Beyond Access Explains the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Through the Beyond Access initiative, IREX partnered with IFLA and other organizations, including CIVICUS, Article 19, and Development Initiatives, to support the inclusion of access to information and affordable access to information communication technologies (ICTs) in the post-2015 development agenda.

For Beyond Access, the most important reason to be involved in the process is because we want to promote access to information. We believe that access to information is vital to every development outcome — everything from health to agriculture to supporting open government, ensuring that communities and individuals can pursue opportunities after programs and grant funding end.

Key facts: The post-2015 process

  • Since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have become the world’s shared goals for ending extreme poverty in all its forms.
  • In 2015, the Millennium Development Goals will expire. So the UN Secretary-General and UN member states launched processes to create the development agenda for following years — this is widely known as the “post-2015” development agenda, or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Beyond Access is working with a coalition of organizations to make sure access to information is included in this post-2015 development agenda. Read this blog post to learn why.
  • Do you support access to information? You can sign the Lyon Declaration — developed by IFLA, Beyond Access, and others in the coalition — to show your support for access to information in the post-2015 development agenda.

We believe that access to information is vital to every development outcome — everything from health to agriculture to supporting open government, ensuring that communities and individuals can pursue opportunities after programs and grant funding end.

What are the post-2015 discussions?

Since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have become the world’s shared goals for ending extreme poverty in all its forms. The MDGs will expire in 2015, so the UN Secretary-General and UN member states have launched a number of processes to develop the “post-2015” agenda. Member States have agreed to develop a new set of goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The post 2015 agenda will comprise a set of global goals, targets and indicators to incentivize and measure progress. Visit this UN Economic and Social Council webpage to read more.

What are Beyond Access’s Goals?

Beyond Access wants to see access to information and ICTs as central components of the post-2015 agenda. We also want to highlight the important role that infomediaries, such as librarians, play in development projects. We’re working with partners to:

  • Help libraries develop a strong, aligned voice on a vision for the post-2015 framework.
  • Ensure that the post-2015 framework recognizes the vital role access to information plays in supporting development.
  • Make sure that the post-2015 framework encourages UN Member State to support the information institutions that underpin development – institutions that provide networks, information and human resources, such as libraries and other public interest bodies.
Tech-Age-Girls-IREX

Photo by IREX.

What is the process?

Member states of the United Nations have agreed to a roadmap for adopting the post-2015 goals:

  1. In 2012, 27 representatives formed the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The panel developed a report that forms the basis of the post-2015 development agenda.
  2. Following, the recommendations of the Rio+20, the UN Open Working Group (OWG) was created to prepare a proposal on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be considered by the General Assembly. The group consisted of representatives for 30 countries, whose work was supported by input from civil society and UN observers.
  3. In the summer of 2014, the OWG finalized its deliberations and presented its 17 SDG recommendations to the UN General Assembly.
  4. The Secretary-General will issue a synthesis report in the second half of 2014 that will address the SDGs and will identify financial mechanism to support the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.
  5. The intergovernmental negotiations on the adoption of the post-2015 framework and the goals will begin in the UN General Assembly in January. The synthesis report,which also includes the UN Open Working Group proposed goals will serve as the basis for this phase of the process.
  6. In September 2015, these negotiations will conclude in a heads-of-state summit in New York, which will adopt the post-2015 goals and targets.
Peru-Children-Reading-Beyond-Access

In Peru, Beyond Access is working with local partners to boost access to information and economic opportunities for Peruvians.

Why is the post-2015 development framework important to libraries?

There can be no sustainable development without access to information. Libraries provide access to information for all, regardless of their status or situation. Libraries can work with development practitioners, policymakers and communities to support every social and economic development goal.

Libraries around the world are powerful partners in delivering services — including literacy and ICT skills training — that enable human development. They help people in their community access vital government services, provide employment information and training, and support skills-building.

And libraries don’t only provide a place where people can access information — they also promote the development of local knowledge. For example, libraries in Ukraine serve as maker-spaces that provide community members with the tools they need to create their own content and promote innovation. Libraries can also help governments and people communicate, organize, assess and understand data that is critical to development.

Computer-Gates-Foundation

How are we advocating for access to information?

  • We’re bringing librarians and other key representatives to international development events and key official meetings around the post-2015 process.
  • IFLA will lead national advocacy campaigns with interested libraries so they can talk to their governments about the post-2015 agenda.
  • We also encourage dialogue about priorities for the post-2015 agenda.

What can you do?

  • Sign the Lyon Declaration — the driving force in the advocacy process.
  • Check out the resources below, including the CIVICUS Advocacy Toolkit, to develop your own advocacy campaigns in your community.

There can be no sustainable development without access to information. Libraries provide access to information for all, regardless of their status or situation. Libraries can work with development practitioners, policymakers and communities to support every social and economic development goal.

Resources

IFLA Advocacy Toolkit

  • Explains role of libraries in the post-2015 development agenda.
  • Provides examples of how to advocate with local partners.

Information Access, Civil Society, and Post-2015

  • Highlights key points about what we’re advocating for.
  • Addresses the next steps Beyond Access is taking to advance this conversation.

Access to Information Central to Post-2015 Development

CIVICUS: Advocacy Toolkit: Influence the Post-2015 Development Agenda

  • Explains what the post-2015 process is.
  • Provides suggestions on how to engage in the process.
  • Includes templates for advocacy efforts.

High Level Panel Report

  • Sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and deliver sustainable development.
  • Served as baseline for the Open Working Group Negotiations.

 

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