13 November 2009

IFLA Internet Workshop in Cusco, Peru – Assessing the Impact

Cusco, Peru Internet WorkshopOn October 22nd and 23rd, IFLA's FAIFE Committee held an impact assessment workshop in Cusco, Peru. The objective of the workshop was to look at the effects of a series of workshops on the IFLA Internet Manifesto that took place in 12 regions of Peru between March and October 2009. Details of the original planning workshop can be found here.

IFLA Senior Policy Advisor Stuart Hamilton, Secretary of the FAIFE Committee Loida Garcia-Febo, and Chair of the Latin America and the Caribbean Section, Felipe Martinez, all attended the workshop on behalf of IFLA. Over two days participants reported on the workshops they organised in their home municipalities, and discussed the impact of these workshops on themselves, their colleagues and their users. The IFLA representatives used the workshop as an opportunity to interview participants individually and in groups, and to discuss next steps for Internet access in Peru.

Participants' reports from their workshops were impressive! Everyone had a story to tell, from bringing in the owners of local Internet cafés to training sessions, reaching out to libraries in neighbouring districts and making new partnerships, bringing librarians from university campuses together for the first time to discuss Internet access, or training locals to go online and access their social security numbers and therefore avoid 4am queues for these details at government offices. One participant, a library worker, had begun to train as a professional librarian as a result of her involvement in the workshop. Perhaps the most interesting and inspiring story came from the Amazon region of Peru, where one of the participants had set off into the jungle in the 4X4. Not only had he and his partner memorised the Internet Manifesto word for word, they had a troupe of actors read the Manifesto aloud at several villages in the region every morning. The two workshops they held were great successes, sparking the interests of the local press and bringing Internet access to a remote village for the first time!

Full reports, along with participants' presentations in Spanish will be made available on the IFLA website at the beginning of 2010. IFLA would like to thank Doris Samanez and Cesar Castro for all their hard work in arranging the Internet Manifesto project in Peru, as well as for arranging for the IFLA representatives to address 180 Peruvian librarians and library workers at a specially arranged seminar on the Internet Manifesto at the National Library in Lima on October 19th.

FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Internet access, Freedom of information, Peru

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