Thursday, December 07, 2006

UNESCO conducts survey on IFAP

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has commenced a survey on its inter-agency entity, the Information For All Programme (IFAP).

The survey UNESCO said would enable it to review IFAP activities and acceptance to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) community globally.

According to the Project Leader at the Information Society Institute (TISI) of Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town in South Africa, Dr. Michael Gurstein, the project is being supervised by TISI.

He also informed that the survey could be located at would to give the organisers some information concerning stakeholders’ perspective on IFAP and other related activities.

Dr. Gurstein also said that the questionnaire should not take more than 15 minutes and should be seen as help to UNESCO in determining how best to position IFAP for future development toward an Information Society for All.

He also revealed that the survey would end Friday, December 8, this year.

It would be recalled that IFAP prides itself as the only intergovernmental programme within UNESCO, that is, exclusively dedicated to promoting universal access to information and knowledge for development, even as they sees its implementation process as a key in building knowledge societies.

The uniqueness of this mandate and its intergovernmental nature invest the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme with the authority to speak on strategic priorities and to lobby and create awareness about issues pertaining to the use of information and ICT for development at the international level.

IFAP is currently led by award winning chairman, Laurence Zwimpfer.

Historically, various activities led to what is today known as IFAP, beginning with the UNESCO discovery of the need to define its place in the information society, precisely within the framework of the former General Information Programme (PGI) and the Intergovernmental Informatics Programme (IIP).

Hitherto, experts said that information revolution resulted in an overlap of the two programmes, which have been increasingly concentrating their activities in two main areas; first, on content for the information society, and second on actions necessary to build "infostructure" for this evolving society through training, the establishment of information policies and the promotion of networking.

And as at January 1, 2001, when IFAP replaced the PGI and IIP based on the resolution passed at Decision 3.6.1 and taken at the 160th session of UNESCO's executive board.

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