The OER Dynamic Coalition was launched by UNESCO to support the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation. The OER Foundation and New Zealand’s UNESCO Chair in OER are active partners of this global coalition.

The UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition is composed of experts from Member States, with a focus on UNESCO National Commissions, Intergovernmental Organisations, UNESCO Category 2 Centres, specialised institutions, civil society and the private sector. The Coalition aims to expand and consolidate commitments to actions in the area of OER, and to promote and reinforce international cooperation among all relevant stakeholders.

Specifically, the OER Foundation has joined forces with UNESCO and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) to promote the delivery of five OER-based online micro-courses to support capacity building and to promote multilingual delivery of these courses in different languages through the OERu.

The UNESCO OER Recommendation

The UNESCO OER recommendation was adopted unanimously by member states at the 40th UNESCO General Conference in November 2019.

Definitions

OER: (Open Educational Resources) are defined by UNESCO as learning, teaching, and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or under copyright but released under an open license that permits no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation, and redistribution by others.

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.

Overview 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 Recommendation adopted by member states

The five areas of action of the OER recommendation

  1. Build the capacity of stakeholders to find, re-use, creat, adapt and share OER; 
  2. Develop supportive policy for OER; 
  3. Ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality OER; 
  4. Nurture the creation of sustainability models for OER; and
  5. Facilitate international cooperation in OER.

Significance of the OER recommendation for education

The adoption of the OER Recommendation has the potential to add particular momentum to the realisation of SDG4 (quality education), which is at the heart of achieving many of the other sustainable development goals. There is now sufficient evidence to support the view that by exploiting the inherent economies of scale of open access, open licensing, open content, open pedagogy and open source technologies, the implementation of OER-based initiatives could lay the firm foundation for a much-needed new and sustainable business model for national education systems at all levels. Such a commitment is not only critical to the advancement of developing countries, but is equally pertinent to overcoming the fiscal constraints now confronting developed countries on a global scale.