The Lyon Declaration and the Role of Libraries in Development

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On August 18th, at the 80th IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) General Conference and Assembly, IFLA released the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development.

The UN post-2015 Development Agenda is the plan currently under construction to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a framework for global development. The MDGs consist of eight specific goals, from eradicating poverty to promoting gender equality to reducing child mortality, and have been the impetus for a wide range of programs since their implementation in 2000. The 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs called upon UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to begin the process of constructing a post-2015 development plan.  As a result, the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda was created, as well as a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons to advise on the post-2015 developmental framework.

Part of the post-2015 development planning process is the call for an “inclusive dialogue” in the creation of the goals.  In order to open up the dialogue and utilize the input of people and organizations worldwide, the UN launched “The World We Want 2015,” an interactive survey that allows people to voice their opinions on what should be included in the post-2015 developmental agenda.  This website also provides visualizations of the data that has been collected so far.

In this spirit of “inclusive dialogue,” The Lyon Declaration is an advocacy document that aims to influence the UN’s post-2015 Development Agenda.  It outlines the importance of access to information and knowledge in development and individual empowerment.

Freedom of information has long been considered a human rights issue.  In the first session of the United Nations in 1946, Resolution 59(I), adopted by the General Assembly, stated, “Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and … the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated.”

The rise of the Internet has transformed the ways in which people access information and has opened up possibilities for information dissemination that the delegates of that first UN session in 1946 could never have imagined.  The Internet provides the unprecedented opportunity to support development by empowering individuals with information that facilitates education, increases job opportunities, provides connections to cultural heritage, and allows for civil participation in governmental processes.  The Lyon Declaration asserts that the equitable access to this information should be part of a human-rights based framework for development.

Another important aspect of the Lyon Declaration is its emphasis on the role of libraries, archives, and civil service organizations as facilitators of information dissemination.  By outlining the role that these organizations can play in providing information access to individuals and communities, the declaration urges the UN and the world to recognize them as human rights institutions.  While it is important to have the Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to disseminate information to people, it is just as important to have institutions present that can bridge the gap between the technology and the people that it serves.  As Kay Mathiesen states in a recent article on information access and human rights, “libraries provide a centralized access point so that people know where to get information and they organize information so that people can find what they need and explore further.” The Lyon Declaration points out to the world the importance of libraries in development and places libraries at the cornerstone of the effort to empower individuals through knowledge and information fluency.

As of October 2nd, 2014, the Lyon Declaration had over 350 signatories, made up of libraries, institutions, and organizations all over the world.  IFLA plans to continue to the campaign to include information access in the final Post-2015 Development Agenda.  On October 6th, IFLA released a toolkit to assist library professionals who are interacting with government policymakers in successfully arguing for the role of libraries in development.  The UN expects to release the final Post-2015 Development Agenda by December of 2015, and undoubtedly IFLA will continue to push for the recognition of the Lyon Declaration until this final release.

Check out the resources below to learn more!

Web Resources

The Lyon Declaration – One Month On – IFLA

The Lyon Declaration Tackles Information Access and Sustainable Development – Information Today

Millennium Development Goals and the Post-2015 Agenda – UN

Africa: Fight Poverty – With Data –All Africa

The World We Want 2015

How Libraries can Support Development – The Guardian

IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto – 1994

Beyond Access – Library Partnerships

U.N. report: Internet access is a human right

 

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC Online Journals and Databases)

Rad, S. T., Kurt, Ş. Ş., & Polatöz, S. S. (2013). Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Rural Mersın (Turkey); Prospects For Rural Development. Journal Of Tekirdag Agricultural Faculty10(3), 97-106.

Gelb, E., A. Maru, J. Brodgen, E. Dodsworth, R. Samii, V. Pesee, 2008. Adoption of ICT Enabled Information Systems for Agricultural Development and Rural Viability

Ceeehini, S. and C. Scott, 2003. Can Information and Communications Technology Applications Contributeto Poverty Reduction? Lessons From Rural India. Information Technology for Development 10(2003)73-84.

Mendel, Tony. Freedom of Information as an Internationally Protected Human Right.

Mathiesen, Kay. 2009 Access to Information as a Human Right. Conference Paper.

 

Books Available at UIUC Libraries

Al-Suqri, Mohammed Nasser, Lillard, Linda L., Al-Saleem, Naifa Eid. (Eds.) (2014). Information access and library user needs in developing countries. Hershey, PA : Information Science Reference.

Browne, Stephen, Weiss, Thomas George. (Eds.) (2014). Post-2015 UN development: making change happen. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY.

Gready, Paul, Vandenhole, Wouter. (Eds.) (2014). Human rights and development in the new millennium: towards a theory of change. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge.

Njobvu, Benson, Koopman, Sjoerd M. J.. (Eds.) (2008). Libraries and information services towards the attainment of the UN millennium development goals. München : K. G. Saur.

Steyn, Jacques., Van Belle, Jean-Paul, Villanueva, Mansilla, Eduardo. (Eds.) (2011). ICTs for global development and sustainability practice and applications. Hershey, Pa. : IGI Global.

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Upcoming Teach In – The Islamic State and the Implosion of Syria and Iraq: Whither the Middle East?

Teach-In — The Islamic State and the Implosion of Syria and Iraq: Whither the Middle East?

Thursday, October 2

4:00 – 5:15 PM

Bevier 180

UPDATE: The video for the Teach-In is now available!

Sponsored by: Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS), Center for Global Studies, and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Panelists will include:

  • Jamsheed Choksy, Indiana University
  • Carol Choksy, Indiana University
  • Paul Diehl, University of Illinois
  • Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Syrian American Medical Society

Moderator:

  • Edward Kolodziej, University of Illinois

In preparation for this event, this blog post will summarize some important information about the terrorist group known as the Islamic State.

Origins of ISIS

The terrorist group known as ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) traces its origins from the early 2000s, when Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant, founded the Sunni Muslim extremist group Tawhid wa al-Jihad (Unity and Jihad).  This group later became a splinter group of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and became well-known for its ruthlessness.  After Al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, a new leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, took control of the terrorist group and changed its name to ISI (Islamic State in Iraq).  At this point ISI was still affiliated with al-Qaeda.  During the period of U.S. troop surges in Iraq in 2006-2007, ISIS was considerably weakened but not completely wiped out.  In 2010 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took control of the group.

Expansion

The anti-government uprising in Syria during 2011-2013 presented itself as an opportunity for ISI to expand, and the group moved into Syria by taking over the Syrian group al-Nusra, renaming itself ISIS.  Al-Qaeda leadership opposed this expansion, which led to ISIS’s break from al-Qaeda in 2013.  As U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in 2013, ISIS increased its violent endeavors in the country.  In January of 2014, ISIS fighters overtook the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.  In June the group made further advances in Iraq, capturing the second-largest city of Iraq, Mosul, as well as Tikrit.  At this point ISIS declared itself “the Caliphate.”  During the summer of 2014, ISIS shocked the world with graphic videos of mass executions of captured soldiers.  ISIS has continued to use social media outlets as mediums for displaying their brutality, releasing execution videos of two American journalists and one British humanitarian worker in August and September.

Crisis of the Yazidi People

In the late summer of 2014, ISIS fighters began targeting Iraqi Yazidis, a Kurdish ethno-religious community in Northern Iraq, in efforts to rid the country of non-Islamic peoples.  In early August, ISIS advanced on the town of Sinjar which held tens of thousands of Yazidi people, some of which had already fled from other towns.  The Yazidis, along with some Shiite Muslims, were forced to flee the city into the neighboring mountains.  As many as 40,000 people became stranded in the mountains, besieged by ISIS forces and faced with extremely high temperatures and dehydration in the rough mountain terrain.  At this point President Obama authorized airstrikes against ISIS to help these stranded people flee to safety in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The airstrikes as well as aid from Syrian Kurdish fighters have allowed for the escape of 20,000 to 30,000 people from the mountains surrounding Sinjar. While a majority of those stranded have escaped, thousands more remain in peril and face imprisonment, slavery, or death at the hands of ISIS forces.  On September 24, the BBC reported that more than 3,000 Yazidi women and children have been captured and are  being trafficked for sex.  Iraqi Yazidi politician, Vian Dakheel, stated, “We’re a minority here and there’s no strong lobby to support us.” She explained that support from foreign governments was essential to rescuing the thousands of individuals still in the hands of the extremist group.

What the Islamic State Wants

The goal of the Islamic State is to establish a caliphate, which according to Islamic Law is a religious state ruled by a single leader who holds absolute political and religious rule.  The current leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claims to be this leader, or “caliph,” declaring himself, “leader of Muslims everywhere.” But ISIS subscribes to a brutal extremist version of Sunni Islam, and the group is intolerant of any religious groups which contradict its beliefs.  ISIS seized the profitable oil fields of central Iraq in 2014, and subsequently has an estimated $2 billion in assets, which makes it currently the world’s wealthiest militant group.  ISIS’s sizeable assets, as well as the seizure of weapons and supplies from Iraqi and Syrian forces, make the group extremely well-armed as well.

Foreign Intervention

In August of 2014, President Obama sent a small number of American troops into Iraq to assist Iraqi forces in fighting ISIS.  The U.S. has also undertaken an airstrike campaign against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.  Part of the U.S. campaign against ISIS includes a humanitarian effort to assist the ethnic and religious communities in Iraq and Syria that are in threat of persecution.  The U.S. is joined by France, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Jordan in airstrike operations against ISIS.  The United Kingdom has also been involved, primarily in Northern Iraq, in humanitarian efforts.  Germany and Italy have also committed to providing humanitarian support to the region.  Albania, Croatia, and the Czech Republic have assisted by supplying weapons to Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq.  In a speech on September 24th before the United Nations, President Obama called for the world to assist in the military efforts against ISIS. Meanwhile, the UN has declared the crisis in Iraq a “Level 3 Emergency,” calling upon the nations of the world to assist with the growing humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria.

Learn more about ISIS by attending the Teach-In, and with the sources below:

News Resources from Around the World

Hindustan Times – The Rise of ISIS terror – a timeline

CNN – ISIS Fast Facts

BBC News –  Iraq crisis: Desperate plight of refugees near Dohuk

The Independent –  Where does Isis get its money from? US steps up the battle to find out

BBC News – Islamic State crisis: Yazidi anger at Iraq’s forgotten people

Al Jazeera – ISIL’s war just went global – Group calls for attacks on US and allies wherever they are – a declaration of war and a defining moment of this conflict

Web Resources

Institute for the Study of War – Timely updates on the situation in Iraq and Syria.

Vox – Things about Isis you need to know

Tracking Terrorism – Islamic State of Iraq and ash Sham / Islamic State (Islamic State of Iraq, ISIS or ISIL, IS)

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC Online Journals and Databases)

Cragin, R. Kim. (2014). A RECENT HISTORY OF AL-QA’IDA. The Historical
Journal, 57, pp 803-824.

Hogger, Henry. (2014). SYRIA: HOPE OR DESPAIR? Asian Affairs,
45:1, 1-8.

Phillips, Andrew. (2014). The Islamic State’s challenge to international order.
Australian Journal of International Affairs, 68:5, 495-498.

Books at UIUC Libraries

Celso, Anthony. (2014). Al-Qaeda’s Post-9/11 Devolution: The Failed Jihadist Struggle Against the Near and Far EnemyLondon : Bloomsbury Publishing.

Feldman, Noah. (2010). The Fall and Rise of the Islamic StatePrinceton : Princeton University Press.

Gottlieb, Stuart. (Eds.) (2014). Debating terrorism and counterterrorism: conflicting perspectives on causes, contexts, and responsesLos Angeles : Sage.

Lappin, Yaakov. (2011). Virtual caliphate: exposing the Islamist state on the internetDulles, Va. : Potomac Books.

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Upcoming Teach In: Ebola and Global Health

There will be a Teach-In on Ebola and Global Health, Thursday, September 18th, from 4 – 5:30 pm in Lincoln Hall room 1092.  

UPDATE: The video for the Teach-In is now available!

Sponsored by the Center for African Studies, the Center for Global Studies, the UIUC Global Health Initiative, and the University YMCA, the teach-in will include expert panelists and will focus on Ebola and its impact on global health.

Panelists will include:

  • Dr. Gay Miller – Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology
  • Dr. Barry Pittenrigh – Professor in the Department of Entomology and Director of Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO)
  • Christian Martyn Kamara – National General Secretary and Chief Executive Office of the YMCA in Sierra Leone
  • Mabinty Tarawallie, MSW – Sierra Leone National and recent graduate from the University of Illinois School of Social Work

In preparation for this event, this blog post will break down some important information about the Ebola virus.

The worst outbreak of the Ebola virus in history is taking place in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, with a current total of 3,967 suspected and current cases.  The CDC reports the current number of deaths (as of September 5th, 2014) at 2,105.  Ebola is described by Doctors Without Borders as “one of the world’s most deadly diseases,”  and the mortality rate for the current outbreak of 53% makes it all the more terrifying for the communities who find themselves at risk of infection.

The History

The first discovery of the Ebola virus occurred with an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Zaire (which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Sudan in 1976.  These first outbreaks had approximately 300 cases in each country, with 88% of cases leading to death.  The virus is named after the Ebola River, which is close to the first site of infection in Zaire.  There are five different strains of the Ebola virus. These include Bundibugyo, Ivory Coast, Reston, Sudan and Zaire, and are named after their places of origin. All but the Reston Ebola virus are dangerous to humans.  According to the CDC, there have been 31 outbreaks of Ebola, including all five strains, since the original 1976 outbreak.  The average number of reported human cases for each of these outbreaks is 56.

The Virus

Ebola is spread through the direct contact of bodily fluids.  It can be carried and transmitted by animals and humans.  Transmission of the virus is only possible after the infected person begins to show symptoms. It is believed that fruit bats may be a natural host for the virus, and other animals such as primates can also carry the virus and could be the cause of human contraction.

Since the beginning symptoms of Ebola are the same as many other diseases, it is difficult to initially diagnose the disease without a laboratory test.

While several vaccines are being tested for Ebola virus, there are currently no clinically available medications for the disease.  Current treatment for the disease includes administering fluids through IV and treating the symptoms, such as balancing electrolytes and maintaining blood pressure.

The Fear Factor

The fear surrounding the Ebola outbreak is having negative impacts on the health systems in affected countries, making a very bad situation even worse.  One of these impacts is that people are avoiding health care centers because of the concern of contracting Ebola.  This means that individuals suffering from non-Ebola-related health problems are going untreated because they are afraid of contracting the Ebola virus.  This is a huge problem since Ebola is far from the biggest health concern affecting people in West Africa.  This graph from Humanosphere shows that the deaths from neglected tropical diseases and Malaria far outstretch the deaths from Ebola in 2014. But the panic surrounding the Ebola outbreak is overshadowing the urgent health concerns posed by other diseases, causing individuals who need medical care to avoid treatment.

Due to the high levels of publicity that Ebola has garnered in the international media, the irrational alarm surrounding the Ebola outbreak has become a worldwide issue.  According to a recent poll by the Harvard School of Public Health, 39 percent of Americans are concerned that there could be a large Ebola outbreak in the United States.  The mode of transmission for Ebola (only through the direct contact of bodily fluids) makes it extremely unlikely to pose a threat to countries as far away from the affected areas as the United States. In fact, Jay M. Bernhardt, Professor & Founding Director of the Center for Health Communication  at the University of Texas at Austin has stated that the odds of someone living in the U.S. contracting Ebola are “about the same as being struck and killed by a meteor: essentially zero.”

Some experts believe that the international anxiety that has arisen in response to the Ebola outbreak is doing more harm than good for those in the affected regions.  Despite the fact that the World Health Organization has recommended that flights to affected regions remain operational, many international airlines have cancelled flights to these areas.  Not only does the quarantine of borders and cancellation of flights keep health workers and aid from those in need, it has the additional consequence of creating food shortages in the affected countries.

The Current Situation

Although the concern of the virus spreading to the world population may be inflated, the Ebola outbreak is an urgent medical concern for the world community to address. Health workers who are treating the virus are at the most serious risk of infection.  In fact, more than 120 medical workers have contracted the disease, according to WHO. The reason that health workers are at such risk of infection is the lack of protective equipment and adequate facilities to support infection control.  The countries being most heavily affected by the virus (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) do not have adequate facilities or staff to deal with existing cases and prevent the spread of the disease.

This is why UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued an “international rescue call,” requesting a surge in worldwide assistance to deal with the Ebola outbreak.  Part of the international response, in addition to supplies and aid, must include an effort to disseminate information about the disease.  But most importantly, the international response must be grounded in scientific evidence and must strive to combat the fear and stigma that is so widespread surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

Interested in learning more about the Ebola outbreak? Check out the following sources:

Web Resources

CDC – 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa

WHO – Ebola Virus Disease

Doctors without Borders – Ebola Emergency

CDC – Outbreaks Chronology: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Microbe Wiki – Ebola Virus

Infographic from the CDC

Africa Focus – Updates on Ebola

News Articles

WHO: Ebola ‘an international emergency’ – BBC News

Ebola virus: Nine things to know about the killer disease – CNN.com

Ebola Outbreak Precautions – In Pictures

How the Ebola Outbreak Compares to Other Killers – Humanosphere

Ban issues ‘international rescue call’ to halt Ebola epidemic – UN News Centre

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC Online Journals & Databases)

Bausch, D. G., & Schwarz, L. (2014, July). Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea: Where Ecology Meets Economy. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. pp. 1-5.

Check Hayden, E. (2014). World struggles to stop Ebola. Nature512(7515), 355-356.

Ying, CHENG, Yu, LI and Hong Jie, YU. (2014) Ebola Virus Disease: General Characteristics, Thoughts, and Perspectives. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. 27(8): 651-3.

Books at UIUC Libraries

Hewlett, Barry S.,Hewlett, Bonnie L. (2008). Ebola, culture, and politics :the anthropology of an emerging disease. Belmont, CA : Thomson Higher Education.

Preston, Richard. (2008). Panic in level 4: cannibals, killer viruses, and other journeys to the edge of scienceNew York : Random House.

Webber, R. (2004). Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Control: A Global Perspective. Wallingford : CABI.

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Graduate Minor in Global Studies Information Sessions!

Interested in expanding your disciplinary and professional vision as well as your job prospects? The Graduate Minor in Global Studies enables MA, PhD and professional school students to gain a deeper understanding of the processes of globalization. The Minor builds on students’ disciplinary and professional knowledge base to integrate their specialized skills within the broader intellectual, and public policy demands of the challenges confronting the world’s populations today.

Upcoming Student Information Sessions

For more information on the Graduate Minor and associated course
requirements, please attend one of the following informational meetings:

Thursday, September 11, 4-5 pm
Monday, September 15, 4-5 pm
Friday, September 19, 12-1 pm

All sessions will be held in Room 101 of the International Studies Building.

Refreshments will be served!

For more information contact:
Center for Global Studies
global-studies@illinois.edu * 217-265-5186

Visit our web site:

http://cgs.illinois.edu/global-studies-graduate-minor

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Transcending Nationalities: The “Global Imaginary” Seen Through Visual Culture

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Images are active players in the game of establishing and changing values. They are capable of introducing new values into the world and thus of threatening old ones.  J.T. Mitchell, 2005.

The concept of “global imaginary,” as coined by Manfred Steger, refers to the consciousness of belonging to a global community – a consciousness that has emerged in recent decades with the rapid rise of communication technologies and the decline of nation-based political ideologies. The concept builds on Benedict Anderson’s theories of “imagined communities,” but while Anderson used the term to refer to shared ideologies within nations, Steger posits that globalization is breaking down the imagined walls of nationhood and bringing about “a shared sense of a thickening world community.”  Steger insists that in order to understand and solve the great global problems of our time, we must first understand the “global imaginary” and all that it represents.

One artist and scholar has focused on visual culture as a way to understand the concept of “global imaginary.”  Tommaso Durante’s project, the Visual Archive Project of the Global Imaginary, explores the visual evidence, through photographs, of the cultural changes happening worldwide as a result of globalization.  Images are powerful conveyors of information. They carry a wealth of embedded knowledge about culture, values, and ideology. And Durante explains how, “due to the global spread of new media technologies, the massive uses of personal electronic devices and the development of intelligent architectural interfaces, visuality is increasingly eclipsing textuality and images, with their ‘surplus of value’, dominate the world.”  Indeed, if we look at how social media, with its image-heavy and text-sparse format, has become a unifying and polarizing force in the world, we can see how important visual culture is to the social forces that shape global society.

The photographs in Durante’s archive cover the cultural, political, and ideological dimensions of the “global imaginary.”  The photographs encompassing the cultural dimension are full of people, advertisements, storefronts, public spaces, and symbols that represent merging nationalities and ideologies.  The Apple logo is seen prominently displayed in a modern glass shopping center in East Shanghai, and then on a sign in from of an “iShop” housed in a beautiful historic building in Rome.  Through the images, we see how symbols and cultural icons stretch across the boundaries of nations and create a shared global visual landscape.  The images also venture into the political dimension, showing protest movements in the U.S. and Chile.  The ideological dimension shows advertisements and promotional imagery that deliberately make use of the the globe or words like “global” and “international” to produce a sense of shared meaning and influence cultural identities.

The archive may just be one artist’s perspective of the visual culture of globalization, but it is nonetheless a compelling portrait of the ways in which globalization is inciting a shared sense of meaning and belonging among global citizens.  The collection is a powerful illustration of the concept of the “global imaginary,” adding a visual dimension to Steger’s theory and, if Durante’s intentions come to fruition, serving as a historical archive of the process of globalization.

Learn more about globalization and the “global imaginary” with the resources below!

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC Online Journals & Databases)

Benedikter, Roland;  Ziveri, Davide.  (2014). The global imaginary, new media and sociopolitical innovation in the periphery: the practical case of an Internet-based empowerment project in Palestine and Israel. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 28:4.

Crang M. (2010). The death of great ships: photography, politics, and waste in the global imaginary. Environment and Planning A, 42:5, 1084 – 1102.

Durante, Tommasso. (2014). Visual Culture and Globalization: The Visual Archive Project of the Global Imaginary. Global-E Journal, 8.

Ojala, M. (2011). MEDIATING GLOBAL IMAGINARY. Journalism Studies, 12:5.

Steger, Manfred B.  (2009). The Rise of the Global Imaginary and the Persistence of Ideology. Global-E Journal, 3. 

Books

Anderson, Benedict O’G. (1991). Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London : Verso.

Baldacchino, John,Vella, Raphael. (Eds.) (2013). Mediterranean art and education: navigating local, regional and global imaginaries through the lens of the arts and learning.  Rotterdam, The Netherlands : Sense Publishers.

Djelic, Marie-Laure.Quack, Sigrid. (Eds.) (2010). Transnational communities: shaping global economic governance. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Krätke, Stefan, Wildner, Kathrin,  Lanz, Stephan. (Eds.) (2012). Transnationalism and urbanism. New York, NY : Routledge.

Shavit, Uriya. (2009). The new imagined community: global media and the construction of national and Muslim identities of migrants. Brighton [England] : Sussex Academic Press.

Steger, Manfred B.. (2008). The rise of the global imaginary: political ideologies from the French Revolution to the global war on terror. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Vertovec, Steven. (2009). Transnationalism. London : Routledge.

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Public Procurement of Food: Should Governments Buy Local?

By U.S. Department of Agriculture (CRYP Produce) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In all areas of the world, governments spend a lot of money on food.  Governments need food for schools, hospitals, prisons, universities, and many other types of public institutions.  According to a recent UN briefing, for example, the UK spends approximately $3 billion on public food procurement per year.  Governments also spend money on food for various types of food aid programs.  For instance, in 2010-2011, almost 3% of India’s federal expenditures went to food subsidies or direct food aid.  Almost all high-income countries have school lunch programs, and 70 out of the 108 low- and middle-income countries of the world have some sort of school food program.  Since governments purchase such large amounts of food, they have the ability to control not only the quality of the food purchased, but the source of the food.  This presents a great opportunity for governments to support local food producers, fight hunger, and ensure that the food provided in public venues is high-quality and nutritious.

Several nations are already taking advantage of this opportunity.  Brazil’s Food Acquisition Programme (Programa de Aquisição de Alimentos, PAA) is one example of how government procurement can benefit local farmers and provide food to those in need.  The program’s goal is to provide food to members of the population who are facing “food and nutritional insecurity.”   Between 2003 and 2008, Brazil spent $1 billion on locally-grown food for the program, and the food was donated to 16.8 million people.  This program, while not without challenges, provides local farmers with a sales venue for their crops, spurs production and consumption of local foods, and provides nutritious foods for those who might otherwise go without.

Another example of a successful local food procurement program is Rome, Italy’s school meal program.  Introduced in 2001, the ALL FOR QUALITY principles provide a guideline for food procurement that focuses on “best value” of the food companies contracted, rather than lowest price as is usual for U.S. public food contracts.  The Rome school system, unlike U.S. schools which generally contract to one large food company, contracts with several smaller local food companies, maintaining a competitive bidding system that ensures higher quality.  The contracts given to local food producers are based on a 100-point system.  51 points are allotted for price of food, whereas the other 49 are for infrastructural considerations that support food quality.  The quality of the food is based on place of origin, organic products, and fair trade.  This system not only supports local food companies, but has raised the quality of school food in Rome considerably by creating a competitive market for local food based on important aspects of food quality.  While Italy seems to be leading the way in locally-sourced school food programs, Scotland, Japan, the United States, France, and Canada all have deployed recent programs which utilize local producers and attempt to increase nutritional value in school food.

Local food procurement empowers local food producers, benefits programs that feed the hungry, and increases the nutritional quality of food served in public institutions.  But that’s not all.  Governments can use their food procurement powers to buy only from local suppliers who use sustainable food production methods.  Sustainable production methods are those that use low-carbon or low-external-input modes of production.  Also, buying seasonally and locally reduces the “ecological footprint” of food being produced.  So, local public food procurement can have a really positive impact on the environment in addition to its multitude of societal benefits.

Check out the sources below for more information on public food procurement!

News and Opinions

Third World Network – Public Procurement and the Right to Food

UK National Audit Office – Smarter food procurement in the public sector

The World Bank – A Decade of Learning: Building a Public Procurement Community of Practice

All Africa – Tunisia: Reform of Public Procurement System Under Focus

The Washington Post – Guess how many memos USDA sent to schools about healthy school lunches?

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC E-Journals)

Davies, I., & Riley, J. (2005). Drive to give farmers a slice of public sector food budget. Farmers Weekly, 142(10), 12.

He, C., Perez-Cueto, F., Mikkelsen, B. (2014). Do attitudes, intentions and actions of school food coordinators regarding public organic food procurement policy improve the eating environment at school? Results from the iPOPY study. Public Health Nutrition, 17(6), 1299-1307.

Morgan, Kevin. (2008). Greening the Realm: Sustainable Food Chains and the Public Plate, Regional Studies, 42(9), p. 1246.

Sonnino, R. (2009). Quality food, public procurement, and sustainable development: the school meal revolution in Rome. Environment & Planning A, 41(2), 425-440.

Books at UIUC Libraries

Biénabe, Estelle, Peppelenbos, Lucian Peter Christoph. (Eds.) (2011). Reconnecting markets: innovative global practices in connecting small-scale producers with dynamic food markets. Farnham : Gower.

Marsden, Terry. (Eds.) (2014). Sustainable food systems: building a new paradigmLondon, New York : Routledge.

McCullough, Ellen B., Pingali, Prabhu L., Stamoulis, Kostas G. (Eds.) (2008). The transformation of agri-food systems :globalization, supply chains and smallholder farmers. Rome : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Morgan, Kevin, Sonnino, Roberta. (2008). The school food revolution: public food and the challenge of sustainable development. London : Earthscan.

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Net Neutrality: Past Rulings and Future Debate

This week, the FCC ruled 3-2 to release a new proposal on net neutrality, which will be opened for comment from the public.  In light of the lively debate that is already starting on this issue, it’s important to understand how the concept of net neutrality has been established in the United States over the past decade.

History of rulings on Net Neutrality

In 2005, the FCC agreed upon the following four principles of “open internet.”

  • Consumers have the right to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
  • Consumers have the right to use the services and applications of their choice.
  • Consumers have the right to use their choice of devices to access the Internet, as long as said devices do not harm the network.
  • Consumers are entitled to competition among service, application, network, and content providers

The 2005 principles of “open internet” represent the basic tenets of net neutrality.

In 2010, the FCC released the Open Internet Order, which laid out rules for maintaining net neutrality.  The ruling established three important rules for Internet service providers:

  • Transparency – Network providers must make publicly available their network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of their contracts.
  • No Blocking – Network providers may not block any lawful content from consumers.  This is important because it keeps network providers from blocking sites or applications from their users that compete with their services.
  • No Unreasonable Discrimination – Network providers cannot discriminate in transmitting network traffic, as long as it is lawful.

However, in Verizon v. FCC in January, 2014, two out of these three rules were rescinded.  Stating that Internet service providers are not common carriers, and therefore are outside of the FCC’s realm of authority, the ruling claims that the FCC cannot impose the rules of net neutrality on Internet providers.  This ruling is seen by proponents of net neutrality as detrimental to the principles of open internet.  While the ruling did not comment on the validity of the rules themselves, it made the 2010 Open Internet Order unenforceable by the FCC.

What’s happening now?

There has been a large public outcry against the Verizon v. FCC ruling, since it is seen by many consumers as a huge step backwards for net neutrality.  The January ruling has the potential to allow Internet service providers to essentially govern the Internet as suits their commercial interests.

The latest proposal by the FCC for creating new rules for net neutrality has also raised concerns that corporate interests are being placed ahead of the principles of open internet.  The proposed rules allow for “commercially reasonable” behavior by Internet service providers to regulate Internet content.  This provision could allow content providers to pay for “fast lanes” of service for certain content, which opponents say would discriminate against slower content.  The possibility that the newly proposed rules could allow for discrimination of Internet content by providers led to a rally of protesters outside of FCC offices as the ruling took place.  But those on the other side of the debate, namely the Internet service providers themselves, claim that the new proposed rules introduce too much regulation, and will inhibit innovation in the Internet industry.  The ruling has strong political implications in the Congress as lawmakers consider future action.

The encouraging part of the proposal for both sides of the debate is its designation of a four-month period to accept public comments on the issue.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, says that this call for comments is intended to open a conversation between lawmakers and the public to ensure that the new ruling upholds the tenets of net neutrality.  The next four months will surely see some lively arguments on the subject of net neutrality, and the forthcoming decisions by the FCC will be important to the future of Internet regulation in the United States.

Check out the resources below to learn more about net neutrality!

**Want to file a comment to the FCC on net neutrality? Here’s the FCC’s information on how to comment.**

News and Opinions

F.C.C. Backs Opening Net Neutrality Rules for Debate – The New York Times

Amid protests, U.S. FCC proposes new ‘net neutrality’ rules – Reuters

The real battle for net neutrality just began – The Verge

Demand Progress – Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality an Oxymoron as FCC Decides Winners and Losers – Bloomberg

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC E-Journals)

Bauer, J. M., & Obar, J. A. (2014). Reconciling Political and Economic Goals in the Net Neutrality Debate. Information Society30(1), 1-19.

Boliek, B. L. (2011). FCC Regulations Versus Antitrust: How Net Neutrality is Defining the Boundaries. Boston College Law Review52(5), 1627-1686.

Kramer, Jan, Wiewiorra, Lukas, Weinhardt, Christof. (2013). Net Neutrality: A progress report. Telecommunications Policy, 37, 794-813.

Pogue, D. (2014). The Great Net Debate. Scientific American310(4), 36.

Books at the UIUC Libraries

Guadamuz, Andrés. (2011). Networks, complexity and internet regulation: scale-free law. Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar.

Nunziato, Dawn C. (2009). Virtual freedom :net neutrality and free speech in the Internet ageStanford, Calif. : Stanford Law Books.

Stiegler, Zachary. (Eds.) (2013). Regulating the Web :network neutrality and the fate of the open Internet. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Zelnick, Robert, Zelnick, Eva. (2013). The illusion of net neutrality: political alarmism, regulatory creep, and the real threat to Internet freedomStanford, CA : Hoover Institution Press.

 

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World Press Freedom Day 2014

World Press Freedom Index 2014 map: “freedom of the press worldwide.” (By Reporters Without Borders)

The Importance of Free Press

Saturday, May 3rd marks World Press Freedom Day 2014. This event, organized by UNESCO, presents a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the importance of free press and intellectual freedom, and the great impact that these issues have on creating a world with just and corruption-free governance.  The role of journalism is to bring issues of government, culture, science, environment, and society into the public light – to inform the people and hopefully to spark dialogues that include the diverse public into the process of shaping public policy.  A UNESCO press release explains that a free news media not only helps in policy shaping but also leads to the reduction of poverty through intellectual empowerment and increased mobility of groups that can be disproportionately affected by poverty, such as women and youth.

Global Obstacles to Free Press

In order to provide this service, journalists and the news media need to be free to report the news truthfully. In many places around the world, journalists do not have this freedom.  UNESCO reports that journalists face obstacles including censorship, arrest, and even threats of physical harm and death.  It is the goal of organizations such as Reporters without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, and many more, to protect the rights of journalists and raise awareness about the threats to press freedom that exist in the world.

Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index 2014 ranks countries based on pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency,  and infrastructure.  The United States has fallen thirteen places on the list in the past year, currently residing in 46th place.  This change is largely due to the government’s efforts to increase security and track down whistleblowers and leaks. These actions by the government, according to Reporters Without Borders, inhibit journalists from revealing information to the public that may be in the interest of the public good.  Other countries have fallen on the list because of armed conflict. These countries include Lebanon and Iraq (due to the conflict in neighboring Syria), and Mali, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (due to the activities of guerrilla and terrorist groups in the region). In some cases, organized crime is a danger to journalists and has caused a decline in press freedom in certain countries, most notably Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Improving Press Freedom for the Future

Increasing press freedom is a major goal of the UN’s Post-2015 Development Goals.  Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”  The 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Protocols Additional 1 and 2 to the Geneva Conventions also include provisions for press freedom.  These international agreements create a powerful impetus for countries around the world to keep striving for greater press freedom and to keep assessing the ways that journalists and reporters are treated.

Additional Organizations

ARTICLE 19 is an international human rights organisation which defends and promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information all over the world.

The Ethical Journalism Initiative website is a new campaign to rekindle old values in media worldwide, launched by the International Federation of Journalists.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is a press advocacy group representing media organizations in North America, South America and the Caribbean.

The International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) is a global network of around 90 non-governmental organisations that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression.

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) is a coalition of news organisations, journalist support groups and individuals exclusively dedicated to the safety of news media staff working in dangerous environments.

International Press Institute is the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, dedicated to freedom of the press and improving the standards and practices of journalism.

News and Websites

Tadias – World Free Press Day 2014

UNESCO – Free Media Contribute to Good Governance, Empowerment and Eradicating Poverty

UNESCO Freedom of Expression Toolkit – A Guide for Students

Press freedom in the digital age: new threats, new challenges – The Council of Europe’s Commissioner: Human Rights Comment

Webcast of the UN Briefing for World Press Freedom Day 2014 – May 1, 2014

Scholarly Articles (Available through UIUC E-journals)

Policinski, G. (2012). A Free Press? It’s Not That Simple. Insights On Law & Society12(3), 4-7.

THEMUDO, N. S. (2013). Reassessing the Impact of Civil Society: Nonprofit Sector, Press Freedom, and Corruption. Governance26(1), 63-89. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0491.2012.01602.x

Books at the UIUC Library

Czepek, Andrea.; Hellwig, Melanie; Nowak, Eva. (Eds.) (2009). Press freedom and pluralism in Europe :concepts and conditionsBristol, UK: Intellect.

Knightley, Phillip. (2004) The first casualty :the war correspondent as hero and myth-maker from the Crimea to Iraq Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press,

Price, Monroe E.,; Abbott, Susan; Morgan, Libby. (Eds.) (2011). Measures of press freedom and media contributions to development: evaluating the evaluatorsNew York : Peter Lang.

Siegel, Paul. (2014). Communication law in America. Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield.

Smith, Dean C.. (2013).  A theory of shield laws :journalists, their sources, and popular constitutionalismEl Paso : LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.

Wasserman, Herman. (Eds.) (2013). Press freedom in Africa :comparative perspectivesLondon : Routledge.

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IDEALS: Disseminating and Preserving Illinois Scholarship

What is IDEALS?

The Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship, known as IDEALS, is a service at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign that preserves and provides access to a wide body of faculty, staff and student publications and research.  The mission of IDEALS is to provide access and preservation of the works of U of I members, and to give those works the “maximum possible recognition.”  IDEALS was created in 2004 to address the problem of how to archive and preserve the work of the university’s members in light of the massive shift toward digital publishing that was taking place.

Benefits of Institutional Repositories

When scholarship is deposited into IDEALS, the descriptive information (metadata) that is provided by the depositor is not only used in the IDEALS repository for searching and retrieval but is made available to outside services, such as Google Scholar. By making U of I scholarship openly accessible to outside users, IDEALS hopes to increase the impact of the scholarly work taking place at Illinois, which not only furthers the university mission of the dissemination of knowledge but brings professional benefits to the individuals who produce the work.

Another benefit that IDEALS provides is the commitment to preserve the scholarly works that are part of its collections.  The process of digital preservation is extremely important in the swiftly changing technological world that today’s scholarship exists within.  In order to maintain the viability of the digital files that make up the repository, IDEALS adheres to a complicated digital preservation policy, which must remain compliant to accepted standards for digital preservation, the most important of which is the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model.  Because of IDEALS’ strict observance of the international standards for digital preservation, the creators that submit their work to the IDEALS repository can be confident that their work will be available and accessible for many years to come.

Copyright Issues

There are two main types of open access publishing for research articles.  “Green” OA refers to publishing in open access repositories; “gold” OA refers to publishing in open access journals. The main difference between these two types of open access publishing is that “gold” OA is a more structured process involving peer review and the traditional editing process found in journal publishing.  Some OA journals require the author to pay a fee in order to publish, and others use subsidies from their host institution. “Green” OA, on the other hand, does not involve a peer review process, and might contain peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed work.

Since IDEALS is an open access repository (an example of “green” OA), it allows individual creators to retain the copyright of their deposited works.  But what if the article being deposited has already been published in a copyright-protected journal?  When scholars publish in most journals, they must sign over their copyright to do so.  This is a complicated issue, and can definitely be an obstacle for making work available in an institutional repository.  Many journals allow authors to publish their “pre-print” work to an IR, which is essentially the author’s first draft of a work before it has been peer-reviewed and edited.   Some journals, however, support “green” OA and will allow authors to deposit their work into and OA repository.

IDEALS describes its purpose as “a complement to traditional scholarly publishing.”  In other words, it does not aim to inhibit the process of traditional journal publishing, but rather wishes to provide a secondary option to authors that allows them to make their work openly available.  For instance, IDEALS informs authors that they may have the option in their contract when publishing in a journal to retain rights for the depositing of the work into an institutional repository.  Just by educating authors about their options, IDEALS is helping to make sure that Illinois scholarship is made available and disseminated as widely as possible.

Now you know what IDEALS is – go check it out! 

You can use IDEALS to find scholarship about topics you might be interested in, or maybe you have some of your own work you’d like to deposit.  You can find out how at Getting Started with IDEALS.  Either way, all members of the University of Illinois community should take advantage of the opportunity to take part in the community of scholarship available through IDEALS.

Further information about Open Access and Institutional Repositories

International Open Access Repositories and Directories

Scientific Electronic Library Online (SCIELO) – a directory of open access scientific repositories focusing on developing countries and regions.

OpenDOAR - Listings of open access repositories around the world.

Websites

Open Access Overview – Peter Suber (Includes great explanation for “green” vs. “gold” OA)

PLOS – The Case for Open Access

SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) – Open Access

Sherpa/RoMEO - a database of copyright information for journals.

Scholarly Articles (Accessed through UIUC E-Journals)

Casey, A. M. (2012). Does Tenure Matter? Factors Influencing Faculty Contributions to Institutional Repositories. Journal Of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication1(1), 1-11.

Cullen, Rowena, Chawner, Brnda. (2011). Institutional Repositories, Open Access, and Scholarly Communication: A Study of Conflicting Paradigms. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 37(6), 460-470.

Kennison, R., Shreeves, S. L., & Harnad, S. (2013). Point & Counterpoint: The Purpose of Institutional Repositories: Green OA or Beyond? Journal Of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication(4), 1-7.

Books at UIUC Libraries

Crawford, Walt. (2011). Open access: what you need to know nowChicago : American Library Association.

Jones, Catherine. (2007). Institutional repositories: content and culture in an open access environment. Oxford : handos.

Nabe, Jonathan A.. (2010). Starting, strengthening, and managing institutional repositories :a how-to-do-it-manual. New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers.

Suber, Peter. (2012) Open access. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.

 

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Preserving Cultural Heritage: A Worldwide Cooperative Effort

 

Our cultural and natural heritage is an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration. It is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.

–UK National Commission for UNESCO

Since the conclusion of World War II, the effort to preserve important sites of national and cultural heritage has been a priority for hundreds of nations around the world. According to UNESCO, “Cultural heritage refers to monuments, groups of buildings and sites with historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value. Natural heritage refers to outstanding physical, biological and geological formations, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants and areas with scientific, conservation or aesthetic value” (2008).

The preservation of cultural and national heritage becomes excessively important during times of turmoil or war, when many times important sites and objects are lost.  Recently, for instance, archives in Sarajevo were burned due to violent political protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The documents lost included archives from the Ottoman empire, archives from the period of 1878-1918, as well as documents from the war crimes committee after World War II. The current war in Syria is also resulting in the damage and destruction of many cultural heritage sites.  The Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology is one Syrian group that has emerged from these events to document threats against important archaeological sites in the country and raise awareness about their preservation. The organization Heritage for Peace and the UK National Committee of the Blue Shield have released a “No Strike” list of twenty of the most important cultural heritage sites in Syria which they are asking any armed forced involved in conflict to avoid.  In addition to war, cultural heritage can also be threatened by natural disasters, such as the earthquake in the Phillipines in October, 2013, which not only resulted in the loss of many lives but also in the destruction of some significant heritage landmarks.  

The preservation of cultural heritage is not merely a suggestion, however.  It is an obligation that 126 countries of the world are bound to uphold through international agreements. The first international treaty protecting cultural and national heritage sites was the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954). The Hague Convention requires states to protect cultural property during war.  This convention created an international symbol for identifying cultural property that is to be protected.  This symbol is the Blue Shield.  The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was then adopted by UNESCO in 1972.  This international treaty was created to identify, protect, and preserve cultural and national heritage around the world.

There are currently 981 cultural heritage sites in 160 countries of the world.  The International Committee of the Blue Shield (founded 1996) has country-level sections all over the world that work to protect national and cultural heritage property.  The organization describes itself as “the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross.”  It does this by collecting and disseminating information about threats to cultural heritage, spreading awareness about cultural heritage, and facilitating the creation of localized cultural heritage organizations.

We have some great opportunities to study international cultural heritage right here at the University of Illinois.  CHAMP @ Illinois (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy at the University of Illinois) is a research center that focuses on worldwide cultural heritage and museum practices in the context of globalization.  Through Heritage Studies and Museum Studies graduate minors, as well as nearly thirty faculty members teaching in these areas, CHAMP maintains an active research program.  CHAMP also frequently hosts talks and discussions on different aspects of world cultural heritage.  This month, CHAMP is hosting a lecture series by Professor Mike Robinson, Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage at the University of Birmingham.  These talks will take place April 3rd, 7th, and 14th. A full schedule of events for CHAMP can be seen at their home page.

Many members of the University of Illinois community are involved in research on the preservation of cultural heritage.

Some selected publications by University of Illinois faculty:

Jenkins, Christine; Wayward, W Boyd. (2007). Introduction: Libraries in Times of War, Revolution and Social ChangeLibrary Trends 55 (3).

Moustafa, Laila Hussein. (2013). Disaster Management Planning in the Times  of War: the Case of the Middle East’s Libraries and Archives.  Conference Poster.

Silverman, Helaine. (2010). Cultural Heritage: Opportunities and Conundrums.  Policy Brief. Center for Global Studies.

Urban, Richard J.; Twidale, Michael B.; Adamczyk, Piotr D. (2010). Cultural Heritage Information Dashboards. Conference paper/Presentation.

Some additional important cultural heritage organizations:

International Council of Museums (ICOM)

The International Council on Archives (ICA) 

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

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