Tag Archives: Lib4Dev

Building Your Evidence Base Across the SDGs

Today marks the beginning of SDG Action Week, a celebration of the work currently taking place to deliver on the Global Goals, and an opportunity to reflect on what more needs to be done.

Clearly, with the consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic, reaching the Sustainable Development Goals seems as challenging as ever, as highlighted in the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers report earlier this week.

The Week will see great ideas being shared on how to ensure an effective response to the pandemic now, and a rapid and equitable recovery afterwards. We have already encouraged libraries to take part in the events, and share their own ideas.

Of course, it’s not just during SDG Action Week that it’s important to share these ideas! Governments are taking decisions related to sustainable development all the time.

In order to ensure that libraries are fully recognised and integrated into policy planning, it is important to have examples and ideas to hand

IFLA already makes two great resources available for this. First of all, the SDG Stories on IFLA’s Library Map of the World provide a growing set of examples. Those who have shared examples there not only help colleagues in their advocacy, but receive profile for their own work.

Secondly, we have a collection of national awareness raising materials, produced by library associations and groups of libraries, illustrating how our institutions are contributing to achieving the SDGs.

It can help to prepare your own list of such stories. This doesn’t need to be formally presented (although of course, it can be powerful if you do!), but even having it ready when preparing meetings, news stories or other events can be useful?

How to go about this?

Sometimes, contributions are clear. Libraries have an obvious and traditional role in supporting literacy (SDG4), connectivity (SDG9 and SDG17), and the safeguarding of heritage (SDG11). There are already lots of great examples on the Library Map of the World about these.

But of course libraries contribute across the board.

In order to help you think about your library, or libraries in your country, here are four ways which – in the case of each of the SDGs – libraries are contributing:

1) How are libraries informing and supporting policy-making? For example, in all of the policy areas across the SDGs, libraries are likely to be supporting research and other efforts to build understanding of the world around us. Within governments, they are helping deliver evidence-based policy making, while those in parliaments are helping legislatures holding those in power to account.

2) How are libraries connecting people with opportunities? Public efforts to support development are often only as effective as the communication about them. Work to promote knowledge of, and access to public benefits, programmes or services can make a real difference, for example through internet access, noticeboards or proactive advice and support for users. This is particular the case for users who are unconnected at home, or unwilling to visit official buildings.

3) How are libraries enabling better decision-making at the individual level? Of course, not all support comes from government sources! For people to make decisions about their own lives and work, there are plenty of other places to find information, both in library collections and on websites accessible at (or thanks to) libraries. Librarians of course do help people develop the skills and confidence to make full use of this information to improve their lives.

4) How are libraries delivering services directly? As highlighted, libraries are involved in directly providing services such as literacy, internet access, access to research or preservation and conservation. Increasingly, there are also programmes supporting other SDGs. But it’s not just about what librarians themselves do! Libraries can also be platforms and facilitators, helping others to deliver programmes that help make change happen – and indeed, this can be a great way of increasing impact!

Below, we set out a grid sharing some ideas for first answers to each of these questions, for each of the SDGs.

Grid showing how libraries contribute to achieving each of the SDGs in different ways


Grid showing how libraries contribute to achieving each of the SDGs in different ways


Grid showing how libraries contribute to achieving each of the SDGs in different ways


Grid showing how libraries contribute to achieving each of the SDGs in different ways

If you are trying to put together your own database of examples to use in your advocacy, we hope these help you to identify where to look! And of course, once you have found your examples, you can use our SDG Storytelling Manual to develop them into full stories!

What Makes Libraries Unique in Achieving… SDG 4

This is the first of a series of blogs for the 2019 High Level Political Forum, looking at the different SDGs in focus this year.

Sustainable Development Goal 4DA2I means being able to learn, grow and develop, wherever you are, whatever your age is the first of the SDGs to be explored this year. It focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

For many libraries – not least school and university ones – it is the basis for all of their work, from story time to advanced information literacy. Libraries play a vital role, either within institutions, or in complement to them.

But how to explain this role to policy-makers and others?

Here are three ideas for arguments that you can use to show why libraries are unique in achieving SDG4:

1) Because literacy is a gateway to learning: reading a blog like this, it can be difficult to imagine what it’s like not to be literate. Without literacy, so many means of learning, earning, and accessing information are closed. Libraries have a very strong track record in this area, through supporting literacy (even from the youngest age) and encouraging a love of reading which has proven impacts on overall academic performance.

2) Because learning doesn’t stop when you leave school: while basic education is an essential step, everyone needs to keep on learning throughout their lives. Changes in the wider world may force them to find a new job or adapt to new technologies. Changes in their own lives mean that their needs and priorities change. Libraries provide a place where anyone, at any age, can learn for themselves, and often get involved in or access wider training opportunities.

3) Because spaces matter: the internet has opened up great new possibilities for people to access learning, with new content and applications developed all the time. Yet it is undeniable that people also benefit from having dedicated spaces and staff to help them develop new skills. Libraries are ideal spaces for this, given their historic focus on popular education, and their familiarity to communities.

For more see the chapter on SDG4 in the 2019 Development and Access to Information Report (DA2I) by Dr Katarina Popovic, Secretary-General of the International Council on Adult Education (ICAE).

New Opportunities: Libraries and the United Nations in 2019

Libraries and the United Nations in 2019

As those who were able to attend the relevant sessions at the World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur heard, 2019 will be a big year at the United Nations for libraries. There will be a focus on Sustainable Development Goals that are particularly relevant for our institutions, and key steps will be taken towards a review both of the overall 2030 agenda, and the indicators used to measure progress.

But it’s also an important year for the UN itself, with new structures now in place. These also have implications for the way libraries engage with the SDGs at the national level. This blog sets out some of the key moments and opportunities in the coming year.


A High Level Political Forum Focused on Core Library Business

Each year, the UN selects a number of SDGs as a focus for the High Level Political Forum. These also shape the preparations for the event, and even voluntary national reviews.

This year, the focus is on education (SDG4), employment and growth (SDG8), equality (SDG10), climate change (SDG13) and strong institutions, including access to information (SDG16). These are all areas where it does not take too much effort to build understanding of how libraries make a difference to individual’s lives and societal progress.

These themes will each be the subject of a ‘thematic’ meeting. While education has already taken, place, SDG 8 will be the subject of a meeting on 4-5 April in Geneva, Switzerland, SDG10 of one in Accra, Ghana on 27-28 March, SDG13 will be addressed on 1-3 April in Copenhagen, and SDG16 is provisionally on the agenda on 3-5 April in Rome, Italy.

These will discuss key challenges and progress made, and set out recommendations for how the world can do better and acheive the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda.

There will also be five regional meetings: for Europe and North America (21-22 March, Geneva), Asia-Pacific (27-29 March, Bangkok), Arab Countries (16-18 April, Beirut), Latin America and the Caribbean (22-26 April, Santiago), and Africa (16-18 April, Morocco, tbc).

These give the chance to take a regional perspective, looking at the specific issues in different parts of the world, as well as facilitating peer learning. They are also great opportunities to meet with national officials leading on coordinating SDG implementation.

IFLA will be looking to take the chance to be heard at the High Level Political Forum – and the thematic and regional meetings. We hope that local libraries will also be involved! But all libraries can also contribute by reminding national SDG teams of the contributions they make in these areas.

We’ll be in touch with ideas for how to do this!


A Review of the 2030 Agenda and Indicator Framework

Four years on from the agreement of the SDGs, the original text agreed by member states provided for a review of the agenda as a whole. We are now at that stage, offering an opportunity to think again about how work around the SDGs is organised and implemented.

In parallel, an expert group made up of governments and representatives of various UN agencies will hold a consultation about updates to the set of indicators used to measure progress against the SDGs.

In both of these processes, it will be important both to defend what is good about the SDGs – not least the reference to access to information – but also work to improve things. Civil society organisations – not least IFLA and library associations – could have more voice, and voluntary national reviews could be more inclusive. We also need better indicators of access to information across the board.

A key point will be the SDG Summit, held in September as part of the UN General Assembly, which will set out a political declaration, present a number of voluntary commitments and reaffirm the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

We’ll be in touch at key moments in the year to explain how you can help convince your governments of the need to promote the changes libraries need to make the 2030 Agenda better still.


New Contacts, New Possibilities

The UN is a huge organisation. In addition to its core elements (including the Sustainable Development Division within the Department of Economic and Social Affairs), there are many agencies and other bodies linked to it, not least the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Many of these do work in different countries, operating offices, supporting projects, and raising awareness.

In order to promote greater consistency in this work, the UN agreed to give more power to the ‘resident coordinators’ – the top member of staff in each country, to help them coordinate better. This is part of a broader reform strategy,  covering internal organisation, responsibilities and funding.

The resident coordinators will have a particular role in focusing support efforts linked to the SDGs (taking this over from local UN Development Programme representatives), and will also have more formal powers and funding, making them an even stronger potential contact for library associations.

Especially in countries where there are a number of UN projects in place, the new resident coordinators are potentially very useful contacts for libraries and library associations. They will be happy to know that local institutions are promoting the SDGs, and could help ensure that libraries benefit from projects aimed at implementing them.

You can find details of the coordinator in your country – and other relevant contacts, by clicking on the map at the bottom of the UN country activities page.


2019 will be a year of opportunities to underline the value of libraries. We will only need to make sure we are ready to seize them. IFLA will work with its members to ensure that this is the case.


You can find further information on libraries and the SDGs on the IFLA website. See in particular our briefs about Voluntary National Reviews, and Data and the SDGs,  our timeline, and our webinar from September 2018 (in English, French and Spanish).

In order to get involved yourself, take a look also at our toolkit, our poster ‘This Library Supports the SDGs’, and our infographic setting out all of the SDG targets where access to information is implicitly or explicitly mentioned. You can find some great ideas for advocacy around the SDGs in the slidepack from our session at WLIC 2019, and look out for our ‘10-Minute Library Advocate‘ guide coming very soon!

World Habitat Day 2018

World Habitat Day

Urbanisation – the growing share of the world’s population living in cities – is a major feature of the world today. From 55% today, over two thirds of all people are expected to live in major built-up areas by 2050.

Yet urbanisation brings its challenges. Congestion, waste management, broken and re-formed social relationships, even loneliness. The United Nations and its members recognised the need to act in 2015 when they created Sustainable Development Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, as well as when they agreed the whole New Urban Agenda.

The raises the question – how to make cities liveable. And indeed, how to make sure that cities are communities, with – as the word suggests – something in common between their inhabitants? Libraries can help in at least three ways.


Common Spaces

A first key contribution is in the space that libraries offer. As people live more and more of their lives online, there are fewer obvious reasons to come together in a single space. Yet this does not mean it is less necessary.

Indeed, the possibility to do things together – even go online – remains attractive. A police station, hospital or school does not offer this, nor – at least for people on low incomes – do private venues.

Libraries fill an important gap here, offering a neutral, welcoming space to all members of the community. Indeed, SDG 11.7 underlines this point, setting the following target: ‘by 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities’. Similar language appears in Paragraph 13(c) of the Quito Declaration that launched the New Urban Agenda.


Common Opportunities

A second ingredient of a successful community is a feeling that everyone has their place there. Everyone should be able to access to same services, and have, as far as possible, equal chances of fulfilling their ambitions.

Having access to information – as well as the rights and skills to use it – is a key to this, giving the possibility to learn, find work, and develop both personally and professionally. SDG 11.1 underlines that Member States should, ‘by 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services…’. Again, the Quito Declaration makes the same point.

Once again, libraries help. Internet access on its own can be essential in countries that are less well off. But so too is the support – both formal and informal – provided by dedicated library staff, the access to books subject to copyright, and the fact – as highlighted above – that libraries offer a welcoming space.


Common Heritage

The power of a sense of a shared past is also important, especially at times of rapid change. While this may often be overlooked in favour of interventions with more immediate impact – health, policing, renovations, it is a key part of the mix of actions that help build communities.

 Once again, this is an issue recognised by the UN, which, in SDG 11.4, calls on Member States to ‘Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage’. IFLA itself has underlined this point in a statement. Paragraph 125 of the Quito Declaration underlines:  ‘We will support the leveraging of cultural heritage for sustainable urban development and recognize its role in stimulating participation and responsibility’.

This is not just a question of the ancient past. As highlighted in IFLA’s article for World Peace Day, libraries are also helping people to recognise the events of the more recent past – even traumatic ones – and through activities such as community archiving, are helping to bring people together.



It is not by accident that the SDGs talk about cities and communities. People need both in order to benefit from a sense of wellbeing. Where they are properly supported, libraries make this happen.

Words of the SDGs: Leave No One Behind

Continuing our series of blogs looking at the words (and phrases) which mark the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, today’s edition looks at ‘leaving no one behind’.

Perhaps unlike some of our previous ‘words’ (intersectionality, resilience, participation), this feels like a refreshing step away from jargon. This has also made it particularly powerful as a term, although, as this blog will explore, it is not the subject of complete consensus.

As with our other ‘words’, it also has an impact on how libraries work with the Sustainable Development Goals, and can become a useful part of library advocacy in this area.

Leave No One Behind

A Vital Shift: From Focusing on the Poorest to Leaving No One Behind

At the heart of the Millennium Development Goals – the predecessor to the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals – was the notion that economic and social progress around the world had failed to make a difference to the poorest. Too many lacked education, sanitation, healthcare, or adequate income. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) therefore focused on the worst-off.

The measures of progress chosen focused on this group, but used global averages. As a result, thanks to rapid growth in countries like China, leading to falls in absolute poverty and improvements in services, it was possible to declare success on a number of the Goals.

This did not mean, however, that all countries or groups saw progress. Many of the most vulnerable – the targets of the MDGs – saw little improvement, or even went backwards.

The 2030 Agenda acknowledged this point head on by asserting that not only were the SDGs an indivisible whole (all had to be achieved, together), but that they could only be achieved if they were achieved for everyone. This is the basis of the concept of leaving no one behind.

More Complex than it Sounds

While the idea of achieving the Goals for all appears simple, it also raises questions. What does this mean about where governments – and the global community – should focus efforts? Does ‘no one’ refer to countries (i.e. developing countries), groups within countries or individuals? How does this relate to sustainability? All came up in a civil society debate on Sunday, as well as in previous research on the topic.

Fortunately, there is a relatively simple answer to the first question – the primary focus should be on those who need it most. This follows a concept known as ‘progressive universalism’ (for which the model was a Mexican healthcare reform that specifically served the most vulnerable before anyone else).

Yet debate remains as to ‘who’ is left behind. With the 2030 Agenda explicitly focused on the whole world, the implication is that it is citizens and groups within countries who run this risk. Nonetheless, there is also a strong argument that countries with low national income are also vulnerable, and so need support.

A further evolution in the 2030 Agenda is the recognition that being left behind is also a question of where you stand relative to the population as a whole. Even in a rich society, inequalities can have significant impacts on life chances and general wellbeing. The SDGs even include a focus on inequality (SDG10), underlining that even when (if) we can put an end to absolute poverty, there is still much work to do.

In turn, these inequalities are often the result of discrimination. This can come both in social and cultural forms (racism, sexism, etc), but also discrimination through lack of access to the same services as others. People living in rural areas do, arguably, run a higher risk of being unable to access health and education than those in towns and cities. The focus on fighting discrimination – a key notion from human rights – is also a novelty in the SDGs.

Finally, an ongoing debate surrounds whether bringing everyone up to the standard of living of the best off is a good idea as far as the planet is concerned. It seems clear enough that if all pollute as much as the highest polluting, climate change will only get worse. To avoid this, those lucky enough to live in richer societies either need to find much more energy and resource-efficient ways of living, or accept having to share.

What Impact for Libraries

As a universal public service, libraries can already make a strong case, within their communities, to be realising the concept of leaving no one behind. Given the importance of information, as highlighted across the SDGs (19 targets), this is a role worth championing.

In many countries, libraries have a specific mandate to reach out to those populations who are more at risk of being left behind, such as those with special needs. Evidence from the Pew Research Centre suggests that groups seen as minorities rate libraries as more important than others.

In effect, through providing a universal service, paired with additional support to those who need it, libraries both provide targeted assistance to those most at risk, and act as a force for equality in general.

Clearly there is still progress to make in some parts of the world. The idea of leaving no one behind provides a strong argument for investment by governments in libraries.

This is the case not only in terms of promoting physical accessibility (both for people with disabilities, and a wider network of libraries in rural areas), but also as concerns financial accessibility (where there are fees for access), and socio-cultural and legal accessibility (ensuring that citizenship status is not a barrier, as highlighted by the Mayor of Montreal in a session on Monday, and overcoming the belief in some communities that the library is not for them).

Libraries can be key players in fighting both information poverty and information inequality. The concept of leaving no one behind provides a valuable tool for advocacy to make this a reality.

Find out more about IFLA’s presence at the 2018 High Level Political Forum, as well as our broader work on libraries and the UN 2030 Agenda.

Further reading:

Meaningful Access to Information: Essential, but not Easy

In its engagement with the United Nations, IFLA’s messaging centres on the importance of access to information. The type of information may vary – government, health, educational, communications – as may the specific objective, but the need for access is constant.

Address by María Soledad Cisternas Reyes at the Opening of the HLPF 2018

Address by María Soledad Cisternas Reyes at the Opening of the HLPF 2018

The opening session of this year’s High Level Political Forum saw a great explanation of why this is important. Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility highlighted how we are not addressing civil or political rights of millions of people who have no access to information.

Those without access had no way of knowing how to achieve social development and participate in society. The lack of efforts to provide meaningful, inclusive access to information left people unable to express their desires, realise their potential, and exercise their rights, not least the right to vote. Addressing the lack of access to information, for all, was vital in sustainable development.


Yet given how multi-faceted it is, delivering access to information is not necessarily easy. At a session organised by UNESCO in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations: “The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the implementation of the targets in SDG 11” the focused on how to deliver truly smart cities.

Side event by UNESCO: "The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the implementation of the targets in SDG 11"

Side event by UNESCO: “The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the implementation of the targets in SDG 11”

Participants highlighted different elements of access – the need for transparency about government information, the need for connectivity and digital skills, the need for places where people could feel safe to go online, and the need to protect privacy yet at the same time understand community needs.

In short, access is about more than creating an app or creating a website, it also requires adapted, welcoming, and outcome-orientated support mechanisms.

Fortunately, libraries help on all of these fronts. As pre-existing, trusted public institutions, with trained, dedicated staff, ensuring citizen empowerment and participation, they provide access to information, internet connection, and digital skills, while protecting privacy.

IFLA’s intervention was very well received by the audience. To support the point, the example of Medellín (Colombia) was mentioned, where building libraries was the solution found by government in a city formerly marked by violence and exclusion. Libraries, and library parks, became community centres, chosen and owned by citizens as safe public gathering and learning spaces.


Side event: “Monitoring peace, evaluating institutions, building capacity: A data-driven conversation on SDG 16 and its upcoming 2019 review SDGs Learning, Training and Practice”

Side event: “Monitoring peace, evaluating institutions, building capacity: A data-driven conversation on SDG 16 and its upcoming 2019 review SDGs Learning, Training and Practice”

At the side event: “Monitoring peace, evaluating institutions, building capacity: A data-driven conversation on SDG 16 and its upcoming 2019 review SDGs Learning, Training and Practice”, organized by UNITAR & IDEA, the issue of lack of proper indicators to monitor SDG 16 were again addressed as a big issue that needs to be solved.

Given next year’s HLPF focus in this SDG, participants proposed to organise a meeting for SDG 16 civil society stakeholders in preparation for this review. This idea was supported by the speakers as an idea worth exploring.

Side event: "SDGS on a local level"

Side event: “SDGS on a local level”

There were similar reflections on the need to find ways to measure progress towards sustainable development, especially at the local level (for example “SDGS on a local level”, organized by UNITAR, and “Practical Tools to Localize and Implement the SDG11 and the New Urban Agenda in Cities in the Developing World”, organized by UN-HABITAT.

Especially in the case of target 11.4 (safeguarding cultural heritage), this was particularly important, given that data needed to be collected locally to be meaningful. Yet for them to be comparable – to be able to get a global idea of progress – there had to be enough similarity in the methods used.

Side event: “Practical Tools to Localize and Implement the SDG11 and the New Urban Agenda in Cities in the Developing World”

Side event: “Practical Tools to Localize and Implement the SDG11 and the New Urban Agenda in Cities in the Developing World”

IFLA is addressing both of these challenges. In order to resolve the complexity of how to measure access to information, the Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report, produced in partnership with TASCHA, suggests a basket of indicators. These can be followed over time, and the interactions between the different components explored in order to understand what an effective set of policies for access to information could look like.

Similarly, through IFLA’s Library Map of the World, we are looking at developing capacity to collect library data locally, in a form that then can be explored globally. As this develops, it will become an essential tool in the analysis of the global library field and its contribution to development.

IFLA at the Second meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development – Days 3, 4 and 5 (Advocacy at the Forum, Side event and Civil Society Declaration)

IFLA Delegation at the ForumAfter taking active part in two days of Civil Society meetings on 16-17 April at the Second meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, IFLA’s delegation in Santiago, Chile, continued its advocacy efforts to get libraries and access to information into the Agenda.

18 April started bright and early, securing a seat in the Civil Society area to attend the official opening of the Forum by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (read the speech and watch the video).

During her welcome address, she stressed:

“It is essential that the civil society is actively involved in the processes that contribute to decision-making, planning and implementation of policies and programmes that promote sustainable development in its three dimensions and at all levels, and that appropriates it to ensure it permeates widely in all social sectors, and everywhere.

This is even more relevant in the current political context, and the changes in the governments that the region is going through. Civil society must be guarantor of continuity in the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda and that this roadmap is a substantial part of the development agendas of the new governments of the region.”

“Let’s continue creating together the conditions for civil society to continue articulating its modalities of participation, dialogue and collaboration with national and regional mechanisms such as the Forum for monitoring and progress review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and that, in this way, we generate renewed and solid partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and their respective targets.”

She then continued by adding:

“Actually, the 2030 Agenda will only be achieved if all the actors are sitting around the table and that’s why we wanted the present Forum to have a multi-actor characteristic.”

The address was followed by a message pronounced by Norma Munguía, Director General for Global Affairs, on behalf of Ambassador Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and Chair of the Forum (read the speech).

In her message, Norma Munguía stated:

We must encourage the use of technology and innovation in improving the living conditions of our societies, while facilitating access to information and promoting the mobilization of public and private resources.

Later, Alicia Bárcena gave an overview of the key points (download presentation) of the Second annual report on regional progress and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean launched during the  Forum.

While part of IFLA delegation was still working on drafting the Civil Society Declaration, the rest of IFLA delegates attended the peer learning sessions in the afternoon. This helped to find the right moment to approach Alicia Bárcena to bring the message of libraries.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)Adriana Cybele Ferrari (FEBAB President, Brazil and IFLA IAP participant) approached ECLAC’s Executive Secretary and delivered a copy of the Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report, informing her that the library community is present at the Forum advocating for libraries and access to information. She also took the opportunity to mention the side event at the ECLAC Library on 19 April, and the launch of the “Santiago Declaration: Access to information to achieve sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean” during this event, which was enthusiastically encouraged by Mrs. Bárcena.

IFLA ECLAC Side Event19 April was an extremely successful day for our IFLA delegation, with two main highlights: the side event hosted by ECLAC’s Hernán Santa Cruz Library in partnership with IFLA: “The importance of access to information to achieve sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the reading of the Civil Society Declaration during the session “Dialogues on multi-stakeholder contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, including access to information and culture. Learn more details of these two key milestones by reading our news piece and watching the recording of the side event.Reading of the Civil Society Declaration

At the end of this day, Jonathan Hernández Pérez (CNB President, Mexico and Associate of IFLA’s ILP) had the opportunity to meet Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. Jonathan took this chance to introduce himself, IFLA and the CNB, present the work of libraries supporting development in Mexico, and offered the support of the library community for the preparations of Mexico’s next Voluntary National Review (VNR), providing clear examples of libraries’ contributions to development.

On 20 April, the last day of the Forum, IFLA delegates attended several sessions, including “Special statement on the importance of the regional dimension in the 2018 and 2019 meetings of the high-level political forum on sustainable development” and the side events: “Engaging scientists in the Latin American and Caribbean region to support the implementation of the SDGs” and “Recognizing the whole-of-society approach to the SDGs through integration of volunteerism data in VNRs”.

A quieter day at the Forum, allowed for pop-up advocacy action by both of our delegates Adriana Cybele Ferrari and Jonathan Hernández Pérez.

Jonathan approached Adolfo Ayuso-Audry, General Director of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Office of the President of Mexico, at the end of a side event to introduce the work of libraries in development, and ask for involvement in the Mexican VNR Commission. Minister Ayuso-Audry asked for his contact information and requested a brief to learn more about how libraries support the SDGs.

Adriana found her chance when she bumped into Enrique Villa da Costa Ferreira, National Secretary for Social Coordination of the Government Secretariat of the Office of the President of Brazil, and took the opportunity to introduce herself, present the work of libraries in Brazil, and ask to be included in the sectoral committees that work in the monitoring and implementation of the Agenda at the national level. Secretary Villa da Costa Ferreira provided guidance on how to get involved and Adriana promised to follow up.

Would you like to learn more about the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development – 2018?

Watch the recording of our side event with ECLAC’s Library in YouTube, find out more about IFLA’s work on libraries and development and the Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report.

*Photos by Sueli Mara Soares Pinto Ferreira, Lucia Abello and IFLA.