UNU-EGOV contributed to the 9th Session of the UNESCO intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP) which took place in Paris, France, from 30 to 31 May 2016.
Established in 2001, IFAP provides a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge. The Programme supports Member States in developing and implementing national information policy and strategy frameworks in the areas of information accessibility, information for development, information ethics, information literacy, information preservation and multilingualism.
The Session brought together representatives of the 26 Member States elected to the Council by UNESCO’s General Conference at its last session in November 2015, as well as observers from Member States, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations having official status with UNESCO. Particular attention was given to further improving IFAP’s working modalities, financial situation and visibility, as well positioning IFAP’s actions within the context of the SDG and WSIS+10 processes.
The overview of the IFAP’s activities during the Session included several citations to collaboration with UNU-EGOV (see report and slides):
- The development of the Knowledge Societies Policy Handbook, Library and Platform through the project jointly conducted by UNU-EGOV and UNESCO/IFAP, and funded by UNESCO/IFAP.
- The participation of the IFAP Secretariat in the Expert Group Meeting on Governance, Digitization and the 2030 SD Agenda organized by UNU-EGOV in Guimarães in December 2015.
- The organization by UNESCO/IFAP, UNU-EGOV and the Uruguayan Agency for Electronic Government and Information Society (AGESIC) of the Expert Group Meeting on Knowledge Societies and the 2030 SD Agenda that took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in February 2016 to validate the Knowledge Societies Policy Handbook, Library and Platform.
- The organization of the 9th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV2016) by AGESIC and UNU-EGOV in collaboration with UNESCO/IFAP in Montevideo, Uruguay in March 2016. This included keynote lecture by Mr. Getachew Engida, the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO; plenary session chaired by Ms. Chafica Haddad, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Grenada to UNESCO and Chair of the IFAP Council; and UNESCO/IFAP session to promote the Knowledge Societies Policy Handbook, Library and Platform and announce the establishment of the Knowledge Societies Policy Community.
- The appointment of two joint UNESCO/IFAP and UNU-EGOV Government Fellows under the Knowledge Societies Policy Handbook project: Kenneth Bagarukayo – Commissioner, Information Management, Ministry of ICT, Uganda, and Jun Cheng – Secretary General of the Professional Technical Committee at the Beijing Information Resources Management Center, China.
- Contribution to the UNESCO session “SDG16: Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Knowledge Societies” during the 2016 WSIS Forum in Geneva in May 2016.
- The organization of the 10th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV2017) by the National e-Governance Division, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India, together with UNU-EGOV and UNESCO/IFAP in New Delhi in March 2017.
UNU-EGOV was represented at this Session by Tomasz Janowski whose presentation “Digital Government and Knowledge Societies –Advancing SDG 16” introduced Digital Government evolution, explained the convergence of the contextualization-stage Digital Government and Knowledge Societies, outlined how Digital Government and Knowledge Societies can contribute in complementary ways to four different SDG16 targets – 16.5, 16.6, 16,7 and 16.10, and presented past and future instances of collaboration between UNESCO/IFAP and UNU-EGOV in this space.