We live in a technology-driven world, characterized by an overarching trend for digitalization that crosses all sectors of society and in the face of the growing impact of media. Knowledge, skills and attitudes on media and information increasingly become an essential instrument for all citizens. The competencies for interaction and engagement of citizens with media and other information providers, including those on the Internet, are needed for all citizens and this is a lifelong learning process to which different stakeholders can contribute for, in formal, informal and non-formal initiatives.

Media and Information Literacy (MIL) has been growing steadily in all regions of the world, with many international and national organizations and initiatives being held. Nonetheless, MIL policies and strategies at the national level are still underexplored and countries need specific guidelines on how to design, implement and assess MIL policies for critical global citizenship, knowledge and pluralistic societies and for democratic participation with respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in a human-rights approach and in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The work from UNESCO in this regard is groundbreaking and there are countless efforts to promote and implement MIL internationally while accounting for its contribution for SDGs.

This workshop proposal draws on the need and importance of MIL policies and strategies at the national level and is inscribed in a current project being developed at UNU-EGOV (United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance) to design a MIL Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Government Officials and Policy-makers.

This is a policy workshop that aims to bring together countries’/regions’ representatives, with different levels of MIL maturity or development. Encouraging sharing of ideas and experiences, challenges in each context will be highlighted with the objective of presenting policy recommendations on the best strategies to cope with the identified challenges.

The first part of the workshop is to: 1) welcome participants and briefly present the MIL MOOC for Government Officials and Policy-makers outline and objectives; 2) give an overview of the UNESCO’s perspective on MIL policies and strategies; and 3) emphasize on challenges to MIL at the national level. The second part is for a moderated discussion with invited participants drawing on the context-specific challenges, opportunities and limitations of national MIL policies and strategies.

IFLA President-elect Barbara Lison will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

SOURCE: WISIS Forum 2021