The President of MLA, Aminath Shiuna, attended the conference to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 28 September 2018.
Panel 1: High-Level Debate on Universal Access to Information – Ensuring Rights and Openness of Information
Aminath Shiuna participated in the hot seat panel during the high-level discussion segment to share the current situation in the Maldives regarding open educational resources. Furthermore, few questions were asked to support or expand on the discussions of the fellow panellists.
Workshop #1: Open Educational Resources / Open Access
Information was provided to the group on Open Educational Resources in the Maldives: Challenges and Sustainability.
The following are key points from the workshop based on information shared by all country representatives.
- Repositories in South Asia are to be populated more. Greater advocacy is needed for increasing awareness of Green Open Access to populate them. In addition, the need to encourage the organizations to register their repositories, if not done yet, with the Registry of Open Access repositories like openDOAR was highly recommended.
- Joint efforts of the communities of practice advocating Open Access is required for formulation and drafting of National Open Access policies by impressing upon the respective Governments for the enactment of laws or legislation.
- The Education 2030 Agenda framework of UNESCO can be a guiding document mandating Open Access by 2030 in South Asia.
- Scientific scholarship should be free to Publish and free to Read. Towards this, the efforts are to be made for the inculcating Openness in Science and Scholarship.
- Governments and other funding agencies should make it mandatory to deposit the data in open repositories to facilitate the faster progress of research, increase reproducibility, transparency and validity of the research findings.
- Efforts in capacity building in realizing open access are to be undertaken collaboratively by all countries is South Asia.
- Capacity Building of all the Researchers, Students, and Young Scientists should be on the Open ICT Technologies for publication of publicly funded research outputs.
Followup activities that need to be pursued
- Staff training on creating repositories: Interest was shown by the Indian representatives on providing training to Maldives librarians.
- Create a policy for Open Educational Resources: There was an indication by UNESCO for financial support to create a policy for OER, given that MLA submits a proposal to this effect.
At the end of the conference, the participants compiled the Colombo Statement.
For more information about the conference, please visit to https://en.unesco.org/news/republic-sri-lanka-and-unesco-host-3rd-international-day-universal-access-information