IFLA is organising a side-event at the European Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, focused on how information and evidence – and meaningful access to it – makes a difference for development, from the intergovernmental to the individual levels. 10:00-11:30am Geneva time, 28 March.

Across the SDGs, the importance of informed individuals, institutions and populations is clear. This is particularly true in times of crises, where having the evidence and skills necessary to respond to the unexpected is a central pillar of resilience.

Yet too often, the need to gather, organise, safeguard, and enable access to evidence is an after-thought, leading to missed opportunities and poor decision-making at all levels. And when a crisis hits, it is often too late.

While the role of information is often addressed from a sectoral perspective – that of public health, of science-policy interfaces, of open science, of good governance, or of media and information literacy – it is too often not dealt with in a holistic, comprehensive way.

This is inconsistent with the 2030 Agenda’s wider emphasis on integrated, cross-cutting approaches, as well as on development strategies that look to empower individuals to realise their own rights to development.

This session therefore looks to take this perspective, bringing together insights and experience from different areas of development in order to identify commonalities and needs, and set out recommendations for how we can realise the potential of evidence to accelerate development. Through this, it looks to contribute, in particular, to ongoing work around the Global Digital Compact and Code of Conduct on Public Information.


Magdalena Gomulka, Training Coordinator, Silesian Libraries

Sigrun Habermann, UN Library, Geneva

Greta Kėvelaitienė, Head of the Cultural Heritage Research and Digitization department, the Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library

Emma Farrow, Independent Consultant