The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) and the UN Interim Fund on Science and Technology for Development cooperated
to review the progress and problems of developing library and information services
in 8 countries. Before inception of this project in 1981, developing countries
sought to build up library and information services, but neither they nor the
organizations that helped them analyzed progress and failure on a significant
level. The countries studied were: 1. Colombia, 2. Costa Rica, 3. Jordan, 4.
Kenya, 5. Republic of Korea, 6. Malaysia, 7. Morocco, and 8. Nigeria. With the
help of national liaison officers, a team of information specialists reviewed
relevant information and held interviews with citizens involved in the production,
exchange, and use of information for economic and social development. The experts
concluded that urgent action was needed to increase the high-level administrative
commitment to information policy, to build up national capabilities for identifying
and developing potentially useful services, and to promote their effective use.
They recommended initially that these and related issues be discussed at a series
of regional, subregional, and national meetings at a high administrative level,
placing emphasis on the development of national policies and plans that could
improve the problems uncovered.
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