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UNESCO OER Recommendations

I have been invited by the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Education and Research to give my view and arguments to the Swedish Government on the UNESCO suggestions for recommendations on Open Educational Resources (OER), which has been sent out to all member organizations. I am excited and honored.  The Swedish Association for Distance Education (SADE) has in addition been asked,  to give answers and suggestions for the answers to the Swedish Government. Today, I have drafted both replies.

From ICDE OERAC (OER Advocacy Committee)  which I am charing (read more below on ICDE OERAC) we earlier answered on the pre-consultation for this current recommendations.  In both my replies, both as an expert and an expert from SADE I will answer in the name of Chair of OERAC.See also my post on LinkedIn for ICDE OERAC

The recommendations have been discussed after several years of discussion, conferences, and summits. In autumn 2017 UNESCO decided that there are needs:


“to reinforce international collaboration in the field of Open Educational Resources (OER)” and that “a recommendation could be an essential tool to strengthen the implementation of national and international legislation, policies and strategies in this field, as well as to enhance international cooperation on the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in support of Sustainable Development Goal 4 ‘Education’.


The Recommendation conclude three main standpoints

1. Based on the present study, it is clear that a Recommendation on International Collaboration on Open Educational Resources is both desirable and feasible. Such a new UNESCO normative instrument is desirable because education is diversifying rapidly in all parts of the world while at the same time the usage, creation, and availability of Open Educational Resources have become global as well as regional. 

2. The advantage of a Recommendation is that it is flexible and meant to allow for contextualization. However, a framework for Open Educational Resources delivery for international cooperation towards further and extended capacity building is missing and a Recommendation should build on decades of work in developing and implementing Open Educational Resources related policies and actions. 

3. It will rely on tools developed over the years that have helped to deliver Open Educational Resources criteria and procedures. The events, documents, and surveys conducted presented in this study clearly demonstrated that a majority of those most familiar with Open Educational Resources firmly support the move to a standard-setting 

The recommendations will then further be developed at the UNESCO general conference in 2019.

From ICDE OERAC (OER Advocacy Committee) (read more below on ICDE OERAC) we answered on the pre-consultation for these current recommendations.  I am now asked as well as the Swedish Association for Distance Education (SADE) to give answers and suggestions for the answers to the Swedish Government. Excited and honored,

The Aims of the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee:

  • Advocacy is on OER.
  • Applications for membership in the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee can be made by an expert ICDE member that has a record and capacity to contribute to significant advocacy for OER.
  • Members are appointed as ICDE OER Ambassadors by the ICDE Executive Committee. 
  • When appropriate, members of the committee should seek collaboration with OER Chairs and relevant stakeholders to achieve synergy in OER advocacy. 
  • The ICDE OER Ambassador is not a funded position, but awarding it provides an extra profile to the holder, expressing ICDE’s interest in his/her voice on OER, underlining his/her reputation.
  • ICDE OER Ambassadors are bound to establish a network among themselves in which they and their teams collaborate, and to which experts in the subject area from other institutions may be admitted.
  • ICDE OER Ambassadors are expected to jointly and individually plan OER advocacy actions.
  • When invited and if possible, Ambassadors should be prepared to play a role at e.g. ICDE World Conferences, Leadership Summits, Regional Conferences, Expert Seminars or other events relevant for the purpose.
  • The Chair for the ICDE OAC suggests its activities and progress in collaboration with the ICDE Secretariat. The ICDE OER Ambassadors have an independent position and will inform ICDE of their activities through a light-version annual report.

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