World Development Information Day
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World Development Information Day 2018

By tradition, information is constrained within different geographical regions and disseminates through people who travel or through the media. With the internet, thankfully, this has changed. Transfer of information is no longer localized. Sadly, even with internet technology, roughly half of the world population lack easy and free access to information. What this means is that they lack useful information that would improve their lives. The World Development Information Day, thus, creates awareness about free information availability and disseminate information about issues of global development.

Background and why we celebrate World Development Information Day

The UN Conference on Trade and Development in 1972 proposed ways to aid information availability and get the opinion of the public about trades and developments issues. That proposal gave birth to the World development information day.

The event also aims to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation and figure out solutions for global development issues. The UN assembly decided to celebrate on the United Nations Day to emphasize the crucial role of development in the organization’s duty.

It was first celebrated on the 24th October 1973 and commemorated yearly on that day. In the modern times, however, majorities of humanitarian events give a little different interpretation to the day.

Some focus on the contribution of present-day information technologies, like the  Internet and GSMs in informing people and devising solutions to problems of trade and development. The World Development Information Day also aims to enlighten and inspire young people and further escalate development.

Information is key to positive international development and travel. Communications technologies can potentially offer fresh solutions to challenges about global development. They can boost the growth of nations economy, competitiveness, information availability, help to eradicate poverty and ensure social inclusion.

Importance of World Development Information Day

The main aim of this day is to disseminate information and mobilize public opinion, particularly among young people, to create awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.

Why it is essential to share information on global development

Easy dissemination of data and information access promotes sustainable global development. Information dissemination is a primary element of development. Thus, it is a channel that informs us of the natural environment.

Without data and information availability, development won’t be possible. An informed society can support more sustainable projects over time. Information collection and analysis makes it easy for us to realize systems that affect our resources correctly.

You might also want to read our article; How Technology Can Improve Humanitarian Aid’.

By knowing the present and future availability of natural resources and global development, we can minimize societal and environmental and risks. This way, we can realize sustainable development. An informed decision will only be possible with the availability of accurate, reliable and adequate data.

Awareness can also promote public participation and activism in global development

The wide availability of information provides potential solutions and opportunity for sustainable development. Extensive access to information results in further development.  Establishing reliable communication networks between countries to improve data sharing will promote global development.

When countries share their thriving development programmes and policies with others, it can improve global development. As an illustration, information sharing between countries made it possible for many countries  AND Humanitarian individuals to render help to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

A significant aspect of information sharing is the additional development of information resources and centers.

Organizations promoting awareness and information access

Below are a just few examples of organizations that support awareness and information access:

  1. Nonprofit Tech for Good

Nonprofit Tech for Good is a top information technology resource for  NGOs and nonprofit professionals. The website has roughly 50,000 monthly visitors and over a million followers.

The founder and manager of Nonprofit Tech for Good is Heather Mansfield. Her focus is to provide non-profit organizations, NGOs and Charities globally with priceless, self-explanatory information, news, and nonprofit technological resources. The site also offers mobile and social fundraising.

The website makes it easy for NGOs, humanitarians, non-profit or charity organization to use the online media as a channel of communication and a tool for good social relations. Some of the services the site offers to Charities include:

  • Free technology webinars
  • Technological training
  • Sponsorship
  1. Ethical Journalism Network

The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) is a global network created specifically to help improve the knowledge of media professionals about the right ethical codes of journalism and respect for human rights. The founder/CEO of EJNs is Aidan White.

However, he relinquished that role to Chris Elliott in April 2018.  The Ethical Journalism Network is a non-government organization, a registered charity organization and a  limited liability company in the UK.

The primary aim of EJNs is to uphold high ethical journalism standard and respect for human rights, especially freedom of expression. Thus, the EJN works to ensure the right to freedom of speech of journalists in any democratic environment.

The EJN does this by providing free educational materials to journalist and media professionals. Besides, EJN platform helps to reinforce and sustain ethical journalism practices globally.

They publish relevant research materials with the overall goal of creating journalism with the high ethical standard built on truth and accurate reporting.

  1. Nieman Lab

The Nieman Lab is established to work out the place of journalism and its future potential as the world gets increasingly internet driven.

The Internet has made easy access to information and global news possible. At the same time, it is also disrupting the standard of conventional journalism. Also, Journalists and media practitioners are laid off of from work while some have to adjust to a fundamentally new online media environment.

Nieman Journalism Lab was founded by Joshua Benton in 2008 to help reporters, editors and standard media organizations survive and adjust to online journalism.

  1. Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is a famous NGO that specializes in defending freedom of information as the fundamental human right. The organization management includes twenty-five governors voted through secret balloting of the members.

RSF make educational recourses available in multiple languages and annually evaluate the level of freedom media freedom across 180 countries. They also organize protest and awareness campaigns to gain public and government support and offer protection to journalists and bloggers in trouble.

Reporters Without Borders

The NGO also offers insurance, information manuals and makes an emergency hotline available to freelancers and reporters in war-stricken environments.

Additionally, RSF provides legal assistance to media professionals in need of asylum. Besides, they offer yearly grants to independent media homes that are under threat.

  1. Access to Information Programme

Enforcing the right to information is the reason why Access to Information Programme (AIP) is established. The organization started in 1996. Since the creation, AIP continues to launch campaigns to improve freedom of information in Bulgaria and internationally.

Some of the works of AIP include:

  • Monitoring the laws about the freedom of information in Bulgaria and ensuring it conforms with the global standards.
  • AIP offers consultations on cases that relate to the right of access to information. They have currently handled roughly 6000 such cases.
  • Provision of legal aid to individuals who are fighting for freedom of speech and information
  • Creation of public awareness on the right of freedom of data using the media.
  • They also organize seminars, discussion groups, and talks on access to information. AIP organizes training on freedom of information.

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