EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) was awarded a WSIS Project Prize for excellence in implementation of World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) outcomes to achieve an inclusive and development-oriented information society. Jean Fairbairn takes this opportunity for sending us a few words about the awards ceremony and also about the WSIS project:
The prestigious award was presented by Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) during the opening ceremony of the WSIS Forum 2013 on May 13. The world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development community, the WSIS Forum 2013 was attended by more than 1,500 delegates from more than 140 countries, including over 120 government ministers, ambassadors, CEOs, and civil society leaders.
Accepting the award, EIFL Director Ms Rima Kupryte said: ‘I am very happy and honoured to receive the WSIS Project Prize as it is an important recognition of public libraries as partners in development. Internet and communication technologies are changing our lives, but there are many people, especially in developing and transition countries, who do not own a computer or smart phone. Our experience shows that innovative public libraries offering free access to ICT and training in e-literacy skills can have a powerful positive impact in their communities.’
EIFL was one of 18 winners selected from 280 projects nominated from 64 countries. EIFL won the award in Category 4, “CapacityBuilding” for the work of its Public Library Innovation Programme (PLIP), which supports public libraries in developing and transition countries to use ICT to implement innovative services that improve lives. Over 9,000 people in 23 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe have benefited from ICT training in local libraries as a result of EIFL-PLIP support. New e-literacy skills are benefiting subsistence farmers, vulnerable youth, those suffering from ill health, health workers’ struggling to update their knowledge, unemployed women, the homeless and many other disadvantaged groups.
Read more about EIFL-PLIP’s innovative public library services and follow EIFL on twitter – @EIFLnet.
WSIS – the World Summit on the Information Society – is a UN process that was initiated in two unique phases in order to create an evolving multi-stakeholder platform aimed at promoting Information Society at the national, regional and international levels. The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information. The Final Review of this process will take place in 2015. The WSIS Project Prizes were developed in response to requests from participants at the WSIS Forum 2011 for a mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals; governments; civil society; local, regional and international agencies; research institutions, and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.