Abstract - The Information Society 2 (1)

Information-Policy Problems in Developing Countries

John C Gray

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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