As part of our International Advocacy Programme, IFLA supported a project led by the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI) to develop and deliver an online course on libraries and the SDGs.

Front Cover of 2030 Arab Librarians Final Report​The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide an affirmation of the role of libraries in providing access to information.

They are also an opportunity to get onto the policy agenda. Libraries benefit when decision-makers understand the power of information, and the work of libraries in ensuring that all can benefit, leading to better results in education, health, innovation, and across the board.

Following IFLA’s call for projects to receive support, the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information proposed an exciting aiming to raise awareness and build capacity on an international scale.

The project is now complete, and the report is now available.


How it Worked

The programme combined both digital and physical elements. First of all, 31 participants from 11 different countries were accepted onto an eLearning course.

Materials were produced, as well as adapted and translated from other sources, in order to provide complete and relevant content. Participants learnt about the fundamentals of advocacy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and reflected on the situations in their own countries.

Special forum sessions allowed for open discussion, and the development of workbooks and action plans. There were also two expert webinars, sharing ideas from key figures in the Arab library field.

Finally, 11 participants took part in a workshop on 28-29 July in Egypt, learning about story-telling, impact assessment, and how to develop plans to deliver on the SDGs. In turn, they shared their own expertise about projects in their home libraries, so that others could learn.  



The organisers took care to survey levels of knowledge around the SDGs, and attitudes to library advocacy before and after the event.

There was a major increase in awareness of the SDGs, as well as a greater sense of the role that libraries and library associations can play. The materials from the course are available online for others to use, allowing the work done to benefit others.

Demonstrating the impact of the practical advice given during the course, the programme also led to a series of initiatives across the region for seminars, training courses, collaborations, and support for both sustainability and the unemployed.  

While not everything went to plan, there have also been valuable lessons in how to train and share knowledge, which will also put the library field in the Arab world on a stronger footing in years to come.

Download the full report as a pdf.