UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER)


There is good news on the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources process: UNESCO Member States, at the CI Sector Commission of the General Conference, recommended the adoption of the UNESCO OER Recommendation draft by the Plenary Session of the 40th General Conference next week.

Mr Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director–General for Communication and Information (ADG/CI) highlighted in his opening that the text of the UNESCO OER Recommendation builds on the outcomes of the Ljubljana OER Action Plan 2017 and supports UNESCO’s efforts for the achievement of the UN 2030 Development Agenda.

OER are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others.

During the debates on this Item, some 18 UNESCO Member States, representing all UNESCO world regions, and an NGO Observer took the floor in support of the Recommendation. Echoed through the discussions was the important role of OER in the construction of open, inclusive and participatory Knowledge Societies

The discussion on the OER Recommendation was held at the CI Commission, further to Resolution 44, of the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2017, by which Member States expressed their support for the development of a Recommendation on OER. The draft Recommendation text examined had been approved by consensus by the Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts on the OER Recommendation organized by UNESCO in May 2019.

Concretely, the UNESCO OER Recommendation has five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation.

In the spirit of intersectoral cooperation, Moez Chakchouk (ADG/CI) invited Ms Stefania Giannini, the Assistant Director-General for Education (ADG/ED), to join the deliberations of the CI Commission. She highlighted how the term and concept of OER were coined in UNESCO and underscored in her closing remarks that both sectors will work closely to support Member States and other stakeholders in the this area.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, announced the launch of a Dynamic Coalition for the implementation of this UNESCO Recommendation, further to its examination at the Plenary session of the 40th General Conference.

This Dynamic Coalition reflects the Ministerial Statement for the 2nd World OER Congress, and point (v) of the UNESCO OER Recommendation, ‘Promoting and reinforcing international cooperation’. It would aim to expand and consolidate commitments to actions and strategies in the area of OER, as well as to promote and reinforce international cooperation among all relevant stakeholders.

The Plenary of the General Conference, to be held 25 to 26 November, will now examine the Recommendation on OER with a view to its adoption by the 40th General Conference of UNESCO.


For more information, please contact Zeynep Varoglu at: z.varoglu@unesco.org