The Paris Declaration was approved on 22 June 2012, in Paris, France at the World OER Congress by acclamation by a gathering of more than 250 people, with many governments represented. The UNESCO Expert Meeting had both governments, educational and OER experts present. The Declaration represents the advice of the 'experts' to governments, on which it is non-binding.
The term Open Educational Resources (OER) was coined at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on Open Courseware: OER is understoood as:
“teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work”;The declaration recommends that States, within their capacities and authority:
- Foster awareness and use of OER
Promote and use OER to widen access to education at all levels, both formal and non-formal, in a perspective of lifelong learning, thus contributing to social inclusion, gender equity and special needs education. Improve both cost-efficiency and quality of teaching and learning outcomes through greater use of OER.
- Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
Bridge the digital divide by developing adequate infrastructure, in particular, affordable broadband connectivity, widespread mobile technology and reliable electrical power supply. Improve media and information literacy and encourage the development and use of OER in open standard digital formats.
- Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER
Promote the development of specific policies for the production and use of OER within wider strategies for advancing education.
- Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks
Facilitate the re-use, revision, remixing and redistribution of educational materials across the world through open licensing, which refers to a range of frameworks that allow different kinds of uses, while respecting the rights of any copyright holder.
- Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials
Support institutions, train and motivate teachers and other personnel to produce and share high-quality, accessible educational resources, taking into account local needs and the full diversity of learners. Promote quality assurance and peer review of OER. Encourage the development of mechanisms for the assessment and certification of learning outcomes achieved through OER.
- Foster strategic alliances for OER
Take advantage of evolving technology to create opportunities for sharing materials which have been released under an open license in diverse media and ensure sustainability through new strategic partnerships within and among the education, industry, library, media and telecommunications sectors.
- Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts
Favour the production and use of OER in local languages and diverse cultural contexts to ensure their relevance and accessibility. Intergovernmental organisations should encourage the sharing of OER across languages and cultures, respecting indigenous knowledge and rights.
- Encourage research on OER
- Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER
- Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds
Governments/competent authorities can create substantial benefits for their citizens by ensuring that educational materials developed with public funds be made available under open licenses (with any restrictions they deemnecessary) in order to maximize the impact of the investment.
How will individuals around the globe benefit from the recommenndations and how can the implementation and mainstreaming speed up?
What are now the next step for countries around the globe to adopt the recommendations?
Could/or should the recommendations be benchmarks for policy uptake as is suggested by the POERUP project?