Call for participation to new Policy Committee for Global Advocacy of OER


ICDE invites members to sign up to indicate their interest for joining a new committee for the global advocacy of OER. The committee will be led by Paul Bardack, the Chair Emeritus of the United States Distance Learning Association. The Committee will work to be an advocate for OER, to increase global recognition of OER and to provide policy support for the use and reuse of OER.

The ICDE Executive Committee has established a policy committee for the global advocacy of OER as a reinforcement and support to the ICDE OER Chairs. Paul Bardack, the Chair Emeritus of the United States Distance Learning Association, has agreed to serve as the first Chairperson of that Committee. The Committee will work to be an advocate for OER; to increase global recognition of OER; and to provide policy support for the use and reuse of OER.

At the Visionary Leadership Forum to be held in Paris 24 May 2017, Mr. Bardack will set forth his vision for the new Committee. It is a vision which will include serving as a think tank for the OER community; as a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of relevant OER best practices and lessons learned; and as an advocate for OER, helping to transform research into practical, hands on public policy recommendations to UNESCO member nations and others. 

We are therefore now inviting ICDE members to indicate their interest to join the new Committee, both to shape its strategic direction as advisors and to help it fulfil its mission as active participants. Members will be deemed ICDE Ambassadors for OER.

If you are interested in participating in this exciting new initiative, please send your application to Mr. Bardack at by 21 June 2017.

Practical guidelines

  • No budget is allocated. All advocacy activities are based on volunteer work in line with the ICDE OER Chairs Concept.

  • Applications for a membership in the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee can be made by an expert ICDE member that has a record and capacity to contribute to significant advocacy for OER.

  • Members are appointed as ICDE OER Ambassadors by the ICDE Executive Committee for a limited term until end 2019.


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 4 is designed to: “Ensure [by 2030] inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

To be sure, there are numerous challenges to the realization of this objective, as well as numerous opportunities.  These include growing penetration of digitalization throughout the world; increased convergence in teaching methodologies among online, blended, open, flexible, technology enhanced, and eLearning; disparities among the world’s nations in their embrace of open and distance education; widespread unemployment and poverty; lack of relevant technological, financial, and human resources; inconsistent accreditation policies; new developments in OER and MOOCs; the rise of personalized instruction; and cultural impediments, including gender-based and other forms of discrimination.

The ICDE Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020 established a number of prioritized, specific objectives to help make SDG #4 a reality, among them:  enhancing global networking to share knowledge and insights of ICDE members worldwide; providing guidance to digital, open, and flexible educators; creating a clearinghouse to gather and share best global OER and related practices, including quality standards; monitoring and noting trends within open and distance education; and recommending policies to governments and others for visionary leadership for digital transformation.