The Library at TIHEST

I guess it is about time to explain what the hell I am doing in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Back in February of this year, a man named Bob Gough contact Librarians Without Boarders UWO about assisting some undergrads with a medical textbook drive for a private sector health training institution in Tanzania. I volunteered to assist with the project because in October 2013, Bob came to speak to my “Global Development and Information” class about Western Heads East. From that talk, I got it into my head that I would want to go if I could figure out a way to make it work. So when the textbook drive came along I volunteered to go with the books to Mwanza to help catalogue them and set up the library and my application was accepted.

The Library

The Library

So now that I am in Mwanza, even though the books are only arriving in August, I have been working at the library for a few weeks now. There are two other librarians, Frida and Margret. They both have formal library training in Dar and actually were in the same graduating class. However, we have all been a bit lost here at TIHEST since we are all so new. Margret started a week before me and Frida and I started the same day. Nevertheless, I think we have all adjusted pretty quickly.

Frida in the stacks (all 3 shelves worth)

Frida in the stacks (all 3 shelves worth)

The library itself is a single room and is relatively large. We have a lot of students come in to study and even though this school has ~500 students, the library has about 15 regulars. Most of the students aren’t confident enough in their English to talk to me but most are very friendly.

The library currently has one very old computer (circa 2004) and terrible chairs in it (they are meant for a classroom). The computer works but the power does go out a lot so that does create some problems. I have completed cataloguing the 104 books the library currently holds using Readerware software. Readerware is cheap and adequate for a this collection.

The computer and evidence of my cataloguing skills.

The computer and evidence of my cataloguing skills.

Students are allowed to take books out for 3 days, however most do not. Most of the books in the library are photocopies of old textbooks bound with duct tape and staples. It will be a great day when all the ~700 books and ~300 journals from UWO arrive.

One of the textbooks I brought In my luggage, kindly donated by my cousin Lisa!

One of the textbooks I brought in my luggage, kindly donated by my cousin Lisa!

I have organized everything there is to in this library by now, so most of my days are spent talking to the librarians, and exchanging stories. I am really bad at having nothing to do so I think I am going to start bringing my Kindle to work and catch up on all the pleasure reading I have missed during my MLIS.

I am pleased to see students using the resources TIHEST currently has because I know that there will be great interest in the library once all the new books arrive. I also think the library may be getting a few more patrons than before because of my presence and the students trying to figure out what this Canadian is doing at the school.

The library does get hot during the day, especially when the power goes out and the fans stop. I don’t think most westerns would be able to study in this heat because I think my mind is having a lot of problems adjusting. However, I hope this is only temporary. I am glad that TIHEST is willing to invest in the library and the school is showing a lot of interesting in improving. So ordering cataloguing supplies and requesting new furniture has been relatively successful.

The library operating hours are long, Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. I would say I work 5 days a week, sometimes Saturdays, from around 9:00 am to maybe 4:30 pm, which is a lot shorter than Frida and Margret, but like they keep saying, I am not getting paid for this so any time I spend the school should be happy. And I am happy to spend my days there.

Sometimes I feel like I am living a librarians dream being able to step into a library and build everything from scratch. It is really exciting but stressful because I don’t know if I am doing anything right. The other librarians look to me for advice since I almost have a MLIS and am a westerner but I know I don’t know any better than them. We are all new librarians, with a new library, at a new school, trying to figure it out together and I don’t want my voice to be any louder than theirs. However, they do ask me to do all the hard stuff because they think administration will listen to me more, which I am fine with. (I don’t need to worry about losing my job, if we have to be a bit demanding).

I look forward to seeing this library grow and learning from the other librarians. This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t thank Western Heads East enough for allowing me to come to Mwanza.



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The Serengeti with Mtoni Secondary School

From June 3rd to 5th I had the honour and privilege of going to the Serengeti National Park and Butiama with Mtoni Secondary School. 

It was an extraordinary adventure for all 30 students, 5 staff, and 2 drivers. It was the first time any of us (with the exception of one staff member), had ever been to the Serengeti. It was magical.

The trip was kindly funded by Clark Road Secondary School in London, Ontario in partnership with their school twinning project and UWO. As a WHE intern I came to regulate the funds and help with booking arrangements. I would say I got extremely lucky to see the Serengeti with Mtoni.

Evidence of previous twinning projects. <3 Canada

Evidence of previous twinning projects. ❤ Canada

It really felt like we saw everything! Lions,elephants, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, etc. It was wonderful. One thing that did suck was the only camera I have is my iPhone and it did not do the part justice at all! I hope to return in the future with a real camera and capture all the beauty. Nevertheless, it was awe-inspiring.


All of the kids found me to be very funny just cause I was a mzungu (“westerner”). Even most Tanzanians that noticed one mzungu on a bus filled with locals seemed very surprised. I really did not mind that my presence provided entrainment for the locals.

The trip was a bumpy ride on the dirt roads in a medium-sized coach. It was a vehicle that was not meant to be travelling on safari. On your way to the hostel, in the dark, in the middle of the Serengeti, the bus got stuck in the mud. Everyone got out of the bus and helped push it to freedom. Lucky, no one got attack by a lion.

Our bus got a little bit dirty...

Our bus got a little bit dirty…

When we left the Serengeti to Butiama, the birthplace and homestead of the first President of Tanzania, and the father of the nation Julius Kambarage Nyerere, also called Mwalimu (Swahili for: “teacher”), a journey meant to last 4 hours took over 9!

On the road to Butiama

On the road to Butiama

The road was bumpy, it was rainy, and by the time we got to the place we were staying for the night it was past midnight. But a local secondary school kindly put us up for the night. I was luck enough to stay with the schools pastors wife, who even warmed the water for my shower in the morning. It was so nice.

The students and teachers found Butiama very interesting. It is a place of great historical significance for Tanzania because this president brought the country out of colonial rule and embodied good, uncorrupted leadership to a new country.

Mtoni in the museum

Mtoni in the museum

Julius Nyerere was a peacemaker in Africa and instilled a belief in Tanzania that agriculture was the answer to there economic problems. With this mandate Tanzania is a country were everyone can eat (possibly not the healthiest of foods but hunger is not really a major issue). The Tanzania is a country because of this man.

The view from the homestead

The view from the homestead

I know the students learnt a lot and enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience. The Tanzanian landscape is impossibly green and the journey around the north was just as good as the destination. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to get to know the kids, learn some Swahili from them, and be able to see Tanzania from a local perspective. It will forever be three days I will not forget.

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Arrival in Mwanza

WHE Week 1

My first week in Mwanza has been interesting, exciting, tiring and somewhat of an adjustment. It began with an extremely long flight from Toronto to Amsterdam to Nairobi to Mount Kilimanjaro and finally to Mwanza. This journey was not without hiccups.

Michelle and I spent a lovely 15-hour layover in Amsterdam taking a tour of the canals, the finally open Rikjsmusem and eating delicious fries. I am pleased to say I did not get us lost once! However, after saying bye to Michelle in Nairobi and flying to Mount Kilimanjaro the struggles began.

Very nice library at the Rikjs not Ritz...

Very nice library at the Rikjs, its almost like the Ritz… (Amsterdam)

When the plane was trying to take off to Mwanza the tire under the engine caught fire, the cabin filled with smoke and us passages processed to evacuate. Generally I am a pretty frequent flyer holy poop that situation did frighten me. After 4 hours a new plane came and I arrived in Mwanza.

However, my luggage did not. Nevertheless, Meghan was waiting for me at the airport to take me to the supermarket, bank, and to the apartment, my new home. Living with Meghan has made the adjustment to Mwanza a thousand times easier. She is patiently teaching me Swahili, which she is pro at, and introducing me to her friends.

The 1st picture I took in Mwanza. Lake Victoria.

The 1st picture I took in Mwanza. Lake Victoria.

To be honest, I am not sure where the first week has gone. The days pass a lot quicker here. But last week we did get a lot accomplished including: getting our oven fixed, going to a charity craft market, eating many delicious meals at local restaurants, got my phone working, internet connected, shopped at the market and supermarket, and enjoyed some good times with friends. And later in the week my luggage finally arrived and I was so thankful. The Mwanza is a great place to let the days go by.

This is what happens when your luggage gets lost.

This is what happens when your luggage gets lost.

The adjustment to the city and culture has been what I expected. I am not shocked by what I have seen, other than the rocks. There are rocks everywhere. I understand why it is called Rock City! (Sorry Detroit). I really do wish I knew more Swahili, I feel like I am missing out on a lot without it. One of the greatest adjustments has been to Tanzanian time (aka everyone, and everything is late or takes longer than it should or was promised it would). I am going to have to learn to be a more patience person.

Sorry about this entry being pretty lame but I just don’t have much to say so far. I hope my reflections get more interesting with time.

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Librarians Without Borders – Guatemala 2014

April 20th – May 1st 

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A Possible Solution to Global Broadband Diffusion

Global broadband penetration and diffusion is a huge problem in ICT4D and results in a digital divide. Google’s Project Loon is a possible solution to the problem of rural broadband through a wireless connection.

Broadband is important because:

•Measurement of Development, ICT4D

•Political Policies

•Entrepreneurial/Industrial Investment

•Education of the Populace

•International Aid

•National Happiness Index

•Investment in Social Capital

Factors to Contribute Diffusion:

•Population density

•Geographical landscape

•Costal or landlocked

•Economic viability

•Socio-cultural beliefs

•Institutional barriers

•Basic infrastructure

•ICT penetration


Also I find this very interesting:

Languages of the Internet

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Health Information Literacy: Universal Empowerment and Development

Health information literacy is not a universal cure to the information inequality or the digital divide but it has the ability to save millions of lives and greatly assist in many different aspects of global development. In India, thousands of women have undergone unnecessary hysterectomies due to patient disempowerment and health information ignorance (McGivering, 2013). In Indonesia, people continue to use mercury in small-scale gold mining because of a lack of awareness of the medical risks of this heavy metal, resulting in whole villages slowly being poisoned (Pressly, 2013).  These tragedies are due to a lack of access to health information and educational opportunities resulting in populations being “information poor”, unable to gain easy access to information resources and powerless to determine their own wellbeing (Ogunsola, 2009, pp. 60, 70). In the developing world, there are countless cases of unnecessary death, preventable illness, and medical malpractice that would not have occurred if patients were health information literate. The development of health information literacy programs in developing countries is necessary to assist in bridging the gap between global information and health inequalities.

Health information literacy is an amalgamation of the basic concepts and defining measures of information and health literacy.  The rudimentary level health information literacy is the “ability to read, understand, and act on health information”; however this does not provide an adequate description (Ogunsola, 2009, p. 63). As defined by the Medical Librarians Association, health information literacy is “the set of abilities needed to: recognize a health information need, identify likely information sources and use them to retrieve relevant information, assess the quality of the information and its applicability to a specific situation; analyze, understand, and use the information to make health decisions” (Niedzwiedzka, 2013, p. 101). To be health information literate, a person must be free to seek, understand, analyze, and synthesize health information tailored to their individual information seeking desires without intermediaries (Niedzwiedzka, 2013, p. 101). E-health literacy is slightly different than health information literacy because it deals solely with electronic resources and relies heavily on the internet. However, within the context of global health information development, it is far more prudent to look to traditional health information literacy because of limitations on ICT technologies and broadband capabilities within developing nations, referred to as the digital divide. Being health information literate allows people to care for themselves and family members, and make informed decisions when giving consent for medical treatment. This results in a sense of empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Global Check Up

Similar to the international development strategies to alleviate information poverty, to bridge the digital divide and to provide universal access to information, scholars and development agencies have begun to look at health information poverty. This type of information poverty stems from three global divides: healthcare, education, and digital (Kickbusch, 2001, p. 290).  This leads to international developments in healthcare and health information literacy strategies needing to take an interdisciplinary approach to combat global inequalities.  This is especially true for health information literacy because it first requires the existence of healthcare, a working level literacy, the ability access to basic information networks and ultimately the capability to gain meaningful knowledge of health related information. This multi-faceted nature of health informational literacy is apparent in its role in as to key achieving many of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG). These goals include eradicating extreme poverty, improving maternal health, reducing child mortality, promoting gender equality, combatting HIV/AIDS and malaria (Ogunsola, 2009, p. 64). The prevention of communicable diseases, increased immunization and alleviating extreme rural information poverty are key elements in the promotion of health information literacy. Moreover, there is a direct and positive relationship between increased education and literacy rates and the health and wellness of populations within developing countries, specifically women and children, which further facilitates the fulfillment of UNMDGs (Kickbusch, 2001, pp. 290-291).

In the context of development theories, it is necessary to adopt a modernization approach to promote health information literacy. This is because most of the medical and health related information is coming from developed countries. However, health information literacy within this context may exclude indigenous knowledge or traditional medicine of the culture, which is not acceptable. Therefore, a bottom-up approach to health information literacy through grassroots or participatory development could assist agencies and development workers in understanding and adapting to the socio-cultural frameworks in which developing information societies exist. Any attempt at implementing a dependency theoretical framework would result in greater information poverty and possible loss of life.

There are many challenges faced in the development of a health information literate society. The distinction between an industrial or knowledge based economy is a determining factor in the success of health information strategies (Catts & Lau, 2008, p. 15). Tradtionally, knowledge based economies are better for health information literacy, because of national values being placed on information, development, and culture. However, within the developing world many economies are emerging as industrial economies with high rates of Illiteracy and a poor information culture (Ghosh, 2007, p. 143). There is an identifiable lack of awareness on the importance of health within developing countries (Abdullah, 2007, p. 349).  Moreover, many developing countries are faced with political constraints, such as censorship. The population is faced with issues of information access as well as information literacy. However, this is less applicable to health information literacy because of the more neutral nature of the information, not normally targeted by filtering or totalitarian regimes (Catts & Lau, 2008, p. 24). It is necessary to understand these types of social and economic determinants to understand the state of information poverty and health information literacy within developing countries and marginalized groups.  Cultural beliefs, values, norms, and religion must be taken into account when evaluating and attempting to overcome low information health literacy (Chatman, 1999).

The information seeking behaviour of individuals in relation to health information in developing countries commonly has a negative effect on their information literacy. This is because it is primarily guided towards religious texts, spiritual practitioners, or shamans, and would only seek professional medicinal advice as a last resort (Abdullah, 2007, p. 347).  People within developing countries predominantly have health information seeking self-directed by a desire for information about illness that is presently afflicting them. They seek information about traditional, modern and preventative medicine and are less concerned with first aid, exercise and nutrition (Abdullah, 2007, p. 347).  Primarily people go first to friends and relatives within their information networks, which is in line with Chatman’s views on information seeking within information impoverished societies (Lingel, 2012, pp. 12, 16).  Moreover, information seeking behaviour in reference to health is deeply shaped by the fact that the majority of the global population live in oral and visual cultures that do not learn through reading and writing but rather listening and watching (Kickbusch, 2001, p. 295). This also commonly leads to the dissemination of health information orally and based on indigenous knowledge in traditional medicine (Abdullah, 2007, p. 349). These cultural norms and innate information practices should be a key point of consideration in the study of health information literacy across all demographics in developing regions.

There is an engendered element to health information literacy that is clearly defined within the social and cultural ideologies of many developing countries. There is an identifiable failure of health education for women particularly concerning sexuality and reproduction because of persistent dogmatic religious and cultural beliefs.  This is one of the elements, along with illness, stress, and fear, that are limiting health information seeking behaviour in women and therefore not facilitating health information literacy (Burnham & Peterson, 2005, p. 423). Female information seeking behaviour is less effective in the context of female health because of social taboos or religious constraints regarding sexual or reproductive health and a lack of female empowerment in information seeking. Strategies focused on women’s development can help to counteract this common occurrence in developing countries by increasing health information literacy, allowing for the removal of information gatekeepers, and providing an element of privacy in women healthcare information, which can be strong assisted by technology.

ICT-driven health literacy and e-health literacy educational campaigns on television, radio, and the internet provide only a small segment of the population in the developing world with health information. Nevertheless, ICT health information seeking is superior because it allows for individual privacy, medical second opinions, and allows for people to contact resources independently if the needed digital skills and literacy are already established. Moreover, non-digital health information and books are still very important and common resources for health information seeking behaviour and are presently still essential to health information literacy in developing countries (Gavgani, Qeisari, Jafarabadi, 2013, p. 25).

The greatest diffusion of an ICT in the developing world is the mobile phone. Mobile games have been used to raise awareness of health related information on cell phones, an ICT platform that has already been widen adopted throughout the developing world and across socio-economic demographics (Ghosh, 2007, pp. 139-140). An example of this is Freedom HIV/AIDS established in India, offering games such as HIV Cricket and a board game called “Malamaal” for 12 to 18 year olds (Freedom HIV/AIDS, 2013). Moreover, mobile phones in rural Indonesia, account for a particularly successful ICT information strategy for spanning geographical distances and are general affordable (Chib, Lwin, & Jung, 2009, p. 216). This World Vision project connecting midwives and pregnant women was successful because of its ease-of-use as a healthcare communication technology while providing access to previously established healthcare networks (Chib, Lwin, & Jung, 2009, pp. 218, 220). Many different orgainzations have similar health information literacy programs throughout the developing world.

HIV HIV Cricket

Funding for health information literacy initiatives come from a variety of international and national organizations: non-profits, professional organizations, research institutions, and governments. Organizations dedicated to head global health information literacy initiatives include the WHO, UNESCO, Pfizer, American Medical Associations, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Allen, Matthew, & Boland, 2004, pp. 325-326) and the Medical Librarians Association: Librarians Without Borders (Librarians Without Borders®, 2013). However, there is an identifiable need for increased cooperation between UNESCO and the WHO (Nutbeam, 2000, p. 267).

International development targets must aim for adequate global healthcare and later strive to create a health information literate society. Within the context of developing countries, it is first necessary to address basic adult literacy and general health literacy, and through the incorporation of principles of information literacy a person can subsequently become health information literate (Burnham & Peterson, 2005, p. 432).  This is essential because health information literacy is the bridge between health promotion actions such as education, social mobilization, and advocacy, and measurable positive health outcomes in a society (Nutbeam, 2000, pp. 262-263).  Health information literacy initiatives must be based on a long-term commitment from strong international, national, and local partnerships between healthcare institutions, information professionals, ICT development organizations, and the public. It is possible to overcome the many barriers to health information literacy, empower all global citizens in healthcare choices, and create a happier and healthier international society through information development.


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Open Access for Global Development

The commodified nature of information governs human development as much as traditional resources such as food, water, and arable land. The commercialization of scientific research and the “publish or perish” mentality has facilitated the creation of seemingly unscalable pay walls for information retrieval. This has led to a great social and scholarly divide between developed and emerging countries creating further disparity within the global community. However, this inequality and social injustice can be rectified through the widespread Open Access (OA) initiatives lead by the United Nations, UNECSO, and many specialized non-governmental organizations.

The foundations of OA were formally established as public policy at the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. There OA was define as having access to information materials “without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”  (BOAI, 2002).  These resources include peer-reviewed publications, research data sets, and conference papers that are accessible through institutional repositories (IR) and Open Access Journals (OAJ). Global recognition of OA as a ‘global public good’ was further solidified in Berlin in 2003 and Salvador in 2005, where policy frameworks and advocacy issues were debated (Netherlands, 2011, p. 1-2).   OA has since become a driving force in international information equality, ethical academic publishing, acceleration of global R&D innovation and general socio-economic development.

The United Nations and its subsidiaries, most predominantly the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have an obligation to promote and provide a global policy framework to further international development through OA.  This responsibility is primarily reflected in the adoption and implementation of UNESCO’s Open Access Strategy from the 36th General Conference in Paris (UNESCO, 2011, p. 64). The Strategy is divided into three areas including: “provision of upstream policy advice and building partnerships, strengthening capacities to adopt Open Access, [and to] serve as a clearing-house and informing the global OA debate” (Recom. , 2012, p. 1).   In the implementation of these strategic activities, UNESCO receives the support from and permission to carry out these within member states.  Moreover, OA alongside Free and Open Software and Open Educational Resources, are the triad foundations of UNESCO’s goal of universal scientific information access (Netherlands, 2011, p. 1).

Beyond UNESCO, the United Nations have an duty to promote access to information because it is a fundamental human right as stated in article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (United Nations General Assembly, 1948).  Moreover, the ability “to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications” are guaranteed under Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as UDHR Article 27.   It is not a stretch to extend information access and OA to be seen as a fundamental human right, which needs to be safeguarded and protected by the United Nations. Furthermore, OA is an essential element to the overarching United Nations Millennium Development Goals (Urs, 2011, p. 4).  Pay walls, permanent journal embargoes, and restrictive copyright policies are curtailing human and cultural rights to information, which can be stopped by the universal application of UN OA policies.

Open Access policies strive to overcome some of the modern and historical hardships faced by the international research community.  For example, libraries and academic institutions have been faced with between 11% to 16% increased price in journal subscriptions (Lwoga & Chilimo, 2006, p.178).  This is well beyond the rate of inflation, and outside the budget constraints of many institutions in the developing and developed world. Within European and North American establishments, this financial burden is handled by the creation of library consortia. However, this strategy is not used by many developing regions, especially within Africa (Lwoga & Chilimo, 2006, p. 182).  Moreover, the southern development region is lagging behind northern counterparts in the creation and use of OA IRs. Gloablly, OA IRs are 49% European, 22% North American, 16% Asian, 5% South American, 4% Australasian, 1% Caribbean and 1% Central American instititutions (Ocholla, 2011, p. 10-11). This is not an accurate representation of global scholarly populations, and does not mirror academic output, but may reflect the disitinct regional differences in understanding and adoption of OA.

Research has shown that OA has had the greatest impact on the dissemination of knowledge, specifically in scientific research, in countries with a lower gross domestic product, especially within the southern hemisphere (Evan & Reimer, 2009). Furthermore, there is an evident divide between poor countries and very poor countries, where the latter is half as likely to have access to OA materials because of greater technological limitations.  The adoption of pan-institutional and continental OA policies can allow for different institutions across emerging nations to share research with other nations facing similar research priorities or challenges. This improves the academic strength of the research and visibility of this international innovation, allows for further academic discourse and hastens economic development within the region. This could promote universities and research innovations as well as potentially helping to curb “brain drain” syndrome taking place in the developing world. The promotion of scholarship and increased publications from transitional countries would allow for more research funding to flow into those nations; hopefully making these scholars more than active consumers and passive contributors in the OA movement but giving them a chance to give back to the OA collective (Christian, 2008, p. 5).  OA has the potential to effectively transform global academic communities in the future and has already made some outstanding progress.

One of the greatest success stories in the current state of OA is the Open Access Malaria Journal (Cockerill & Knols, 2008, p. 65, 66, 68).  This OA project is directly helping to fulfill United Nations Millennium Development Goals of combating the disease. This true collaboration between developed and developing countries’ researchers and information professionals has allowed for faster dissemination of knowledge, a quicker research cycle, and local expertise and perspective in combating malaria. If this is any indication for future growth and innovation, the OA initiative is worth advocating and promoting because of its potential to shape the development of humankind.

To build on this success many policies to promote, protect, and develop OA must be put in place and shielded from scholastic commercialization.  It is the responsibility of the UN and UNESCO to spearhead and provide a framework for policies both in a top down and bottom up approach. Key NGOs in OA projects and development within UNESCO policies include Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) (Urs, 2011, p. 43). These organizations take multiple approaches in address OA including on an individual institution level, national campaigns, OA publishing projects, and international awareness. Strategies vary from being focused on policy, advocacy, and infrastructural development (Swan, 2012, p. 41-44).  The issue of the lacking ICT infrastructure and the digital divide is not within the scope of this paper but it is an issue that is of a grave concern to the implementations of OA policy strategies and practical fulfillment within the emerging communities.  Another limitation is the differing information literacy skills of scholars and information professionals and their awareness of green route publishing. However, through OA training opportunities and the development of an OA curriculum within MLIS/PhD programs this concern can be effectively addressed (Urs, 2011, p. 22-24, 43).  The alternative to green route publishing is gold route, which can be a financial burden to the author. However the publication fee is normally waived, if an author is from a developing country (Cockerill & Knols, 2008, p. 67). It is essential that this charitable act by gold route publishers should continue.  Mandatory OA submission of scholarly publications by institutions, the six-month limit of embargoes on published research, gold route waivers for authors from emerging countries, deposit locus, and copyright permissions are all essential policies to expand OA (Swan, 2012, p. 52).

The relationship between OA and UNESCO is intertwined in shaping global policies, national opinions, institutional research, and human progress. UNESCO provides the stage to promote and engage the international community in OA pursuits. OA is one of the greatest forces for social change, global development, and scientific advancement, and it must be protected and expanded. It is the ethical, cultural and moral duty of the UN, information professionals, scholars, and average citizens to fight for information equity through OA initiatives.


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