one of the products of that process. That is also currently being reviewed by UNESCO and the ITU, with a view to perhaps decide what comes next beyond WSIS. And Cedric will set me straight on my interpretation.
There are currently two review processes going on that anybody who is concerned with access to information. Whether it is in a development sense or whether it is in an ICT sense, you have to be involved in these processes if you want to ensure that your issues will come out the other end. What is unclear -- and I'm really looking forward to Cedric's presentation -- is exactly how those two processes will meet; for example, if the WSIS review will end up contributing to the eventual development framework. There are some people who feel that that is or at least should be an inevitability because there really is little value in having another two parallel processes looking at development in its broadest sense of the term after 2015. So the challenge for us is to work out how to engage with this process.
First of all, of course, we have to make a case for our involvement. And here I'd like to hand over to Duncan, who can talk about the relationship between access to information and development, and from there we'll go to Ari and then Cedric, and after that we'll open up the floor for discussion and I'll tell you what IFLA intends to do and how can you help.
>> DUNCAN EDWARDS: Okay. Well, thanks. Just to give you a little bit of background on where I'm coming from, I work for the Institute of Development, which I mentioned earlier. We're primarily a research organization looking at kind of social and economic development issues, primarily within developing countries.
The organization has a big kind of research department. We also have a post-graduate training and -- training? Is that the right word? Yeah. Master's, yeah, Ph.D. programs, things like that. But we also have quite large kind of research and knowledge departments, which looks to get the findings research used within policymaking and within development practice.
Where I sit within that is I specialize in looking at the role technology and the role information knowledge can play within policy processes. So Stuart's kindly asked me to speak about IBS's perspective on the priorities for the post-2015. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to give you a bit of context about how I suppose the world has changed since the MDGs sat, because I think that's really relevant to how we're thinking about what should come next.
So the world itself has become more kind of interconnected. I think that's fair to say. It's also less secure, and also the kind of development and aid landscapes have changed quite significantly in that time and there has been significant progress towards the MDGs.
There's also the kinds of notions of what "developed" and "developing" actually means, and that's kind of outmoded. Countries like Brazil, India, China, you know, they're a kind of new force that's emerged in the last 10, 15 years. And also if you look at countries within Africa, you know, we're seeing record levels of economic growth.
But then some of the very kind of complex challenges that existed within the kind of -- the era of the MDGs, they still exist, but there's new -- I suppose new issues, kind of levels of inequality within countries arising. It might be interesting to note that the majority of the world's poorest people actually live in the middle-income countries. And kind of thinking about some of this.
It's kind of looking at how things need to change in the post-2015 framework. I think you need to look more at increasing participation within all sorts of areas of society, including the post-2015 process itself. You look at the way in which the MDGs were set, it's been kind of highly criticized for the lack of participation in how that agenda came about.
Another area is recognizing and focusing on some of the political dimensions of social development that's -- you know, we talk about information, we talk about decision-making, we talk about all sorts of processes, but we don't tend to talk about the politics of what we're doing.
You know, we've all sat in this meeting over the last -- in this forum for the last few days. It's what's happening behind those closed doors. You know, we're in these kind of big plenary sessions, but actually what's going on and what's not being said. I think that's kind of -- it's a really important thing to kind of bring center stage if we're actually going to make any difference.
Another key theme I think is taking more and more coordinated approach to development. If you look at the MDGs, they're very siloed environments, maternal health, blah, blah, blah, but the actual links between them aren't particularly well integrated, I suppose, and looking at other policy processes like WSIS. Why hasn't the MDGs integrated closest with WSIS? So I think those are the I suppose key things to think about.
And then if we bring it back to the question of access to data, access to information, I think we need to recognize that this hasn't necessarily come up particularly strongly in a lot of the post-2015 consultations. But where it has come up, in areas like corruption, governance, should I say, transparency, accountability, the kind of data and freedom of information, so on, has come through very strongly.
So in terms of my thoughts on access to information and data is that they will be critical and they are critical. But -- and it would be great to see kind of increased prominence of access to data information. But I think we've also got to be strategic or we really got to think about how you advocate for that, because if you think about information and access to information in itself, it doesn't necessarily have any value. It's how information is applied within different, say, decision-making processes, how it might empower people. That's where the value is. It's not in access.
So -- beyond access. But I think when I say "beyond access," I'm kind of pushing it even further, I think, but maybe we can have that debate later on.
So what else? Talked about needing a more integrated approach, and, you know, a problem with the MDGs is they didn't really speak to each other effectively, but then, you know, if you look at the whole information community, there's a huge wealth of experience and skill in the kind of categorization of information, and if you combine that with technical advances in linking data, information, you've got a real power to bridge some of those silos.
Another quick thing is the -- that we really need to think seriously about is the kind of balance of information data that's available on the internet. It's dominated by data and information that is produced by huge northern organizations. And if you look at that within how you might make decisions and so on, there isn't a voice there in terms of information data that is being generated and originated in the rest of the world. So I think that's a really important thing for libraries to be thinking about.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay. Ari, do you agree?
>> ARI KATZ: Yeah. I think there's some to agree with and some to discuss further. I'm Ari Katz from IREX. We manage the Beyond Access program, which is a coalition of 11 organizations. And I guess Duncan gave us a lot to think about, kind of philosophical considerations about where we're headed as far as -- as far as access to information and participation in the post-2015 process. I guess I want to kind of drill in on one very practical goal that we have.
So among the Beyond Access coalition are, of course, IFLA and EIFL, who are the organizers of this Dynamic Coalition, and we just very practically want to get a goal, a stated, mandated goal into the post-2015 development agenda on access to information. And that's because we think that that will open up space in the political discussion within countries on the international stage that libraries can insert themselves into much more easily.
So then why do we think that that's important? So let me go back to kind of our thinking process behind this. And, you know, Beyond Access really starts from the idea that you can't talk about development in the 21st century without talking about access to information and probably most of us in this room agree on that. We wouldn't be in this room if we disagreed.
But there's one example that I think really kind of underlies that point, and it comes from a study that was done by a couple of American academics a few years ago, and they found that 80 percent of malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa were treated outside the formal medical infrastructure. So they were being treated informally by families, by communities. And of those, something like 73 percent were either -- something like 73 percent were either misdiagnosed or mistreated. So most cases of malaria are treated outside formal medical infrastructure, and most cases of malaria are being treated wrongly. And what they found was that the instances of death from malaria were directly correlated to the access of information and infrastructure nearby the case of malaria.
So it just demonstrates how critical information is to underlie all kinds of development goals, even the most basic health goals. Clearly, the connection there is that people who have access to information are less likely to misdiagnose a disease and are more likely to know the correct way to treat it or at least who to appeal to in order to treat it. And so that's just a health goal, but of course access to information supports nearly every development goal.
Certainly part of the discussion of the post-2015 development agenda focuses around participation and governance and transparency, and I think, you know, it's obvious to all of us in this room that you can't have -- you can't have sufficient participation, you can't have even the most basic level of participation or accountability for government without some way to connect to government, some means of exchange between citizens and government. And so there I might push back a little bit on Duncan's point about access not being enough. Certainly we believe Beyond Access -- access isn't enough, but it is a first step. You can't talk about these other things unless that access is there, and that's why we think that it's so important as a development goal.
So I guess that brings us back to the post-2015 agenda. Beyond Access, another kind of point that Beyond Access revolves around is this fact that there's 230,000 public libraries in developing countries and, you know, it's come up over the past few days, maybe we even undercounted that number. So there's this huge, untapped resource that's historically dedicated to access to information that typically has been left out of the development conversation, typically has been ignored when development efforts are planned, and we think that's just such an untapped opportunity, such a missed opportunity. And as the world is having this discussion of what's going to be the development agenda post-2015 we want to make sure that that doesn't happen again.
So we think it's critical that libraries are part of the discussion as we are putting -- as the world is putting together the post-2015 agenda, that we're represented in that discussion, and we're really pushing for access to information to be part of the agenda so that when it's encoded in the agenda, then we can all go to our governments and say this is a commitment that you've made, this is a responsibility, we're not going to achieve these other development goals without an access to information infrastructure. Let's make sure the libraries are able to contribute to it.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you, Ari.
>> CEDRIC WACHHOLZ: Thank you. My name is Cedric Waccholz. I work for UNESCO in the Knowledge Societies Division, and I have the privilege of being able to stand up whilst most of you need to sit a little bit longer.
So I work in Unesco on WSIS, so WSIS work, and WSIS stand for the World Summit on Information Society, and Stuart has already given a very good introduction and I think I can skip a few slides for that reason.
I will also speak about post-2015 development agenda, as I was asked to do, just where we stand currently. The United Nations group and the Information Society foresaw three different steps toward the United Nations General Assembly review in 2015. The first one took place in February, 2013 in Paris. So I saw a few of you did join us in Paris, and I'm happy to see you back here again. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in April of 2014. It is ITU-hosted, and it is the second WSIS review conference. And then the UNGA will have a review meeting in 2015. And I will briefly go through these different elements to come to where we stand today.
This is a photo of the conference we had in February, and there are different outcomes. We produced a number of working papers, and there's a final statement which was adopted by all participants during the conference and which will feed also into this 2015 process and this review process and a lot of recommendations which came out of about 80 sessions. There were 1,450 people who attended, and we had also many remote participants and people from 130 countries attended.
And now I come to the next event, because the objective of my presentation is to give you an overall review, but also a way to understand how you can influence and contribute to the agenda. And we are in this preparation process for the second review meeting actually in phase three, which means we have already had one physical meeting at the ITU in Geneva, and now comes the second physical meeting at the ITU headquarters, and this is actually a quite important meeting because there there will be the zero draft really developed, and if you want to have things in this review document, you need to contribute to that now.
And I actually want to highlight again how you can do this. You can access documents here on the wsisdoc/review, and everybody is invited to contribute, and you need to do that before 17th November, and there will be no extension of the deadline. So this is important. So every one of you can contribute. And this is the way to do for the time being. And then you can also, of course, attend the meeting. It's an open meeting. And you can also participate remotely from 16th to 18th December and contribute and participate.
Now, yesterday actually the second committee at the UNGA started to meet on the ICTs for development. The United Nations General Assembly in New York is meeting, and there's a second committee who works on ICT for development, and it's an important committee for this entire WSIS review process. Actually, they have to define the final modalities of this WSIS review, and they tried to do that already in 2012. They failed. And they have to do it now again. And yesterday it started. Some 31 member states will take the floor. They will continue today, and they will discuss the resolutions, and we are contributing, of course, but ITU and UNESCO are both just observers, so we'll speak after all the member states have spoken on this. And perhaps tomorrow we'll know more about the modalities of the WSIS review. So that will be good because we've been waiting a long time for this.
So now I think we can nearly skip the slide because you designed the framework. And actually what's important to understand, it is -- you have the MDU review, the WSIS review, but also the sustainable development goals which came out of Rio Plus 20, and it all meets together in the post-2015 development agenda, at least ideally. And there you have a lot of different elements and groups. You have the open working group of the GA, which has about 13 members. And if you have any questions, we can speak afterwards. I will be brief. You can come to me.
You have the high level panel of eminent persons on the post-2000 development agenda. You have global consultations, the UN global impact for the private sector. You have regional consultation. You have again the UN global impact and you have research and universities with experts who also support the high-level group.
And, of course, you have it all -- you wonder how this is coordinated. And it is as complicated as this. And so if you think it's not all easy to understand and to contribute to that, you're right, because it is a complex process and it has been mentioned before. The idea here is that the post-2015 development agenda will not be again just your end-driven thing and you have therefore these different groups and this different bottom-up processes, which should all contribute in this quite complex process. And I see a lot of Indonesians participating here, so the high-level panel was chaired by the Indonesian president, so that's an entry. There are different entries to that, and I think the importance is really to get to member states which are really important in this process.
I think that's it. No. Just to say, we ourself as an UN developed -- I mean, we in the last WSIS review meeting asked for this link to the post-2015 development agenda, and 30 UN organizations developed a statement on the post-2015 agenda stressing the public access to information, the strengthening of ICTs and so on. And in this process it is really driven by member states, by civil society and so on. Our role is clearly to just facilitate and provide experience.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you very much.
I really wanted to bring this to your attention as people who are interested in the Dynamic Coalition because of the big task that lies ahead of us. As I said, this offers us an opportunity to go a little bit further than discussing our ideas and our theories here at the IGF. It offers us an opportunity to put into practice advocacy skills and our communication skills at communicating the projects that those of us in the room who are involved in libraries are involved in and the projects that other organizations, perhaps civil society, perhaps business, technical sector are working on in relation to access to information.
Now, I'm conscious of time. I'd like to just allow us about 20 minutes now to perhaps pick up on some of the themes that have been discussed in the panel before we finish up with about 10 minutes briefly looking at the report and where we go next with the Dynamic Coalition. I'm also conscious there's a lot of information to take in in the last 20 minutes. I'd like to turn it over to you if you have any questions for the panelists or questions about what you can do to get involved or you need clarification. I will tell you exactly what IFLA is planning to do and how you can get involved.
But first of all, any clarifications needed or questions? I can see a gentleman there, sir. Do we have a microphone?
>> STUART HAMILTON: No. No. We'll wait for the mic so everybody can hear. If you could introduce yourself.
>> AUDIENCE: Hallah Hattaj (phoetic), Jordan, Tech Trapse (phonetic) organization. Just a couple of clarifications, because we were talking about terminology, nothing more technical. So we figured out what WSIS is. We kind of looked it up.
The second would be the gentleman from UNESCO talked about submissions, and November 17, so we had a discussion about what those discussions would contain and how would our contribution add up to whatever we're required to submit. And the second thing, is there an Arabic or other language version of the website because we're trying to understand the websites in our own language, but that's not available. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: That's a very good question, the last one. I can take the contributions in just a moment. Perhaps Cedric can talk about the language contributions.
>> CEDRIC WACCHOLZ: Everything is published in English or in the six languages. For us, it is always for UNESCO also six UN languages, which includes Arabic, but here it is only in English for the time being. You need to see that these are -- I mean, it is a big problem and challenge, but these are still working documents, which will evolve a lot. At the latest stage of cost they will be there in six languages, but unfortunately I'm afraid it is only produced in English so far.
What has been produced so far is vision for the future. There are different pillars, like key elements, and different action items, you know. In some areas access to information, I think they're already up to 60 or so contributions. But they are quite diverse. It doesn't mean that the end document will include all that. For the time being, it's a cut-and-paste of all contributions. Afterwards -- I mean, sometimes it's exactly the same and they are rephrased and they are not taken up, but so far there is no cutting down of this. So all contributions are there. That was the first phase.
Now you have these documents, and everyone can still contribute and comment on them. So on any of these vision pillars or activities.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So IFLA submitted -- is involved in the submission process, and I'm pleased to say that many of the things that we submitted in relation to access to information have gone through the first round of document creation. So I'd be happy to speak to you about submissions, and also anybody in the room who wants to know a little bit more about the exact modalities in that process, I'd be happy to speak to you. But we will -- IFLA on behalf of the library community will clearly respond by the 17th of November on the latest round of documents. But that does not mean that other people can't in the broader community.
Gentleman in the back.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. Thanks, Stuart. My name is Uda from University of Indonesia. I work over there. I feel very happy that now in this IGF we have more places for librarians, so to have more impact nationally and regional.
If I may encourage you, then we also have the national IGF, IGF Indonesia, and in region we also have Asia Pacific IGF. I attended IGF last month in Seoul, and as far as I know, we haven't seen any session or any workshops from the IFL or from the librarians' point of view.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Here in Indonesia?
>> AUDIENCE: No. In Seoul, Korea.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay.
>> AUDIENCE: Last month.
>> STUART HAMILTON: There was one.
>> AUDIENCE: Open access.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Public access.
>> AUDIENCE: Public access. It would be great if we can replicate it. I mentioned to you about the mobile center in Indonesia, the library of second command, all the public library open, also internet access here, then instantly we will have more than 500 centers who will give access to people here. So thanks also to UNESCO for helping the WSIS, since now our government has a commitment to provide 50 percent of our population to have access to information. When I mention 50 percent, please do realize it's 120 million, so about five to six times population of the whole Australia.
So that's all my comments. Let's see we can have more cooperation internationally or regionally, then that will be good. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you very much. Duncan.
>> DUNCAN EDWARDS: I just think it's just good to clarify my point. I truly believe that access to information data is fundamental to moving forward and informing decisions, et cetera, et cetera. What I'm saying is that's not enough, that if you're articulating a vision that access to information and data is really important, you've got to look at some of the other elements that mean that it's actually usable. So one of our participants was talking about things like literacy, information literacy, capacity, to enable people to utilize information, internalize it, take action, rather than --
>> CEDRIC WACHHOLZ: Can I just say I fully agree with the last point made. UNESCO tried to develop concept around that. Not only are we speaking about media literacy, but also not Information Society, but inclusive knowledge societies, because it is not only about having access to a lot of data and information. It is about the question how do I transform it into knowledge? If I have a big book where it's written how to operate an appendix, it doesn't mean that I know how to do that. And so it is about transforming information into knowledge. So we like to speak about inclusive knowledge societies in our vision and our future perspective. But, of course, it's based on data and information.
>> DUNCAN EDWARDS: No disagreement from me on any of that. This is also my first kind of experience trying to -- participating in an effort that's trying to get something integrated into the global agenda. But I guess my feeling about that is it's absolutely right to have that discussion.
If we're talking about getting a goal that libraries can respond to on the post-2015 development agenda, it seems like it's got to be pretty straightforward and basic. If we're advocating for all of the elements of an Information Society as part of a post-2015 agenda, we're going to find ourselves stuck in having that conversation. So I guess that's just -- that's been kind of -- you know, as we've been discussing this within Beyond Access, that's kind of been our -- our starting point, is that if we got -- we got to get this access to information goal onto the agenda, into the framework, and then you work from there within countries or regionally or whatever to make that -- make it useful. But that's the basic starting point, and it's unlikely that you're going to get more than that.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So this is a good moment to switch to sort of what is IFLA going to do. So the people who are sitting on the ends of the tables, now you'll find that there's a pile of documents. If you could pass them to the people on your left or right. Yes. Ari's got a comment to make while we're doing that.
>> ARI KATZ: I wanted to point out that in this room are some representatives from a program which is doing exactly what you suggested happened in Indonesia, which is connect libraries to the internet. You should connect with them. Okay.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So what we're distributing here is what you might call the base of IFLA's advocacy activities in relation to the post-2015 development framework. It is a high-level statement on libraries and development. It is, I believe, sometimes referred to the type of statement which is sometimes referred to in advocacy circles as a motherhood statement, which means that hopefully nobody could be against it on the grounds that who could be against motherhood. But further than just that, it contains at the very end the three dot points that we really would like to have achieved as we move forward into advocacy in this environment.
We talked about making a goal within the context of the post-2015 development framework, and we will set out on that path. But our overall objective, is there any post-2015 development framework recognizes the role of access to information as a fundamental element supporting development. So that could come in the place of a stand-alone goal, or it could come with information being contained with governments, accountability, corruption.
We also want the framework, if possible, to acknowledge the role of libraries and librarians as agents for development, and we would like to see the member states of the UN support the information frameworks under pending development. That would include libraries and other public interest bodies.
By setting ourselves these three goals for our engagement with this process, we give ourselves something to aim for. And IFLA is now getting more and more involved in both the processes that Cedric has outlined, and we are going to be calling on you as members of the Dynamic Coalition on Public Libraries to help us achieve that.
We will need a few things from those of you who are interested in this topic. First of all, if you are not members of our mailing list, then you absolutely must sign up so that you can keep in the loop on this, and you can find details of the mailing list on the IGF pages of the Dynamic Coalition and that is under the subsection Dynamic Coalitions.
Once we've done that, you'll be able to keep in touch with the activities that we are undertaking. We will be engaging with the UN through the various mechanisms that Cedric's mentioned. We hope to hold a side event at the General Assembly meeting in December on the subject of access to information. But we won't be doing this alone. We're very conscious that this is not something that should be just libraries. Access to information is about more than just libraries, and already we're working with civil society organizations such as Article 19, Civicus and development initiatives, who are all heavily engaged at the UN to hopefully put on this side event at the UN in December.
We're at the very beginning of a process that will see a very high-level declaration issued next August on the importance of information to development, and we're seeing that as, shall we say, a real opportunity to build a large coalition of groups around this issue so that we can make a big public statement and put it into the system around August time.
At the same time we're engaging with all of the WSIS process, we're making our submissions, and in many ways the issue of access to information through ICTs is perhaps easier to bring out in the WSIS Plus 10 review process, because it's perhaps a little bit more connected with the ICT side of things. So in order to tell our case persuasively, we can't just keep reproducing this motherhood statement. That's not going to be enough. It helps us as a base for our advocacy, but we will need to illustrate why we think libraries and information can play a role by using the examples from you in your everyday work and from organizations that you work with who are doing good things with access to information and through as many different partner organizations as we can that will support this goal of ours.
So there's obviously a lot of work to be done. IFLA is going to be coordinating it. And I first thing I'd like to ask you to do is sign up to the public access mailing list so I can keep you informed of what's going on and how you can help.
Now, we're almost at the end of this meeting. Before we switch subjects entirely, are there any sort of questions remaining about what we've just been discussing for the last half an hour? It is a lot to take on, and I'm pleased to say that IFLA will be providing a set of web pages that explains all of this in a bit more detail and also in a few more languages, which I know will be quite helpful for a lot of people in the room.
Any further questions before we move on? Then I take it that you've all completely understood Cedric's slide and we're all ready to start advocating, which is great.
So with that, Duncan, I know that you have a plane to catch and you're under no obligation to stay here, so if you do want to slip out here, that's fine. We'll start talking about you and your ideas as soon as you leave.
But I'd like to introduce Ellen Broad, who has recently joined us at IFLA, and she is going to be talking about access to information in the next decade, the trend report. So, Ellen, over to you.
>> ELLEN BROAD: So I will be very brief because it's already 6:00 p.m. and it's been a very long day for quite a few of us. I only wanted to mention this briefly as something for you to take away, to read back in your offices and also because it picks up on a lot of the points made here and picks up on quite a few of Duncan's access to information issue, like the kind of context surrounding the information environment for the next ten years. And that's the trend report.
Could we just move forward because I'll move straight to the insides document. Yes. This one. I just realized the link on there is incorrect, too. Is that the pdf? Or the Power Point? Sorry.
The inside document is being made available in multiple languages as soon as we can get the language centers to translate them. We currently have translations in Spanish, in Finnish, there is an Arabic, a German, a French, an apparently Myanmar, Japanese, Vietnamese, I believe. There's a number of translations takes place, and we will continue to make them available online as soon as they become available. At the moment, we only have Spanish and Finnish, but we're in the process of getting all those other translations.
But this document captures the variety of information contained in the trend report. The trend report is not a report itself. It is a platform, trends.IFLA.org, and it pulls together 12 months of meetings and conversations held with experts from outside the library profession, IT professionals, technologists, policymakers to consider the broader information environment and the high-level trends that will shape access to information. The reason the insides document is a little unique is it draws together all of that information into a nice, I think it's less than ten pages, easily digestible piece.
So what does access to information look like when we still have a predominantly north-based information content generation? So what will online education look like if -- and global access to information look like if the information is predominantly north-to-south transfer? What does access to information look like in a surveillance environment? How do we manage the tools for transparent and open government in the context of political election maneuvering? So that insides document very concisely summarizes a lot of these clashes between the high level information trend.
So the trend report is out there. You can read it. You can log in and sign up to the kind of density of information that's behind this simple document. So there's expert paper, synthesis documents, background materials, a kind of wealth of information. And you now -- it's up to our members to take the discussion into your region.
So what we did was we stepped outside of the library profession and said what would the information environment look like in the next kind of decade, 20 to 30 years, and then work back from there to what does that mean for libraries? We now want to see those conversations taking place in your regions. We would love to see an Asia Pacific discussion with Asia Pacific technologists, policymakers, educators, what's relevant of the high-level trends identified here to your region? What is different? What doesn't apply? What do you think are going to be the key trends? And to report all of that back to us so we can put it on the platform as well, because we do think it is a lot more complex than simply putting forward a top kind of five trends that will shape our information environment. We think it is going to be different by region, by type of library, by the communities you serve. And we want to see you have those discussions. And most importantly, report them back to us. We're creating a blog page. We want to be able to share the discussions, share your discussions with other regions, and hopefully bring this all back together next year to kind of see what the results of that discussion in different regions are.
So if you'd like to ask more questions about hosting an event, you can by all means contact me at IFLA HQ. You can also contact us through this website itself. So when you go to trends.ifla.org, you'll see a contact button and that comes straight to me as well, Ellen.email@example.com, but the contact box on the website will get you there as well.
So if you'd like to hold a conversation, I'd love to talk to you because we really want to see some conversations happening around the world that take it beyond just libraries talking to each other, but to see you hosting your own discussion with the policymakers and the different players, the technologists, the educators, the IT professionals, that will be relevant to your region. So thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: It is a good report. It's quite thought-provoking. And particularly read the insides document, and then if you're intrigued by that, i