Coming to the international conference, such as LILAC, it is always an exciting moment. It is even more exciting when you are a keynote speaker who is supposed to set a stage for the discussion and propose something new or even extraordinary for future action. I took some time to reflect on what I want as an international civil server from one of the UN agencies to say to the participants of this conference. Perhaps, it is the only UN body which mandate is so closely linked to Information Literacy and strategy oriented towards achieving practical solutions. Honestly speaking, it is not an easy task. What is new for you, maybe not be new for me. And in opposite, what is old for me, it is new for you. So, I decided that I will not try to bring you something extraordinary and propose radical changes in your research, work or personal agendas, but I would rather share with you what we do on daily basis at UNESCO as a part of our mandate.
During my presentation time, I will try to reply to your question by answering:What, why, who, how and when type of question? One could ask “Why” I decided to use this very old standard-traditional approach. There are many reasons, but one of a crucial importance is that in nowadays society, we are more and more obliged to answer or immediately executive most of those questions without even having time to reflect.It comes from almost everywhere - Internet, media, workplace, friends, and society in general. The question “How” (wisdom related as said Steve yesterday) becomes very important leaving aside other questions which are in reality not lesser important than other one. So, as we are information literate people, let’s try to answer the questions.
Let’s start from the question “What”. What are the issues facing you and me in our life, workplace and society?During the last few decades, the radical technological, political and economic transformations have provided not only faster access to information and knowledge, improved learning process, increased productivity and but also created:New?! Dependences, complex situations, structures, practicesandrelations among people, organizations and even entire nations.The exponential growth of data and information, the constant introduction of new ICTs, and the exposure to media and its content, is imposing a number of structural and behavioral changes. Access to information and its production of knowledge in different forms and formats is no longer the exclusive domain of specialized institutions such as media or professional communities at universities.Citizens are increasingly becoming not only information or media content consumers, but also producers and evaluators, through the use of various tools and media. User-generated content is growing and new platforms for sharing information and media content are emerging. In short, information and content can now be easily produced, accessed and shared by nearly everyone, leading to increased collaboration and greater participation by citizens in society. It is also important to highlight that social media platforms and technological solutions such as interactive tablets, smart phones, etc. are not only means for learning andcommunication between people, but also powerful tools social participation, public debate, and engagement.
As we are constantly undergoing through radical changes that are having profound effects on individuals, communities, and entire nation states. The rate of any form of change will depend on how fast and efficiently existing structures can be modified, current practices adapted to new complexity, and new tools developed to solve problems in various situations and contexts. In response to these evolving needs and challenges, new notions of literacy or literacieshave emerged and provide new theoretical, pedagogical, practical, policy, and research perspectives. Some of them integrate information and communication-related competencies.
Why does it matter to me, my community, my organization, and my society?There are different reasons and needs. For this presentation, I decided to use an old model “hierarchy of needs” proposed by Abraham Maslow in his paper "A Theory of Human Motivation“ (1943). It has some supporters and receivedcriticism (such as Brudwell, Geert Hofstede and other), but in our case today, it has stillsomevalidelementswhenitcomes to information literacy. Individuals, groups, organizations and societies in general require for information and knowledge to satisfy their diverse humanneeds (to survive – for instance in natural disaster situation; ensure security; maintain expectations of clients; perform well and many others) and resolve problems, but not only.
A.Maslow proposed this model in 1943 during a period of a second World War. One could say that certain aspects work perfectly well today, but some other are less important. By focusing on human needs only, we miss one important aspects – human rights. Soon after 1943, the United Nations were establish in 1945 (UN Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter) and later on 10 December 1948 – UN General Assembly adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a starting point for us. Note: The development of UNESCO began in 1942, during World War II, when the governments of several European countries met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). As a result, the proposal of CAME was established that focused on holding a future conference in London for the establishment of an education and cultural organization from November 1-16, 1945.The Media and Information Literacy (MIL) concept is based on universal human rights and is regarded as fundamental for individuals, communities and entire nations to exercise their freedom of expression and right to access information. The Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Few words on access. For us, accessis notequal to accessonly.It is a more complex as it leads to the action, itisalso important as it shows whatwe do after. It isalsorelated to the rights, permissions, provides information about a state of quality.
In response to the converging issues and emerging challenges, at institutional level,UNESCO proposes new concepts, approaches, structures, standards, strategies and tools. Ten years ago, many of international, regional and national organizers got involved in so called World Summit on the Information Society consultations (2003 Geneva, 2005 Tunis). UNESCO proposed instead of concentrating on connectivity and infrastructure issues to include also knowledge, capacity building, advocacy and other elements. This is how the notion of knowledge societies was introduced within the broader international agenda.At UNESCO, knowledge societies is one of the notions introduced to describe a new vision of societies that highlights the importance of the principles of openness, pluralism, inclusion, and participation. The concept is composed of building blocks such as education, cultural diversity, access to information and freedom of expression. We could clearly see that we need to operate, work, live, enjoy in the diverse environments and contexts. So, we need to introduce new literacy (ies) frameworks and information literacy is mainstreamed/embedded within the broader societal vision.
The changes and new processes lead to the association or merger of different disciplines, outlining new demands and the evolution of new concepts related to information, communication, media, and ICTs in the 21st century. A merge of different concepts and the blurring of historical boundaries between certain academic disciplines is thus observed. It becomes difficult to draw a clear line between where one type of literacy ends and another begins. In a constantly changing environment, everyone needs to develop an understanding of the factors and principles that will assist them in acting responsibly and ethically. UNESCO argues that there is a need to develop new literacies framework in order to meet the challenges and new technologies in a most effective and ethical manner.Traditionally, literacy has been defined as the ability to read, write, and count. This notion was promoted and applied in practice not only by UNESCO, but also by other United Nations system organizations, policy and decision makers, national institutions, professional communities and academia. It was jointly advocated that literacy is an inherent part of the right to education, employment, health and well-being. In 2002, the United Nations Literacy Decade Initiative was launched as a mechanism for ensuring a long-term support for literacy from multiple stakeholders. During this period, numerous programmes and concrete projects were launched to achieve international commitments. At the global level, literacy rates have increased during this period, resulting in significant improvements in basic literacy in some countries. But many other countries still need to put more effort into promoting literacy, which will involve defining new types of literacy and the application of ICTs. The UN Literacy Decade’s International Strategic Framework for Action (2009) points out that literacy is acomplex and multi-dimensional, intersecting with most domains of life and serving different purposes. Therefore, literacy should neither be reduced to a mere skill or technical competence nor be limited in the domains of use. It demands for new innovative approaches. Earlier, IL or ML were more accessible to those who were information and media professionals and had higher education degree, in some instances had higher level of research skills, but the majority of citizens had little knowledge about MIL and its role and impact.This is why UNESCO decides to include other target groups – all citizens. This shift was also supported by the idea that all citizens require new competencies related to MIL and have to acquire them during their life time. So, we believe that now we have favorable conditions for mainstreaming MIL at various levels and through diverse stakeholders.
UNESCO recognizes a primary role of information, ICTs and media in our everyday lives. The working concept is MIL which is evolving, but at the same time it is an attempt to unite various types of literacies under one umbrella in a single holistic and integrated framework. It lies at the core of freedom of expression and information - since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producer of information and media content.FOE –Freedom of expression and FOI – Freedom of Information.
Everyonenow require obtaininga set of competencies, including Media and Information Literacy that would enable them to seek, critically evaluate and effectively use information and create new knowledge.All those information and communication related competences are integrated in the concept of Media and Information Literacy.
Taking the literacy concept further, UNESCO has introduced a composite concept of Media and Information Literacy in to the questions above. It is an attempt to unite information literacy, media literacy, ICT literacy, digital literacy, and other literacy issues within a single holistic and integrated framework. There are still many questions to be answered about whether the selected conceptual approach is inclusive enough or whether a framework can be applied at a practical level.But, it is already clear that the approach aims at establishing closer links between different types of literacies and is indeed leading to a more integrated and holistic approach towards developing the competences required for the 21st century. By bringing together ML and IL, there are positive and negative sides which have to be carefully examined:
Most of activities targeted professional community such as information, library and archive professionals, media and journalists regarding the MIL issues.Teachers are seen as gatekeepers, they are oneswho help creating a literatesocieties. Alsotechnological solutions and their impact isseenatearlyprimary and secondaryeducationlevels. If schoolchildren are not aware about criticalthinking; itisquitelate to teachthem about MIL athighereducationlevel. Digital natives, residents or generation as Steve spokeyesterdaybecomeyounger and younger; sowe are professionalcommunityneed to findways and meanswho to reachthoseyoung people. This iswhyteacherplay a significantrole. Policy and decisionmakersshouldbeconsidered as anothertarget group as they are oneswhodecisions on reforms, allocation of resources, development of strategies and implementation.They have to beprovidedwithreliable data, sothisiswhyweneed to help department of statistics to collect data for informeddecisions.Not muchworkdone on how MIL isunderstood by women and men (Woody Horton resources do not includeany of genderequalityrelatedresources).
Where should we begin? First of all, we need to acknowledge that citizens require new competencies which will be acquired not once, but at different periods of life. Secondly, lifelong learning will take place at different levels and contexts. It can be that information literacy community alone will not able to provide all solutions. The MIL competencies will be used at individual, professional and societal levels. MIL shouldbe relevant to humanneeds and build on hulan rights; Often, IL communitydoes not refer to the humanrights. Finally, MIL should be seen as one of the prerequisites for building inclusive, open, participatory and pluralistic knowledge societies. When? Life long.
At UNESCO, a transition from an individual to an integrated literacy approach was influenced by experience of working in close cooperation with international and national partners and experts on the implementation of concrete projects, carrying out research, being engaged in a dialogue with policy and decision makers, civil society, and industry representatives. It coincided with the United Nations Literacy Decade and was reinforced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Media and Information Literacy Recommendations (2012). This transition was influenced also by four declarations: Prague Declaration “Towards Information Literate Societies” (2003),Alexandria Proclamation (2005), Fez Declaration on Media and Information Literacy (2011), Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy (2012). As well as some other declarations.
Selectivestrategy – itisused for severaldecadeswhen training information and media professionals and not onlythemseparetely. Westillneed to deepenourknowledge in the subjectfield.Integratedstrategybringstogether components of socalled of a subsysteminto a one single holisticapproach. By applyingthisstrategy, we open the doors for the debate on transliteracy.Expandedstrategybringstogether not only the elements of the samesubsystem, but alsoconnectsotherfields and domains, which are not directlylinked, but obviously have an impact. So, the literacy frame becomeseven more specific, situational, diverse and inclusive.
UNESCO mainstreams Media and Information Literacy within its programme and projects, working in close collaboration with other professional organizations, communities of practice, and individual experts.At UNESCO, a transition from an individual to an integrated literacy approach was influenced by experience of working in close cooperation with international and national partners and experts on the implementation of concrete projects, carrying out research, being engaged in a dialogue with policy and decision makers, civil society, and industry representatives.
In next slides, I will provide you with some few examples illustrating UNESCO’s work in this area.I will focus only on recent and ongoing activities only. But, there are more examples which were implemented some years ago.
By focusing on teachers, UNESCO hopes to capitalize on the potential multiplier effect. That is, media and information literate teachers should facilitate media and information literacy among their students and in turn leading to societies that are media and information literate. The MIL Curriculum for Teachers is designed as a flexible and comprehensive framework that educators or curriculum developers may adapt to the local context of their countries. The MIL Curriculum for Teachers is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. It is has been translated into Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. These versions are being finalized for publishing soon. Translation into other languages such as Chinese, German, and Japanese are underway. Series of regional training of trainer workshops and consultation for Southern Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and Southern Asia took place for the adaption of the MIL curriculum for teachers.
The ultimate goal of the development of tools and resources for assessment of MIL competencies for UNESCO is to: Give a clear understanding on MIL for policy-makers and stakeholders and its importance for building knowledge societiesProvide a tool for assessment of current status/situation on MIL in countriesAdvice policy-makers and stakeholders on required investment in creating enabling environment in country and MIL implementation Evaluate progress made. Set up a standard.
UNESCOs Information for All Programme exists within the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society and UNESCO.s Medium Term Strategy 2008-2013. IFAP.s programme is one of the implementation .sharp ends. of the WSIS process. IFAP recognizes the important role that information has in development. IFAP.s focus is on ensuring that all people have access to information they can use to enhance their lives. IFAP will contribute to this outcome by assisting Member States develop national information policy frameworks and build national capacity to exploit the opportunities presented by the explosive growth in information and communication technologies. IFAP will also seek to contribute to the international debate on these matters.
The aim of these guidelines is to provide assistance by outlining ways in which broadcasterscan promote MIL to their audiences and at the same time encourage the production of relevantUGC for broadcast.The promotion of UGC and MIL and the use of UGC are vital for helping the media to fulfill itsdemocratic functions in society. By providing not only a space for the public to express themselves but also the skills and capacity to take part in public debate, broadcasters can ensure that citizens’ right to freedom of expression is realised. In particular, by promoting MIL and UGC broadcasterscan help to ensure that they achieve the following functions attributed to the media.
The summaries highlight recent development, trends and recommendations for the post 2015 world.
UNESCO-UNAOC MILID UNITWIN current universities include:The Autonomous University of Barcelona, SpainThe University of Cairo, EgyptTsinghua University, Beijing, ChinaTemple University, Philadelphia, USAThe University of Sao Paulo, BrazilQueensland University of Technology, AustraliaUniversity of the West Indies, Kingston, JamaicaMohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco
Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg - Mainstreaming information literacy for the promotion of universal access to information - Keynote Speaker LILAC 2013
Mainstreaming Information Literacyfor the Promotion of Universal Access toInformationLibrarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC)25-26 March 2013, Manchester, United KingdomDr Irmgarda Kasinskaite-BuddebergKnowledge Societies DivisionCommunication and Information SectorUNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, France 1
What are the issues facing us in life – Whatthe workplace , wider community and society? NEW? Transformative period: Dependencies Situations Structures Practices Relations Ref.: UNESCO 3
Digital Socio- MDG divide cultural Financial related Information differencies crisis challenges fatigueNEW? Demographic Impact of Raising Illiteracy economicDependencies patters Gender inequality technological development powers and povertySituationsStructures RATE OF CHANGEPractices Peace ClimateRelations Mega urban versus rural processes change Impact of social media 4
Why does it matter to me, my community, my organization, and my society? Why Self-actualisation Esteem Belonging Satefy Physiological Everyone requires information and knowledge in order to satisfy needs and resolve problems… Adapted from Abraham Maslows hierarchy of needs "A Theory of Human Motivation“ (1943). 5
Is there something you could do or achieve? And why? Why Human Needs Human Rights Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. 6
Why is UNESCO working on literacy issues? Why Knowledge Societies Education Cultural and Access to Freedom For Linguistic Information of All Diversity and Expression Knowledge Information Knowledge Wisdom Access Preservation Creation Dissemination Pluralism Inclusion Diversity Openness Participation Human Need sand Rights Human Needs Human Rights 8
Why is a new literacy framework needed? Why, When Professional training – few selective Context Civic education Digital literacy Information Culture Media Information Tools literacy literacy Strategies, and Standards,resources Other types Approaches Other types of literacies of literacies ICT literacy Core MIL competencies towards transliteracy Lifelong learning - all citizens 9
Information Literacy Media Library Literacy Literacy FOE and Advertising FOI Literacy Literacy NewsLiteracy MIL Digital Literacy Television Computer Literacy Literacy Cinema Internet Literacy Literacy Games Literacy 10
Who,Who and with whom? Why Due to the convergence of communication technologies, all citizens are now required to obtain a broad set of competencies related to Media and Information Literacy. These competencies would help to build participatory civic societies, contribute to the consolidation of sustainable world peace, freedom, democracy and good governance. They could also foster the exchange of intercultural knowledge and constructive dialogue as well as mutual understanding. 11
Why consider ML and IL together? WhyPros ConsHarmonization of the fields Imbalanced approachConvergence (conceptual): Convergence (conceptual):- Common delivery platforms - Approach is too generic- Common access devices - Poor conceptual blending / integrationMainstreaming and integration Fragmentation and imbalanceCommon resources and tools Lack of coordinationJoint agenda(s), model(s), strategy(s) and Divergent and incompatible agenda(s),programme(s) models, strategy(s) and programme(s)Intersectorality Limited application - (context) 12
Target groups? WhoIn the past only the professional community wastargeted. However, other stakeholders should beincluded in the process:• Educators, particularly teachers in training and service• Policy and decision makers• Statisticians• Industry and employers• Marginalized and disadvanted groups• Other users 13
Where should we begin and when? Where When Community Lifelong learning Workplace ICT ICT Society Individual 14
What should be done?What is the best approach?What skills or techniques are needed? HowWhat can we learn from the experiences of others?How could mainstreaming be used as a promotion strategy for (M)IL? 15
How could MIL be promoted through an international normativeframework? How Convention, treaty (0) IFLA Media and Information Literacy Recommendations (2012) Recommendation on the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace (2003) UNESCO Charter on the Preservation of Digital Heritage (2003) Recommendations (3) Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy (2012) Havana Declaration on Information Literacy (2012) Fez Declaration on Media and Information Literacy (2011) Brussels Declaration on Media Literacy (2011) Declarations (10) Declaration of Lima (2009) Toledo Declaration on Information Literacy (2006) Declaration of Russian Association for Film & Media Education (2004) Prague Declaration Towards an Information Literacy Society (2003) Proclamation (1) Grunwald Declaration (1982) Declaration on the Importance of Media Literacy by National Council of Teachers of English (2008, US) Alexandria Proclamation (2005) http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Definitions.pdf 16
How could MIL be mainstreamed?How could different MIL mainstreaming strategies be applied? How Informatio n Literacy Media Library Literacy Literacy Advertising FOE and Literacy FOI Literacy MIL Integrated News Digital Literacy Literacy Television Computer Literacy Literacy Cinema Internet Literacy Literacy Games Literacy Lifelong learning towards transliteracy Selective Professional community, higher education, subject related Expansive Situational, context specific (classroom, workplace, community, civil education, ICTs and media landscape, gender and culture specific, and etc. 17
How could MIL be promoted as an international framework? How Recommen- Programmes Tools, resource dations Strategy(s) and projects s and services Declarations Strategic policy Capacity Research framework(s) building Networks, part Advocacy, coop Proclamation Plan of Action nerships and eration support 18
UNESCO’s work on MIL related issues … How• MIL Curriculum for Teachers and capacity building• MIL competency framework for assessment• MIL for policy and decision makers• Intergovernmental Programme Information for All (IFAP)• Research, mapping of activities and publications• International University Network on MIL Research• Development of IL online community on literacy issues• Awareness raising through international events 19
Capacity building anddevelopment of training HowmaterialsBy focusing on teachers, UNESCO hopes tocapitalize on the potential multiplier effect.That is, media and information literateteachers should facilitate media andinformation literacy among their students andin turn leading to societies that are media andinformation literate.The MIL Curriculum for Teachers is designed asa flexible and comprehensive framework thateducators or curriculum developers may adaptto the local context of their countries.Series of regional training of trainer workshopsand consultation for Southern Africa, LatinAmerica and Caribbean and Southern Asiatook place for the adaption of the MILcurriculum for teachers. 20
MIL Competency Howframework for assessment The ultimate goal of the development of tools and resources for assessment of MIL competencies for UNESCO is to: • Give a clear understanding on MIL for policy- makers and stakeholders and its importance for building Knowledge Societies • Provide a tool for assessment of current status/situation on MIL in countries • Advice policy-makers and stakeholders on required investment in creating enabling environment in country and MIL implementation • Evaluate progress made. • Set up a standard. 21
MIL policy and strategy guidelines Howfor policy and decision makers 22
Intergovernmental Programme Information for All (IFAP) How IFAP Strategic Plan (2008 – 2013) For the development of an overall comprehensive information and knowledge policy framework and international debate, five priority areas were identified as strategic priorities: • information for development, • information literacy, • information preservation, • information ethics and • information accessibility. 23
Researchand publications HowThis collection of Information Literacy(IL) Resources from around the world isdivided into 42 language lists andincludes selected resources – fromwebsites, books, journals and otherkinds of publications – that wereprovided by contributors from differentcountries and institutions and compiledby Dr Forest Woody Horton Jr. 24
Research Howand publicationsThe aim of these guidelines is toprovide assistance by outlining ways inwhich broadcasters can promote MIL totheir audiences and at the same timeencourage the production of relevantUGC for broadcast. 25
Research Howand publicationsUNESCO-commissioned research onknowledge societies’ topics for theWSIS+10 Review event (25-27 February2013).The research focused on the followingthemes:• open technologies,• literacy in Knowledge Societies,• persons with disabilities,• media,• indigenous peoples,• citizen science and info-ethics. 26
MIL Networks –Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue HowUNESCO and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) createdthe UNESCO-UNAOC UNITWIN Media and Information Literacy and InterculturalDialogue (MILID) to carry out activities in the following broad areas:Research: act as an Observatory for the critical assessment of the role ofMILID, contribute to the development of the joint UNESCO/UNAOC InternationalClearinghouse on MIL and preparation of related publications.MILID and Education: help to diffuse MILID at all levels of the formal educationsystem and to advocate for the same in related media production practices.Participation: promote actions aimed at encouraging citizen participation and atinvolving different stakeholders, such as community-based MIL projects and youth-media initiatives. 27
Knowledge online communities How The purpose of the Knowledge communities’ platform is to facilitate information gathering and exchange, and the common development of ideas and projects among various multi-stakeholders through collaborative and community oriented online tools. A knowledge community was created for the Information Literacy community.http://www.wsis-community.org/ 28
Mapping of MIL policies and practices in Southeast Asia, (UNESCO Office in Bangkok, Thailand) HowMapping MIL in Asia-Pacific region 29
Raising awareness through international events: HowAbuja, Nigeria - June 2013Sachalin, Russian Federation - September 2013Istanbul, Turkey - October 2013Paris, France (WSIS+10 Review) - February 2013Moscow, Russian Federation - June 2012Fez, Morocco - May 2011 30
The (M)Information Literacyneeds to be mainstreamed for the promotionof Universal Access to Informationat global, regional and national levels 31