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3-day Online Conference on Access to Information | Centre for Digital Learning, Training & Resources

The CDLTR is partnering with several international organisations for a 3-day International Conference on Access to Information in Time of Crisis. The online conference will be held between August 26 & 28, 2020.

Adopting the IFAP inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral framework, the conference aims to promote inclusive dialogue around IFAP’s six priority areas and questions relating to access to information in crisis situations. New research findings, key policy issues and interventions will address gaps and promote the sharing of best practices. The policy dialogue should yield recommendations that will feed into IDUAI 2020.

Background
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP) works to build inclusive knowledge societies. IFAP supports member states to develop policies that ensure citizens’ access to digital technologies, including access to content on a free, open and secure internet that is in line with UNESCO’s ROAM[1] principles.  

The increasing reliance on digital technologies during the time of the COVID 19 pandemic has called the world’s attention to the impact of digital divides on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

IFAP, therefore, is drawing on its global network to convene this meeting to examine the implications of the global emergency within the framework of its existing priority areas. These are information accessibility, information preservation, media and information literacy, information ethics, information for development and multilingualism in cyberspace.

This conference is part of the preparatory activities for the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) which will be celebrated on September 28, 2020. IDUAI 2020 will focus on the right to information in times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or

policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis[2].

IFAP provides a platform for all stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information (https://en.unesco.org/programme/ifap).

The lead partners for this meeting, notably the India Centre for Information Ethics at the University of Hyderabad India; the Russian National IFAP Committee, Interregional Library Cooperation Centre (Russian Federation); the African Centre for Information Ethics at the University of Pretoria, South Africa and the UNESCO Chair on Language Policies for Multilingualism, University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) have made substantive contributions to the work of IFAP, including supporting the formulation of key declarations, such as the Khanty-Mansiysk Declaration, 2019 (http://www.ifapcom.ru/en), and the Cape Town Declaration, 2018 (https://www.up.ac.za/media/shared/609/ZP_Files/Conferences/cape-town-declaration_final.zp163374.pdf)

[1] R-Rights Based, O-Open, A-Accessible, M-Multistakeholder
[2] Recognizing the significance of access to information, the 74th UN General Assembly proclaimed 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) in October 2019. The day had been proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015. (https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/accesstoinformationday; https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/cn_iduai_2020.pdf).

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