The OSIAF-Armenia Information Program aims to build information society and knowledge-based economy by providing it with access to electronic and print information, enhancing flow and exchange of information, promoting new educational methods, encouraging lifelong education and distance learning, modernizing libraries, introducing and enforcing international standards in the legal regulation of the information and communication technologies. The program cooperates with other OSIAF-Armenia programs such as Mass Media, Higher Education Support, Civil Society and Arts & Culture Programs in the area of web content development. At the same time, the Information program has the following global objectives:
Electronic Content & Tool Development
ICT tools for civil society and local content development support
In 2006, the Foundation supported localization of KDE desktop environment and release of its beta version. The Foundation promotes KDE localization as well as localization of other FOSS products such us Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird as a step towards introducing Linux as viable solution for educational institutions, NGOs and state organizations.
As part of Foundation strategy for FOSS development and ICT tools creation in local language, the Foundation supported continuation of English-Armenian-English online translator project. The first stage of software development is finished. The online translator, which is available on www.translator.am, will provide online English – Armenian translation services and wider online content for non-English speaking Armenian Internet users. Currently the translator is available on the web in testing mode and provides translation with 70 % accuracy.
To address the electronic information and online communication needs of the user community, the program supported creation of online content within other Foundation’s programs. Media portals and web sites for media entities supported by the Foundation serve as effective tools for horizontal news exchange and integration of the regions into the information sphere both within and outside the country.
One of the achievements in 2006 is the establishment of the Center of Information Law and Policy (CIPL) NGO on the basis of GIPI project. In the first year of operation, CILP’s activities have been focused on cooperation with the Council of Europe’s Group of Specialists on Human Rights in Information Society. CILP/GIPI carried out comparative analysis of Armenian information legislation and policy, which became a part of the assessment of the implementation of the Council of European Declaration on Freedom of Communication in Internet by the member states.
Moreover, CILP/GIPI has been actively involved in promotion of open source software. Activities related to promotion of open source software and popularization of open source products included:
- roundtable discussion of open source policy issues with representatives of IT companies, public institutions and relevant non-for-profit organizations;
- survey of software policy and level of open source penetration in public sector (public administration bodies, educational institutions and NGOs);
- Roundtable discussions of open source survey results and key issues of open source policy.
Within the framework of East East program, a two-day conference was held in Yerevan, which was devoted to development of effective open source policy in Armenia. The participants of the conference were Armenian and East European information policy-makers, as well as representatives of educational and non-for-profit organizations. During the conference, representatives of partner organizations presented the experience of popularization of open source and development of effective open source policy. The conference follow-up activities included development of policy recommendations aimed at promoting wider penetration of open source in Armenia.