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1. Information Vaccination for Poverty Alleviation

The objective of Human Info NGO is an "Information Vaccination for Poverty Alleviation" through sharing of knowledge and open-source technology.

Human Info NGO is a Belgian Non-Governmental Organization. Its sister organization, World Information Transfer, is located in New York. We share a common purpose, which is to empower UN agencies, governments, governmental agencies, and humanitarian and development organizations with know-how, technology, open-source software and digital library solutions.

Our goal is to provide the poorest communities in the world with low-cost access to essential humanitarian and development information on a massive scale. We want everyone involved in development and basic needs to have access to complete libraries containing the solutions and knowledge they need to tackle poverty and increase human potential in their countries. We view access to information in much the same way as mass public health vaccinations; both should be provided as an essential service.

We cooperate closely with the New Zealand Digital Library and UNESCO Information Society Division to make Greenstone software available in open source. This is the software used to create these libraries and for digital library collection development in general.

We have created specific technologies to increase free dissemination of information to developing countries. These include such things as automatic extraction of files from CD-ROMS and CD-ROMS that automatically copy themselves on as many PCs as needed. This has proved very useful in developing countries.

We offer all of this know-how to UN agencies, governments and humanitarian organizations. Our low-cost, high quality, "best practice" unit and a team of 45 collaborators in Romania are at your service, ready to create humanitarian CD-ROMs for your organization. Contact us for advice or know-how if you contemplate such projects or plans.

2. Essential information "at your fingertips"

Information for All is helping to carry out Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, that is, the sharing of information to solve problems and as an aid in decision making. Information is a powerful path to solving poverty and local development problems.

Putting essential information "at your fingertips" will help tackle poverty, help everyone involved make better decisions. Most of all, it will help solve local development and basic needs problems. These sorts of problems will only be solved when many people participate directly in the sustainable development of their countries. This requires sufficient and appropriate information, solutions and education on which to act.

3. History, administration and partners

3.1 History

Dr Michel Loots, a Medical Doctor, started this Project in 1992. Initially called the Humanity CD-ROM Project, its intent was to provide the poorest communities in the world with low-cost access to essential humanitarian and development information on a massive scale. The model for this idea is the way vaccinations are provided as an essential public health service. It has grown into a network project in which more than 100 partners are currently participating.

The Project is now known as the Human Info NGO. It works in partnership with its sister organization, World Information Transfer, an NGO member of the United Nations ECOSOC Council in New York. Dr Michel Loots, MD is director of Human Info NGO, as well as the logistic unit, HumanityCD, and the European chapter of World Information Transfer.

3.2 Administration

To achieve maximum result at the lowest possible cost, Human Info NGO has combined different mechanisms to increase effectiveness many fold. We mix professional, medical, public health and non-profit management dimensions as much as possible to reduce costs and to broaden the distribution potential and international solidarity.

3.3 Partners

Human Info NGO and its New York sister, World Information Transfer, work with 15 different UN agencies and hundreds of partners in developed and developing countries to create digital information collections.

Partners include FAO, WAICENT, UNDP, UNFPA, UNU, UNESCO, WHO, UNAIDS, PAHO, UNIFEM, GTZ, World Information Transfer, and more than other 100 NGO from 40 developing countries.

The New Zealand Digital Library Project has developed the Greenstone Digital Library software to create humanitarian and development libraries that can serve all of humankind.

4. Implementation in a cooperative setting

There is a need for a massive, low cost inoculation of knowledge similar to the universal polio vaccination campaign.

Many organizations and institutions possess essential information in the form of hundreds of valuable publications that could be added to cooperative, low-cost CD-ROM libraries. The way to succeed is to structure the program in a way that enables everyone to contribute creatively.

Human Info NGO removes the cost and resources limitations with a logistic cooperation concept. But our role is only one of the nodes in a network of many positive nodes.

5. Creation of libraries in local languages and adapted to local cultures

We invite many organizations, universities and governments to use our open source Greenstone software. They are free to copy or adapt our humanitarian concept to their local culture and languages so that they can provide low-cost basic Information for All.

Development and governmental agencies throughout the world can each help to create a huge, low-cost library by contributing essential publications and pooling them in an open humanitarian shareware setting.

This is why it is important for all agencies, governments, NGOs and individual authors to digitize their material and allow their information to be shared in a humanitarian network setting with low-cost redistribution. We are sharing our low-cost production capacity, resources and experience to make this happen. Contact us

6. Collaboration in creating CD-ROMS, contacts and Web sites

Your information dissemination projects in developing countries are very important. We would like to contribute in their success by sharing our experience and technology.

Human Info NGO offers its know-how and services to create CD-ROMs and digital libraries in humanitarian and development fields. We have a low-cost, high-quality, "best practice" unit, HumanityCD and a team of 45 collaborators in Romania at your service, ready to create humanitarian CD-ROMs for your organization.

Human Info NGO is also the Western European Office of World Information Transfer, Inc., NY, USA, an NGO in Consultative Status Level 1 with the United Nations ECOSOC. Please contact us regarding all of your information dissemination projects in developing countries.


Project Director: Dr Michel Loots, MD.

Address :
Human Info NGO /
Oosterveldlaan 196
B-2610 Antwerp, BELGIUM
Tel : 32-3-448.05.54 - Fax : 32-3-449.75.74
Director: Dr Michel Loots, MD

General e-mail:
info@humaninfo.org

Web Sites:
www.humaninfo.org
www.worldinfo.org

Thank you for your interest and cooperation.


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