In May 2021, Dr Cécile Coulibaly, EIFL Country Coordinator in Côte d'Ivoire, represented Côte d'Ivoire at the Intergovernmental special committee meeting related to the drafting of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
The draft text of the Recommendation was examined by technical and legal experts, designated by Member States. Dr Coulibaly was nominated to participate in the meeting by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The intergovernmental special committee meeting was part of a global dialogue to build consensus on Open Science towards the development of a UNESCO Recommendation, the first international standard-setting instrument on Open Science. Iryna Kuchma, Manager of the EIFL Open Access Programme, is one of 30 international experts appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO to serve on the Open Science Advisory Committee that provided expertise and strategic advice to the consultative process and prepared the first draft Recommendation.
Dr Coulibaly played an active role throughout the four-day meeting, making proposals for amendments to the text of the draft Recommendation, answering questions from other delegates and providing clarifications.
In particular, one important proposal made by Dr Coulibaly in the area of fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science was adopted - the importance of exceptions to copyright and other intellectual property (IP) rights for research and educational uses that allow distribution and re-use of protected material (including derivatives). This amendment stresses the role of existing flexibilities in the IP system that support and promote open science.
The online meeting, which took place on 6-7 and 10-12 May, brought together 230 experts from 106 countries. After four days of deliberation, the draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was adopted by consensus. The text of the Recommendation will now be submitted to the UNESCO General Conference, for final adoption by UNESCO Member States in November 2021.
Dr Coulibaly is Deputy Director in charge of Research at the Université Virtuelle de Côte d'Ivoire (UVCI). She coordinates the national open access repository hosted by the UVCI, with a mandate from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and drives national implementation of the Open Science Roadmap in Côte d'Ivoire.
Read more in the UNESCO news item, Draft Recommendation on Open Science on its way to final adoption.