International Leaders Programme project descriptions: Libraries as Agents for Development

Description: Libraries make an important contribution to development. Literacy, agriculture, civic participation, and health all benefit from equitable access to information and skilled information professionals. However, libraries are often overlooked in the development policy space as partners to deliver development objectives such as the MDGs or the WSIS Action lines. IFLA works at the international level through a number of established platforms including WSIS and the IGF, to encourage policymakers to include libraries in their development programmes as mechanisms for inclusion and access to information.

International platform: WSIS, IGF, UNESCO

Ownership: ALP

Role of participant:

  • To attend selected meetings and events:
  • Business meetings involving some working in these areas held at IFLA WLICs
  • IGF (annual), other regional WSIS meetings
  • ICTD and development-related conferences (e.g., Beyond Access)
  • To prepare meeting briefings and research briefs as directed
  • To present interventions at meetings in collaboration with mentors and working groups e.g conference papers
  • To report back on the work under this topic to the broader leadership group
  • Produce a research paper for publication/conference paper at the completion of the project on the role of libraries in development

Expected commitment of participant:

  • Attendance at IFLA 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Ability to attend up to one additional international meeting per year
  • Produce briefings as directed
  • Participate in conference calls
  • Keep up to date with the topics, assist with communication on latest developments
  • Report back on work under these topics to local library community, e.g. national library association

Expected Outcomes for IFLA and Participant:


  • Develop a deep knowledge of the role of libraries in achieving development outcomes including literacy, agriculture, civic participation, health
  • Enhance understanding of the role of libraries in the WSIS, ICTD, MDGs, IGF processes and other international fora
  • Gain experience in preparing research briefings and interventions
  • Be able to deliver a proposed Libraries and Development training module module in-country/in-region with the support of their project group


  • Enhanced understanding of the person profile and abilities needed to strengthen the relationship between libraries and development [ie, to understand how/where to find and develop advocates on these topics in the future]
  • Research on the role of libraries and development


  • ALP Co-ordinator
  • ALP Committee Members
  • Director of Policy and Advocacy
  • Division V Chair (Regions)

Relationship to programme:

  • Connected with IGF Project

Which Criteria are Most Important in This Project:

  • Report writing skills, require link to previous writing/portfolio
  • Experience working at regional and international level, discretion, negotiation skills
  • Ability to travel at short notice internationally

LDP (Library Development Programme), leadership

Last update: 5 October 2012