The Development and Access to Information (DA2I) 2017 was launched during the High-Level Political Forum on 17 July 2017 in New York.
This was the first DA2I report, which sets the baseline to measure progress on a range of indicators of access to information and its relation to sustainable development.
The report includes thematic chapters on how access to information promotes the achievement of each of the following SDGs, focus of the HLPF in that year: Zero Hunger (SDG2), Good Health and Well-being (SDG3), Gender Equality (SDG5), and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG9).
This chapter introduces a set of indicators that will make it possible to track global and regional changes in development and access to information. Using these indicators, the chapter describes the state of access to information as of 2015 in four sections, each of which correspond to a dimension of the DA2I framework: infrastructure, the social context of use, capabilities, and the legal and policy landscape. The chapter also includes a discussion of measurement gaps that must be addressed in order to improve international monitoring and paint a clearer picture of progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals targets.
The library is an institution that meets people’s information needs. This has been its role historically: providing a place for people to visit, ask questions, and access and use information resources. In doing so, libraries have long enabled people of all ages to learn and improve their lives. Public libraries have the particular role of meeting community-specific requirements. By applying their existing resources — including technology infrastructure, knowledgeable staff, and social space — public libraries are able to offer a range of services that address the economic, health, educational, and civic needs of their users. In doing so, libraries can support the Sustainable Development Goals by acting as agents of change at the local level.
Access to information has a critical role to play in achieving the targets of SDG2. Many farmers, and particularly those working on smallholder family farms, lack access to information on modern farming methods, appropriate inputs (e.g., seeds and fertilizers), market opportunities, prices, and weather forecasts. They may also be unaware of relevant agricultural laws, environmental regulations, and subsidies that could influence their farming practices. Meanwhile, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research institutions, and others can use open data that smallholder farmers provide to make positive contributions toward ensuring food security, while also holding each other accountable for SDG2 monitoring. This essay highlights twelve access to information initiatives that have helped improve agricultural production and farmer livelihoods.
As the United Nations aims to secure healthy lives and promote well-being for everyone, at every stage of life, access to information on health research, health education, and public health data are of prime importance. But such information contributes to health and wellness only when it is mobilized appropriately the right kinds of information, engaging the right kinds of users, under conditions that allow it to be used appropriately, and accordingly trusted. As such, libraries can play a crucial role in public health initiatives by facilitating digital access, ensuring the quality of health information, promoting and enhancing health literacy, and providing community spaces for people to gather information and share ideas.
The benefits to girls and women of increased access to information are many and far-reaching. However, numerous obstacles hinder their quest for information, including socioeconomic, cultural, and political constraints. This essay provides examples of best practices in information provision for, and utilization by, girls and women, with particular emphasis on the ways libraries in developing countries are assisting gendered access to information.
Businesses and governments need information to innovate, and the momentum created by innovations can contribute to the development of healthy, sustainable, and economically vibrant societies. This essay demonstrates how open data and information have provided an underlying infrastructure, which has been tapped by the public and private sectors to develop more efficient infrastructure, improve research and innovation, ensure greater accountability, and support a more informed citizenry.