• The Information for All Programme (IFAP)
  • Objectives of IFAP
  • National IFAP Committee
  • The Information for All Programme (IFAP)



    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.


    Objectives of IFAP

    The objectives of introducing Coding at an early age are to:

    • Provide a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge;
    • Support Member States to develop and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks in the 6 priority areas;
    • Serve as an advisory body to the Director-General;
    • Work in close cooperation and provides inputs to UNESCO’s WSIS actions;
    • Collaborate with other Intergovernmental Bodies of UNESCO


    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.

    6. Multilingualism
    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:

    • serving as a meeting point for diverse stakeholders and thus creating a pool of expertise for the purpose of consolidating existing knowledge as a basis for formulating advice on policy and its implementation;
    • serving as an avenue for the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the international to the national level, and across borders, and for knowledge-sharing, by drawing on the work of National IFAP Committees in other countries (e.g. in the form of expert missions);
    • consolidating existing sectoral plans and programmes of action in the information/knowledge society field into a comprehensive, future-oriented vision, promoting public understanding of the unfolding process of change and its ramifications for society and individuals;
    • developing an action plan, including short- and long-term goals, as well as benchmarks of success, focusing on the needs of the country in the area of core IFAP priorities, as well as on forms of regional and international cooperation within the programme;
    • spreading information and knowledge about information society issues, and publicizing its own activities, as well as those of IFAP in general, and UNESCO, to ensure visibility for the programme and for the National Committee in order to generate interest in, and support for, the Committee’s work.


    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.

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