Welcome to the Information Society Observatory of the Information for All Programme (IFAP)! IFAP is one of two inter-governmental Programmes in the field of communication and information established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001. IFAP was created to provide a platform for international policy discussions and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge; for the participation of all in the knowledge societies.

Under the IFAP Strategic Plan (2008 – 2013), priority is being given to supporting the needs of Member States in 5 inter-disciplinary areas, namely:

* Information Access,
* Information for Development,
* Information Ethics,
* Information Literacy and
* Information Preservation.

You may learn more about IFAP by visiting www.unesco.org/webworld/ifap

The IFAP Information Society Observatory provides access to a range of up-to-date, policy papers and strategies, book reviews, trends and other resources in the IFAP priority areas. It is a freely accessible, quality resource for inform policy-makers, researchers and practitioners about policies, practices and trends in the information and knowledge societies.

Each month around 50 new entries are added to the Observatory by the dedicated team of researchers at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics Information Society and Trend Research Institute (ITTK) who maintain and manage the site. The Observatory publishes a quarterly newsletter as well as an annual report on trends in the global information society. In 2011 there were almost 10,000 unique visits to the Observatory from all around the world.

The IFAP Observatory is therefore especially well-placed to strengthen international co-operation and the exchange of experiences and knowledge essential for “building an information society for all”. Equally, the Observatory plays an important contributory role in fostering the development of comprehensive, forward-looking and sustainable national strategies and policies in IFAP’s fields of expertise.

I therefore invite you to explore the IFAP Information Society Observatory and to subscribe to its various resources. Please also share with us your suggestions for enhancing this service.

Ms Chafica Haddad
Intergovernmental Council, IFAP

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