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.

The UNESCO OER Recommendation

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

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, create, 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.

OER and the Pacific Partnership for Open, Distance and Flexible Learning

The Pacific Partnership for Open Distance and Flexible Learning is supporting Commonwealth Small Island Developing States with the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

Specifically, the initiative is supporting the Pacific region in two ways:

Image attribution:

Teacher and students from Caritas Technical Secondary School, East Boroko, Pupua New Guinea, published by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.