E-Forum “Sustainable Development Goals: The Impact of Access to Information on our Societies”: objectives and results

Sustainable Development can only be achieved by having access to information, sharing and networking where every person is able to contribute to dialogue and decision-making for international development and social justice.


E-Forum “Sustainable Development Goals: The Impact of Access to Information on our Societies”:  objectives and results

At the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, more than 150 world leaders adopted the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), along with a set of 17 new Sustainable Global Goals (SDGs), 179 targets and 230 global indicators. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will support governments around the world in tackling the new agenda and taking it forward over the next 15 years (2016-2030).   

One week prior (17- 18 September 2015) to this milestone event, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the  Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) joint launched (with support of Dgroups) jointly an e-forum dedicated to “Sustainable Development Goals: The Impact of Access to Information on our Societies”.

“As organisations committed to access to information, we believe that access to information in any form, including open access, is a critical element for sustainable development. An international commitment around access to information via the SDGs by UN member states could enhance the possibilities to ensure that everyone has access to, and is able to understand, use, and share the information that is necessary to promote sustainable development and democratic societies” (Sustainable Development Goals: The Impact of Access to Information on our Societies).

E-forum dedicated to Sustainable Development Goals: The Impact of Access to Information on our Societies

The target audience of aforementioned e-forum Sustainable Development Goals: The Impact of Access to Information on our Societies comprised information professionals in general, and any person interested  in  access to information.  Libraries and information centres were invited and encouraged to participate in this e-forum.

The objective of the e-forum was to provide a discussion about the promotion and adoption of access to information, as part of the post-2015 agenda, in particular SDGs.

The event offered webcasts  by experts providing (through case studies and examples) important background information for participants and helping stimulate dialogue and discussion around three main questions:

  1. What are the ways that access to information (and more narrowly open access) contributes to sustainable development?
  2. How can libraries and information centres promote the adoption of access to information as part of the post-2015 agenda, in particular SDGs? Are access to information, open access, and information providers (such as libraries and information centres) are reflected in the National Development plans?
  3. What can we do collectively - for example, through COAR, FAO and IFLA- to raise awareness of open access and access to information in the context of SDG discussion?

All in all there were 356 participants (mostly from Europe, South America and Africa) from 80 countries and 68 contributions.

Some results summarizing the discussion around three main questions posed during the e-Forum can be read here.

The e-forum included also a couple of webinars by Jean-Claude Guédon and Stuart Hamilton who gave closer insights into how Open Access can foster SDGs and how IFLA developed the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information to influence SDGs.

Several presentations from (and related to the topics of) E-Forum can be viewed using SlideShare:

The organizers of the e-Forum kindly thank all participants and the contributors for a fruitful and exiting discussions and presentations. You can learn more about use cases and original contributions (comprised into two clusters: Access To Information, Open Access) presented during the e-Forum in the attached document “Use cases from the e-Forum discussion”.


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