ICDE OER Advocacy Committee hosted a Webinar on the UNESCO OER forthcoming recommendations, June 7, 2019

Contributed by: Ebba Ossiannilsson     ICDE OER Advocacy Committee   , Chair and Ambassador

Contributed by: Ebba Ossiannilsson
ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, Chair and Ambassador

The ICDE OER Advocacy Committee (OERAC) work to increase global recognition of OER, and to provide policy support for the uptake, use and reuse of OER. From May 2018, Professor, Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson was appointed as Chair for the committee. ICDE launched the committee for the global advocacy of OER as a reinforcement and support to the ICDE Chairs in OER.

 This webinar on 7 June 2019 was a follow-up to the UNESCO OER recommendations, discussed in Paris UNESCO Headquarters, at the Intergovernmental Special Committee 27 and 28 May 2019. Previously, the draft had been prepared for consultation with experts and expert organizations around the world. The OER response was also given to the global consultation on the UNESCO OER recommendations in cooperation with the ICDE OER Chairs. The recommendations will be published in November 2019.

The ICDE Ambassadors for Global Advocacy of the OER, and the UNESCO ICDE OER Chairs spoke and discussed the UNESCO OER's recommendations during the webinar hosted by the ICDE, and the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee. In addition, a recent global study from UNESCO on OER impacts, achievements, and challenges was presented. After the presentation, the audience was invited to ask questions and engage in dialogue. The webinar attracted around 65+ registered participants. Before the webinar, blog posts were published and the information about the event was frequently disseminated in social media.

 The Webinar Program on the 7th June, 2019 CET

·     Introduction and summary on the forthcoming UNESCO OER recommendations Ebba Ossiannilsson, Chair ICDE OERAC, SE

·     Recent global study on OER from UNESCO; Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges, Svetlana Knyazeva, UNESCO, Moscow, RU

·     A short round with comments on the forthcoming UNESCO OER recommendations from the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee: James Glapa-Grossklag, US; Ebba Ossiannilsson, SE; Xiangyang Zhang, China and.

·     A short round with comments from ICDE OER Chairs on the forthcoming UNESCO OER recommendations: Rory McGreal, CA; Agbu (Jane) Obiageli, Nigeria

·     Dialogue and questions with the audience 

Photos Ebba Ossiannilsson 7 June 2019

Photos Ebba Ossiannilsson 7 June 2019

The two OER Chairs participated in the UNESCO Paris Intergovernmental Special Committee and they reported on this event. An important issue was that there are support requirements from 100 member countries, and only about 60 attended the event, which is remarkable. Hopefully, the Member States will support the recommendations drawn upon on, so they become a reality.

The five main recommendations are:

•       Build the capacity of stakeholders to find, re-use, create and share OER

•       Develop supportive policy

•       Ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality OER

•       Nurture the creation of sustainability models for OER

•       Facilitate international co-operation

During the expert meeting the definitions on OER and Open License were updated:


Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research material in any format and medium that resides in the Public Domain or are under the copyright that has been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, reuse, repurpose, adaptation and redistribution by others.

Open license

Open license refers to a license that respects the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner and provides permissions granting the public the rights to access, re-use, re-purpose, adapt, and redistribute educational materials.


Short summary of important dates for OER

•       2002 OER was coined at UNESCO’s Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries

•       2012 Paris Declaration

•       2017 Ljubljana Declaration from awareness to action

•       2019 UNESCO OER Recommendations


About the Speakers

ICDE OER Advocacy Committee

Ebba Ossiannilsson, Consultant and VP, Swedish Association of Distance Education (SADE), ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, Chair, ICDE Ambassador for the global advocacy of OER, Sweden

James Glapa-Glossklag, Dean and Treasurer of the Board, College of the Canyons and Open Education Consortium, ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, ICDE Ambassador for the global advocacy of OER, US

Xiangyang Zhang, Open University of Jiangsu, ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, ICDE Ambassador for the global advocacy of OER China


The ICDE Chairs in Open Educational Resources (OER) is a network that, where possible, works in collaboration with UNESCO and existing UNESCO Chairs in OER.

Dr. Rory McGreal, Athabasca University, Canada, UNESCO-COL Chair in OER

Dr. Jane-Frances Obiageli Agbu, the National Open University of Nigeria, ICDE OER Chair, Nigeria


Svetlana Knyazeva, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Chief of Unit of Digital Pedagogy and Learning Materials, Russia

More info about the event


About the OER Advocacy Committee

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