The growing imperative for openness in education systems in the developing world


This presentation will explore how significant global developments, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have increased the imperative for openness in education systems in the developing world and how this can be supported through effective use of OERs and implementation of the strategies presented in UNESCO's OER Recommendation. It will illustrate how current thinking about OER policies and open licensing limits this potential for openness and how we might approach OER policy development differently to respond to these imperatives.

Biography [Neil Butcher]

Neil Butcher is based in South Africa, from where he has provided policy and technical advice and support to a range of national and international clients regarding educational planning, uses of educational technology and distance education, both as a full-time employee at the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) from 1993 to 2001 and as Director of Neil Butcher & Associates since then. He has worked with various educational institutions (including UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning), assisting with transformation and research efforts that focus on effectively harnessing the potential of distance education methods, educational technology, and OER. Neil has travelled extensively through the developing world conducting research on educational policy, higher education, TVET, distance education, education management information systems, and educational technology for a range of organizations, governments, and donors. He works with OER Africa as the project's OER Strategist and is also currently consulting to the World Bank on a range of project activities across Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.