The Information for All Programme (IFAP) was established by UNESCO in 2001 to provide a framework for international co-operation and partnerships in “building information and knowledge societies for all “. IFAP is aimed at harnessing the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information. The platform is also for stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines for action.
The objectives of introducing Coding at an early age are to:
The Programme is guided in its planning and implementation by an Intergovernmental Council, currently comprising 22 Member States. The Council guides the planning and implementation of the programme by considering relevant proposals, recommending broad lines of action, assessing achievements, encouraging the participation of Member States, and supporting fundraising efforts.
The Council elects a Bureau composed of six members, each Chairing 1 of 6 working groups of the following priority areas:
1. Information Literacy
Information literacy empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. Information-literate people are able to access information about their health, their environment, their education and work, and to make critical decisions about their lives.
2. Information Preservation
Universal access to information is a prerequisite for building knowledge societies. Throughout history, libraries and archives have been the guardians of the documentary heritage of humankind. But in a world increasingly being shaped by digital technologies, the traditional guardian institutions (libraries, archives and museums) are challenged to keep pace with the rapid growth in information. They also face a new challenge: as technology advances the stability and lifespan of documents is considerably decreasing. If nothing is done, many important documents in electronic format will not survive or will become completely inaccessible within a very short time
3. Information for Development
Mainstreaming knowledge society policies in national development plans for sustainable development: Information and knowledge has an important role to play in addressing development issues, which requires access to information as well as the availability of information that is relevant and useful to people’s needs.
4. Information Ethics
Information ethics cover the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the applications of ICT and are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the most challenging ethical issues is the inequity of access to ICT between countries, and between urban and rural communities within countries. Along with the benefits of a digitally connected world come the threats of misuse and abuse.
5. Information Accessibility
Information accessibility encompasses the many issues surrounding availability, accessibility and affordability of information, such as multilingualism, metadata, interoperability, open source software, open content, Creative Commons licenses as well as addressing the special needs of people with disabilities.
Multilingualism in cyberspace is one of the pillars of pluralistic equitable inclusive knowledge societies and sustainable development. IFAP encourages UNESCO Member States to take language into account when formulating and implementing digital innovation policies and solutions to build fair knowledge societies and use appropriate tools to develop linguistic diversity and multilingualism in cyberspace.
National IFAP Committees, established in all UNESCO Member States, pursue the goals of IFAP at the national level by serving as a meeting point for various stake-holders and as an avenue for the transfer of knowledge from the international to the national level
National IFAP Committee can provide added value by:
The IFAP National Committee should include representatives of all major national stakeholder groups in the information society. These include ministries; parliamentary committees; libraries and archives; ICT specialists, telecommunication infrastructure entrepreneurs and service providers; education and training institutions in the areas of information science and informatics; users of information and information and communication technology services in education, science, culture and communication; producers of information and digital content; local communities and civil society.
The National IFAP Committee will work closely with the National Commission for UNESCO and, where appropriate, cooperate with the local Memory of the World Committee, as well as with other UNESCO national coordination frameworks in the sphere of communication and information.