IFLA - Improving Access to Information to support the Sustainable Development Goals

Fiona Bradley is the Manager of Development programmes at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). She manages the Action for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP) and contributes to IFLA’s work on access to information in the UN post-2015 development agenda. At IFLA she has focused on capacity building projects in countries spanning every region across the world. Prior to joining IFLA, she worked as a librarian in Australia across a wide range of library service areas including management, research and repository services, community information, and information literacy. She holds a BA in Political Science and History from the University of Western Australia, a Master of Information Management and MA (Research) both from Curtin University.

1.- Could you summarise the objectives and background concept behind the role of IFLA on the UN post-2015 Development Agenda "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development"?

Increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people¹s lives. Therefore, IFLA has been advocating over the past two years to ensure that access to information, ICTs and culture are included as part of the post-2015 development agenda, now knows as the 2030 Agenda.

2.- What is the role played by the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development in this context and who are its signatories?

IFLA led the creation of the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development in 2014. More than 580 institutions and associations from within and beyond the library sector, including development agencies, media organisations, gender, ICT and education campaigners have signed.

The Declaration, along with full signing instructions, is available at http://www.lyondeclaration.org/

The Lyon Declaration signatories calls upon the Member States of the United Nations to make an international commitment to use the post-2015 development agenda 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.

3.- How do you foresee the contribution of libraries and information services to sustainable development?

National development plans will shape many government spending and programme priorities. These plans can include national development, broadband, digital inclusion, and social development plans, amongst others. By demonstrating the contribution libraries make across the Goals, libraries will be in the best position to partner with government and others to implement national strategies and programmes that benefit library users. Access to information and libraries support poverty eradication, agriculture, quality education, health, public access to ICT and universal service provision, culture, economic growth and all other Goals. Access to information is a cross-cutting target that supports all areas of development.

4.- What future developments are expected or foreseen, particularly in the context of capacity development and measuring development on access to Information?

To ensure that governments are on track with meeting target 16.10, IFLA has been advocating for the inclusion of appropriate indicators. We will measure the impact of access to information and report on progress towards meeting the Goals in a Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report.