10 June 2020

Sahel / Dakar (Senegal)

Fixed Term


Promoting Information preservation is one of the six priority areas of UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP), which sees it as contributing to guaranteeing right and access to information (SDG 16) for present and future generations. Confronted with high risks of information lost, relentless technological progress and increased production of information in non-digital and digital forms, countries are challenged to adapt and ensure suitable preservation of those knowledge resources.  

Supporting countries in addressing those challenges and raising awareness on the importance of information preservation are all part of UNESCO lines of intervention as exemplified, in 2015, by the adoption of a Recommendation concerning the preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage including in digital form. A major instrument of the Memory of the World (MoW) programme. 

In 2019, participants at the IFAP Forum: “Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development in Africa”, organized in Harare (Zimbabwe), highlighted not only the need for urgent policy and operational actions to ensure information preservation on the continent, but also the difficulties for advocating persuasively without data. In consequence, they called for the development of an Advocacy Toolkit on information preservation comprising of, among other things, indicators for monitoring and evaluating information preservation and a Model strategy for information preservation. 

It is in this context that the UNESCO, through its Office in Dakar, launched mid 2019 an initiative to develop a set of Indicators to assess information preservation at country level called: Indicators of Information Preservation Sustainability (IIPS). In September 2019, experts from several countries in Africa, following workshop held in Dakar, proposed a preliminary set of indicators that now form the "draft zero" of the IIPS. Those initial indicators fall within five categories: Legal and regulatory framework, Institutional capacities, Conservation, Human resources, and Infrastructures and Technologies. Following that draft, and in line with recommendations from the workshop, UNESCO Dakar Office is now seeking for qualified experts to further the work towards formulation of a comprehensive and suitable set of indicators.

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