For Development Information Day 2022, IFLA has released a statement on evidence for sustainable development, underlining the need for governments to engage libraries in their efforts to ensure that their decision-making is based on knowledge.

As part of work to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in order to achieve them by 2030, a key focus in discussions at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum this year was on the need to do better in gathering and applying evidence to support sustainable development policy-making.

This raises the crucial question of what is needed in order to deliver this – and creates an important opportunity to highlight the role of libraries.

Libraries are of course central to evidence systems, taking key roles in gathering, curating, safeguarding, giving access to and enabling use of evidence.

However, they also need to be integrated meaningfully into wider policy-making. This includes of course providing adequate resources for them to do their jobs, but also ensuring that policy-makers and others can and do work with them effectively. In turn, libraries themselves should bear in mind their potential contribution to policy-making in planning their own activities.

IFLA will send on the statement to contacts at the UN, and encourages its Members to use it in their own outreach to ministries and agencies responsible for sustainable development and policy-making.

We are grateful to the IFLA Sections who helped produce this statement: Academic and Research Libraries, Science and Technology Libraries, Government Libraries, Library and Research Services for Parliaments and Social Science Libraries.

IFLA Statement on Evidence for Sustainable Development

This statement, agreed by the IFLA Governing Board, sets out the central role of libraries in supporting the collection, curation, and making available of evidence for sustainable development.