:sync: Building a Support Network for Implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Authors: Jennryn Wetzler, Cable Green, Igor Lesko, Paul Stacey
Institutions: Creative Commons, Open Education Global
Countries: United States, South Africa, Canada

Topic: Global Collaboration, Strategies, & Policies in Open Education
Sector: Lifelong Learning
UNESCO Area of Focus: Facilitating int cooperation
Session Format: Workshop


This action lab provides an opportunity for participants to learn about and actively contribute to the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

We’ll start with a timeline summary of the activities and events that led to adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) by all 193 UNESCO member states in November-2019.

We recommend reading the Recommendation in advance of this workshop. However, we will briefly review the five action areas in the recommendation including:

  1. Building capacity of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER
  2. Developing supportive policy
  3. Encouraging effective, inclusive and equitable access to quality OER
  4. Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER
  5. Promoting and reinforcing international cooperation

This is an exciting major milestone for open education as it shows governments around the world support moving ahead with OER adoption and implementation. Having high level support for OER will really help the many initiatives underway at the grassroots level to flourish and grow.

Implementation at this kind of scale is a big undertaking. In support of that effort UNESCO has formed a dynamic coalition of member states and open education advocates to create roadmaps and plans. In addition a Network of Open Orgs, made up of organizations who have long played a role in enabling open eduction around the world, have come together to join forces in providing support for implementation including mapping out existing services and resources that can help. The Network of Open Orgs includes:

  • Open Education Global
  • Creative Commons
  • SPARC NA and Europe
  • Commonwealth of Learning
  • OER Africa
  • OER World Map
  • MERLOT/SkillsCommons
  • International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)
  • and others

Action Lab Activities
Action lab participants will be invited to contribute to the implementation of each of the UNESCO OER Recommendation action areas.

Action Lab facilitators have created GDocs for each UNESCO OER Recommendation action area on which participants will be invited to document three things:

  1. Specific help you (or your governments) need(s) with implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.
  2. Existing resources, projects and initiatives that could help with implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on OER.
  3. Organizations globally, regionally, or locally that could assist with implementation.

Entries can be made related to how to get started with OER, ramping up OER initiatives already underway, and pursuing full scale associated with making OER a mainstream aspect of education. Entries can relate to national or regional governments as well as institutions.

Facilitators will introduce each action area one at a time and give time for participants to make and share entries.

Similar action labs have been given at two preceding events the Creative Commons Summit and the Open Education Conference. Participants in this OEGlobal action lab can see and build on the contributions made during those prior events.

Full Agenda


UNESCO, OER, Recommendation, Coalition, NGOs, implementation, resources, collaboration, international

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Hi Dear @ Jennryn Wetzler@ Igor Lesko@ Paul Stacey@Cable Green
Looking forward to your presentation. A support network is a foundation to expand OE.

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Thank you @romasjoseph ! We look forward to seeing you at the session!

Session recording:

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