Projekt "Freie Information für Entwicklungsländer"

1. Einleitung

herausgegeben von Margarete und Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Projekt "Freie Information für Entwicklungsländer" / hrsg. von Margarete und Alois Payer. -- 1. Einleitung. -- Fassung vom 2001-06-21. -- URL: -- [Stichwort].

Erstmals publiziert: 2001-06-21


Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung "Einführung in Entwicklungsländerstudien", HBI Stuttgart, 2000

Unterrichtsmaterialien (gemäß § 46 (1) UrhG)

©opyright: Dieser Text steht der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung. Eine Verwertung in Publikationen, die über übliche Zitate hinausgeht, bedarf der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung der Herausgeberin.

Projekt, das von den Teilnehmern am Wahlpflichtfach "Entwicklungsländerstudien" an der HBI Stuttgart erarbeitet wird.

0. Übersicht

1. Grundlage: Agenda 21, Kapitel 40

Das Projekt "Freie Information für Entwicklungsländer" soll beitragen zur Verwirklichung von Kapitel 40 der Agenda 21, die 1992 von über  178 Regierungen an der United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilien, angenommen wurde:


40.1. In sustainable development, everyone is a user and provider of information considered in the broad sense. That includes data, information, appropriately packaged experience and knowledge. The need for information arises at all levels, from that of senior decision makers at the national and international levels to the grass-roots and individual levels. The following two programme areas need to be implemented to ensure that decisions are based increasingly on sound information:


A. Bridging the data gap

Basis for action

40.2. While considerable data already exist, as the various sectoral chapters of Agenda 21 indicate, more and different types of data need to be collected, at the local, provincial, national and international levels, indicating the status and trends of the planet's ecosystem, natural resource, pollution and socio-economic variables. The gap in the availability, quality, coherence, standardization and accessibility of data between the developed and the developing world has been increasing, seriously impairing the capacities of countries to make informed decisions concerning environment and development.

40.3. There is a general lack of capacity, particularly in developing countries, and in many areas at the international level, for the collection and assessment of data, for their transformation into useful information and for their dissemination. There is also need for improved coordination among environmental, demographic, social and developmental data and information activities.

40.4. Commonly used indicators such as the gross national product (GNP) and measurements of individual resource or pollution flows do not provide adequate indications of sustainability. Methods for assessing interactions between different sectoral environmental, demographic, social and developmental parameters are not sufficiently developed or applied. Indicators of sustainable development need to be developed to provide solid bases for decision-making at all levels and to contribute to a self-regulating sustainability of integrated environment and development systems.


40.5. The following objectives are important:

Means of implementation

B. Improving availability of information

Basis for action

40.17. There already exists a wealth of data and information that could be used for the management of sustainable development. Finding the appropriate information at the required time and at the relevant scale of aggregation is a difficult task.

40.18. Information within many countries is not adequately managed, because of shortages of financial resources and trained manpower, lack of awareness of the value and availability of such information and other immediate or pressing problems, especially in developing countries. Even where information is available, it may not be easily accessible, either because of the lack of technology for effective access or because of associated costs, especially for information held outside the country and available commercially.


40.19. Existing national and international mechanisms of information processing and exchange, and of related technical assistance, should be strengthened to ensure effective and equitable availability of information generated at the local, provincial, national and international levels, subject to national sovereignty and relevant intellectual property rights.

40.20. National capacities should be strengthened, as should capacities within Governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, in information handling and communication, particularly within developing countries.

40.21. Full participation of, in particular, developing countries should be ensured in any international scheme under the organs and organizations of the United Nations system for the collection, analysis and use of data and information.


Means of implementation

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000]

2. Copyright als Barriere

"It can be fairly estimated that 1/3, or about 20 million pages of UN material are very useful and contain solutions for 50% of basic world problems. Probably as much university and NGO material is as useful. Unfortunately, much of this UN information is copyrighted - and is either too expensive for developing countries, not available, or, if free, requires request or download processes that are too cumbersome for developing countries or for anyone interested to participate

There are several reasons why this knowledge is not being disseminated and combined as it should be

How could we expect people and governments to implement Agenda 21 and multinationals and local companies to comply to Agenda 21 if the information relating to solving global and local problems to the whole world is not made freely available? From ethical and UN mandatory point of view, all UN agencies publications have been paid for by humanity and belong to humanity in copyleft. It would not be acceptable that they remain too expensive and inaccessible for the majority of world's poorer countries and -for many useful out of print publications - that they would remain concealed as treasures in cellars or on microfiche.

The positive effects of releasing all UN Publications in Copyleft?

Once the electronic versions of the UN publications are freely available, universities and governments of all countries can start to massively translate these 30.000 UN publications to their local languages. This local availability will help convince local leaders, NGO and other agents to tackle basic poverty problems.

Many scientists, schools, NGO, decision takers and humanitarian entrepreneurs will be able to combine all this basic practical UN agencies information with local experience into online and low-cost cd-rom knowledge bases. This will help to rebuild their countries, adapt local legislation, foster sustainable education & development  etc ....

Each electronic UN agency publication should get a mention it can be used and redistributed freely for non-commercial purposes.

Seven [!] Best Examples in Copyright Policies

These should be applied on all publicly funded UN, Humanitarian and Development publications

  1. Family Planning Service Expansion and Technical Support Project (SEATS II). -- URL: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000: 

     "Copyright Policy: In accordance with USAID regulations, all SEATS publications may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission from the authors or publisher, provided that the recipient of the information does not copy, reproduce, distribute or adapt this  text for commercial gain, and provided further that the SEATS II Project, USAID, JSI and all correspondingaffiliated partners are credited as the sources on all copies, reproductions, and distributions"


  2. Population Council Publications [URL: . -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000 ]: 

    General Permissions Policy: Information from this Web site may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission from the authors or publisher, provided that the recipient of the information does not copy, reproduce, distribute or adapt this text for commercial gain, and provided further that the Population Council is credited as the source on all copies, reproductions, and distributions.

  3. The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction [URL: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000 ] publications are not copyrighted. The institute encourages the translation, adaptation and copying of materials for non-commercial use, providing an acknowledgement to IIRR is included.
  4. With the purpose of facilitating information transfer, permission is hereby given for reproducing the contents of this manual, with the condition that proper acknowledgements are made and two copies are sent to the publisher." - (Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center, a private volunteer organization based in the southern part of the Philippines)
  5. This manual may be reproduced and/or translated in part or in full without payment or royalty. Please give standard acknowledgment.  (Standard addition to each of the 148 Peace Corps ICE - Information Collection and Exchange publications [ -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000])
  6. Service  Delivery Guidelines  for Family Planning, Copyright 1996-by JHPIEGO Corporation . The material in this publication can be used or adapted freely by anyone. [URL: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000 ]


Statements from Kofi Annan and Dr Brundtland

We must pay tribute to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and recently Dr Brundtland for their pronouncements on the need for free and uncontrolled access to information and the importance of knowledge.

There should be more action from the UN agencies to implement this copyleft policies

  1.  Some words the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan delivered at the Global Knowledge Conference:

    "The great democratizing power of information has given us all the chance to effect change and alleviate poverty in ways we cannot even imagine today. With information on our side, with knowledge a potential for all, the path to poverty can be reversed.

    Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. We at the United Nations are convinced that information is a great democratizing power waiting to be harnessed to our global struggle for peace and development.

    We believe this because we are convinced that it is ignorance, not knowledge, that makes enemies of men. It is ignorance, not knowledge, that makes fighters of children. It is ignorance, not knowledge, that leads some to advocate tyranny over democracy. It is ignorance, not knowledge, that makes some think that human misery is inevitable. It is ignorance, not knowledge, that makes others say that there are many worlds, when we know that there is one.

    Information and freedom are indivisible. The information revolution is unthinkable without democracy, and true democracy is unimaginable without freedom of information. This is information’s new frontier, this is where the United Nations pledges its commitment, its resources and its strength."

  2. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Secretary General of the WHO on the Healthy Planet Conference of 18 June 1999

    We have learnt that we cannot hope for change towards  sustainable development without democracy, freedom of speech and access to information.

    And in other speeches of dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland

    More than a billion fellow human beings have been left behind in the health revolution. A lot more dedicated work is required for us to reach health for all.

    There is a need to be expanding the knowledge base that made the 20th century revolution in health possible

    The challenge now is to make sure that the information which is produced reaches those who make the critical decisions.

    The Arhus convention, advocated by WHO, states that ;"public participation and access to information are increasingly recognized as essential elements in making the much needed transition towards health-enhancing and sustainable forms of development, it further sets out essential elements for access to information held by public authorities, namely, a general presumption in favour of access

  3. The Arhus convention, advocated by WHO, states that ;"public participation and access to information are increasingly recognized as essential elements in making the much needed transition towards health-enhancing and sustainable forms of development, it further sets out essential elements for access to information held by public authorities, namely, a general presumption in favour of access

  4. Additionally, this request is all about chapter 40 of Agenda 21[URL: ] of the Rio declaration on sustainable development: (sharing) information for decision making which was greatly supported by all UN agencies

Your action

We are setting up a worldwide movement and petition to release all UN publications and publicly funded humanitarian and development information in copyleft.

Please contact us with your name, organization name and e-mail address if you would like to participate in organizing this action. Please send a mail to"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000]

3. Eine Alternative zum Copyright: Copyleft / Design Science Licence

"Applying Copyleft To Non-Software Information

by Michael Stutz,

(Note: this primer has been superceded by the Design Science Licence.)

First, what is Copyleft?

The entry for "copyleft" in the definitive hacker lexicon, the Jargon File, reads:
copyleft: /kop'ee-left/ [play on `copyright'] n. 1. The copyright notice (`General Public License') carried by GNU EMACS and other Free Software Foundation software, granting reuse and reproduction rights to all comers (but see also General Public Virus). 2. By extension, any copyright notice intended to achieve similar aims.

The idea of copyleft first originated with renowed MIT computer programmer Richard Stallman in 1983 when he started the GNU project. In brief, his goal was "to develop a complete free Unix-like operating system." As part of that goal, he invented and wrote the GNU General Public License, a legal construct that included a copyright notice but added to it (or, technically, removed certain restrictions), so its terms allowed for the freedoms of reuse, modification and reproduction of a work or its derivatives to be kept for all.

Normal copyright asserts ownership and identification of the author, as well as prevents the use of the author's name as author of a distorted version of the work; it also prevents intentional distortion of the work by others and prevents destruction of the work. But it also carries other restrictions -- such as restricting the reproduction or modification of a work.

Copyleft contains the normal copyright statement, asserting ownership and identification of the author. However, it then gives away some of the other rights implicit in the normal copyright: it says that not only are you free to redistribute this work, but you are also free to change the work. However, you cannot claim to have written the original work, nor can you claim that these changes were created by someone else. Finally, all derivative works must also be placed under these terms.

Why is Copyleft important, or even necessary?

Certain restrictions of copyright -- such as distribution and modification -- are not very useful to ``cyberia,'' the free, apolitical, democratic community that constitutes the internetworked digital world.

With computers, perfect copies of a digital work can easily be made -- and even modified, or further distributed -- by others, with no loss of the original work. As individuals interact in cyberia, sharing information -- then reacting and building upon it -- is not only natural, but this is the only way for individual beings to thrive in a community. In essence, the idea of copyleft is basic to the natural propogation of digital information among humans in a society. This is why the regular notion of copyright does not make sense in the context of cyberia.

Simple `public domain' publication will not work, because some will try to abuse this for profit and deprive others of freedom; as long as we live in a world with a legal system where legal abstractions such as copyright are necessary, as responsible artists or scientists we will need the formal legal abstractions of copyleft that ensure our freedom and the freedom of others.

Much literature has been written on this subject by Stallman, and the details can be found in the excellent texts published by the Free Software Foundation.

So why isn't the FSF's GNU GPL good enough?

It is good enough! The GNU GPL is not only a document of significant historical and literary value, but it is in wide use today for countless software programs -- those as formal part of the GNU project and otherwise. The GNU GPL originated for the specific goal of sharing software among computer programmers. However, looking closely at the GPL, it appears that the same License can be easily applied to non-software information.

Alternately, a document can be copylefted under different, or much simpler terms; whether or not the GNU GPL is the specific means to the end is not the issue, although the GNU GPL certainly provides the most explicit (and canonical) definition of copyleft.

Ok, so how do I copyleft my non-software work?

It's simple. While a particular situation may require or inspire its own specific License, possibly similar to the GNU GPL, all that a copyleft notice must really do is fulfill the points as defined above in "First, what is Copyleft?". Using the GNU GPL to copyleft your work is easy.

The GNU GPL states that it "applies to any program or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this General Public License," so this "Program," then, may not necessarily be a computer software program -- any work of any nature that can be copyrighted can be copylefted with the GNU GPL.

The GNU GPL references the "source code" of a work; this "source code" will mean different things for different kinds of information, but the definition of "source code" -- provided in the GNU GPL -- holds true in any case: "The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it."

The notices attached to the work can not always be attached "to the start of each source file," as recommended by the GNU GPL. In this case, the directory that the files reside should contain a notice, as should any accompanying documentation or literature.

Finally, for non-software works the "copyright" line included at the start of the "source code" of the work is modified in language slightly:

    <one line to give the work's name and a brief idea of what it does.>
    Copyright (C) 19yy  <name of author>

    This information is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This work is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this work; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Where do I go from here?

Here are sources for futher information on copyleft, especially as it is applied to non-software information:

The Free Software Foundation is the home of the GNU project and is the canonical source for copyleft and freely-distributable software.

Ram Samudrala wrote the Free Music Philosophy and creates freely-copiable music as the band Twisted Helices.

In November 1997, Mark Amerika wrote a column about copylefted works as the new literary renaissance, called "Copyleftists: Form and Action In the Network Environment ".

In May 1997, Richard Thieme published "Fractals, Hammers and Other Tools," a beautiful essay about fractals which relates it to the end of intellectual property in the cyberian age.

John Perry Barlow's "The Economy of Ideas" from Wired 2.03 gets it right -- that information is a verb, not a noun.

If you know of other non-software works which are released according to these terms, or if you choose to apply this to your own work, please send me mail at

Here are some things that I have copylefted: a novel, music reviews), images and music.

As of 23 Dec 97, this document is also available from the Free Software Foundation's Web site, at <>.

$Id: non-software-copyleft,v 1.5 2000/01/26 18:49:19 m Exp m $

Copyright © 1990-2000 Michael Stutz (; this information may be copied, distributed and/or modified under certain conditions, but it comes WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; see the Design Science License for the precise terms and conditions.

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000]

Copyleft and the Information Renaissance

One of the most important philosophical and social issues confronting humanity in the beginning of the 21st century is the sharing of information.

The working assumptions in the copyleft grand strategy are the following: data, or information, is not physical; data exists in constant relative abundance; computer software program "source code" is data; with the digital computer it became possible to make unlimited verbatim copies of information without disadvantage -- when you copy data, the original is neither changed nor destroyed. It became apparent that human expression and communication across digital computing networks is actioned through referencing, copying and sampling this weightless, non-physical data. For there to be a free society, any published data ought to be freely shareable -- contrary to current copyright law and assumptions of ``intellectual property.''

"Copyleft," in the popular usage of the term, means "a copyright notice that permits unrestricted redistribution and modification, provided that all copies and derivatives retain the same permissions."

Computing's free software movement was the first to use contract law to implement "copyleft" and other open-source style licenses for the sharing of software programs. However, these licenses only applied to software programs, and not any other kind of data; experiments were carried out to apply computer software licensing to non-software information, but eventually this "kludge" had to be replaced by a more graceful solution.

Meanwhile, other specialized licenses began to originate, for use only with certain special-case categories of works as recognized by copyright law. No current public, open source licensing addressed the issue of copylefting data in a generalized, comprehensive manner, regardless of its specialized use or application. So it was necessary to invent one.

The Design Science License

The Design Science License [8k text] is a copyleft-style license that you can use to "copyleft" any work that is recognized by copyright law. It is not a specialized license that only applies to certain kinds of works or subject matter, or only for the products of certain organizations, but it is a comprehensive, generalized license that anyone can use for any work recognized by copyright law. It also ensures that the attribution integrity of a work is kept.

Wendy Seltzer, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, gave an initial review of the license draft and provided her expertise and advice throughout the enitre process.

There has also been some review and discussion of the license on the linart mailing list.

While the idea is to have a free society where any license or copyright is unnecessary, and where anyone could share all published works for the common good with no sovereign-nation laws dictating who can say or use what in their expression or communication, in the meantime this "copyleft" licensing, already proven with the free/open source software movement, may help engineer this goal.

Supporting documents

(in production Jan 2000) Copyright © 1990-2000 Michael Stutz (; this information may be copied, distributed and/or modified under certain conditions, but it comes WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; see the Design Science License for the precise terms and conditions.

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000]


Copyright © 1999-2000 Michael Stutz  

Verbatim copying of this document is permitted, in any medium. 

0. PREAMBLE. Copyright law gives certain exclusive rights to the author of a work, including the rights to copy, modify and distribute the work (the "reproductive," "adaptative," and "distribution" rights). The idea of "copyleft" is to willfully revoke the exclusivity of those rights under certain terms and conditions, so that anyone can copy and distribute the work or properly attributed derivative works, while all copies remain under the same terms and conditions as the original. The intent of this license is to be a general "copyleft" that can be applied to any kind of work that has protection under copyright. This license states those certain conditions under which a work published under its terms may be copied, distributed, and modified. Whereas "design science" is a strategy for the development of artifacts as a way to reform the environment (not people) and subsequently improve the universal standard of living, this Design Science License was written and deployed as a strategy for promoting the progress of science and art through reform of the environment. 

1. DEFINITIONS. "License" shall mean this Design Science License. The License applies to any work which contains a notice placed by the work's copyright holder stating that it is published under the terms of this Design Science License. "Work" shall mean such an aforementioned work. The License also applies to the output of the Work, only if said output constitutes a "derivative work" of the licensed Work as defined by copyright law. "Object Form" shall mean an executable or performable form of the Work, being an embodiment of the Work in some tangible medium. "Source Data" shall mean the origin of the Object Form, being the entire, machine-readable, preferred form of the Work for copying and for human modification (usually the language, encoding or format in which composed or recorded by the Author); plus any accompanying files, scripts or other data necessary for installation, configuration or compilation of the Work. (Examples of "Source Data" include, but are not limited to, the following: if the Work is an image file composed and edited in 'PNG' format, then the original PNG source file is the Source Data; if the Work is an MPEG 1.0 layer 3 digital audio recording made from a 'WAV' format audio file recording of an analog source, then the original WAV file is the Source Data; if the Work was composed as an unformatted plaintext file, then that file is the the Source Data; if the Work was composed in LaTeX, the LaTeX file(s) and any image files and/or custom macros necessary for compilation constitute the Source Data.) "Author" shall mean the copyright holder(s) of the Work. The individual licensees are referred to as "you." 

2. RIGHTS AND COPYRIGHT. The Work is copyright the Author. All rights to the Work are reserved by the Author, except as specifically described below. This License describes the terms and conditions under which the Author permits you to copy, distribute and modify copies of the Work. In addition, you may refer to the Work, talk about it, and (as dictated by "fair use") quote from it, just as you would any copyrighted material under copyright law. Your right to operate, perform, read or otherwise interpret and/or execute the Work is unrestricted; however, you do so at your own risk, because the Work comes WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY -- see Section 7 ("NO WARRANTY") below. 

3. COPYING AND DISTRIBUTION. Permission is granted to distribute, publish or otherwise present verbatim copies of the entire Source Data of the Work, in any medium, provided that full copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty, where applicable, is conspicuously published on all copies, and a copy of this License is distributed along with the Work. Permission is granted to distribute, publish or otherwise present copies of the Object Form of the Work, in any medium, under the terms for distribution of Source Data above and also provided that one of the following additional conditions are met: (a) The Source Data is included in the same distribution, distributed under the terms of this License; or (b) A written offer is included with the distribution, valid for at least three years or for as long as the distribution is in print (whichever is longer), with a publicly-accessible address (such as a URL on the Internet) where, for a charge not greater than transportation and media costs, anyone may receive a copy of the Source Data of the Work distributed according to the section above; or (c) A third party's written offer for obtaining the Source Data at no cost, as described in paragraph (b) above, is included with the distribution. This option is valid only if you are a non-commercial party, and only if you received the Object Form of the Work along with such an offer. You may copy and distribute the Work either gratis or for a fee, and if desired, you may offer warranty protection for the Work. The aggregation of the Work with other works which are not based on the Work -- such as but not limited to inclusion in a publication, broadcast, compilation, or other media -- does not bring the other works in the scope of the License; nor does such aggregation void the terms of the License for the Work. 

4. MODIFICATION. Permission is granted to modify or sample from a copy of the Work, producing a derivative work, and to distribute the derivative work under the terms described in the section for distribution above, provided that the following terms are met: (a) The new, derivative work is published under the terms of this License. (b) The derivative work is given a new name, so that its name or title can not be confused with the Work, or with a version of the Work, in any way. (c) Appropriate authorship credit is given: for the differences between the Work and the new derivative work, authorship is attributed to you, while the material sampled or used from the Work remains attributed to the original Author; appropriate notice must be included with the new work indicating the nature and the dates of any modifications of the Work made by you. 

5. NO RESTRICTIONS. You may not impose any further restrictions on the Work or any of its derivative works beyond those restrictions described in this License. 

6. ACCEPTANCE. Copying, distributing or modifying the Work (including but not limited to sampling from the Work in a new work) indicates acceptance of these terms. If you do not follow the terms of this License, any rights granted to you by the License are null and void. The copying, distribution or modification of the Work outside of the terms described in this License is expressly prohibited by law. If for any reason, conditions are imposed on you that forbid you to fulfill the conditions of this License, you may not copy, distribute or modify the Work at all. If any part of this License is found to be in conflict with the law, that part shall be interpreted in its broadest meaning consistent with the law, and no other parts of the License shall be affected. 


[$Id: dsl.txt,v 1.25 2000/03/14 13:14:14 m Exp m $] 

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000]

4. Zum Beispiel: The Humanity Libraries Project

"The Humanity Libraries Project of the NGO Global Help Projects is a network project of more than 100 partners. Its aim is to provide universal free or low-cost information access through co-operation between UN Agencies, Universities and NGO.

Enormous amounts of solutions and technical documents are available in many organizations. Some bottlenecks make it difficult for UN agencies or NGO to start dissemination through low cost cd-rom libraries or online libraries. Following resources and solutions are now available to all :

  1. The hybrid cd-rom/server Greenstone software will be made available free or at very low cost to NGO and agencies via our partner the New Zealand Digital Library research centre. Each cd-rom library is a powerful, user-friendly and Internet compatible search system. It allows simple and instant retrieval of multidisciplinary information
  2. The very important problem of copyright restrictions can be solved through a copyleft system
  3. The distribution problem can be tackled through co-operation in an open non-profit network between donors, UN agencies, Universities and NGO
  4. Peer review, feedback mechanisms and regular updating guarantee editorial quality
  5. Documents must be made available in digital form. A low cost logistic unit to digitize information at 1/3 of commercial cost is available,

Many organizations could create free or low-cost cd-rom libraries using this model of co-operation and exchange. Such low cost decentralised availability of the best multidisciplinary information and solutions will help many people in developing countries tackle their problems.

UN Agencies and NGO are invited to join the Humanity Libraries Project, to share information and publications, to support cd-rom creation and free distribution to developing countries, or to copy us and to use our know-how. Please contact us for more information.

A model to release 20 million pages of essential humanitarian and development information to developing countries

It can be fairly estimated that 1/3, or about 20 million pages of UN, and as much University and NGO material are very useful. Those 20 million pages useful UN publications probably contain about 50% of solutions for major World problems. This information must be released in digital format for non-profit redistribution in all countries.

This is technically feasable within 12 to 18 months. The Humanity Development Library for Sustainable Development and Basic Human Needs edited by the Humanity Libraries Project contains +/- 0.5 to 1% of this -mainly NGO- material or the equivalent of 1.230 publications/ 160.000 pages / 340 kg of useful books and newsletters on a single CD-ROM of 25 grammes. It is available free online on http// and soon on many servers in developed and developing countries. It is also available free or at very low cost (2.5 to 6 US$ per cd-rom) for redistribution in developing countries.

Thus the HDL is a model for a collaborative non-profit information resource developed at low cost and made available to all. We invite UN agencies, NGO and Universities to copy this concept and to disseminate their information in a similar way to developing countries.

Once a critical distribution mass is reached and copyrights restrictions lifted, this knowledge will be partially translated, reviewed, transformed and complemented by local universities and interpreters. This will help many people to access solutions to meet their basic human needs.

 The NGO Global Help Projects

The goal of the NGO Global Help Projects vzw, a non profit organization located in Belgium, of its Humanity Libraries Project, and of the networks it participates in, is to try to contribute in:

  1. Providing necessary Basic Needs Information, know-how and education for as many people as possible;
  2. Meeting the Basic Material Needs (food, clothing, health care, medication, accommodation etc.) of all through the concept of a planetary Basic Human Needs Industry. By providing the basic goods and efficient sustainable basic needs production tools for the poorest people;
  3. The respect of the Natural, Legal, Moral and Spiritual values & rights (such as the environment, democracy, human rights, etc. as defined and internationaly agreed through the United Nations charters and agreements) ; and ultimately the free and responsable participation of each individual, institution and private company in our planetary preservation and well-being.

Collaboration to create CD-ROMS, Contacts and Web Site

We welcome collaboration to create cd-roms and digital libraries in humanitarian and development fields. We will share our low-cost resources and know-how. The Greenstone software of our partner the New Zealand Digital Library Project will be made available free in public domain in a few months. This will allow hundreds of organizations, NGO and universities to compile their own collections. We also offer turn-key solutions to create low-cost humanitarian and development digital libraries for cd-rom and for Internet servers.

Address :
Humanity Libraries Project
c/o Global Help Projects vzw & HumanityCD Ltd
Oosterveldlaan 196
B-2610 Antwerp, BELGIUM
Tel : 32-3-448.05.54 - Fax : 32-3-449.75.74

General e-mail :

Humanity Libraries Project Web Sites :

Alphabetical list of partners and organizations sharing publications :

4.1. Humanity Development Library

Humanity development library = HDL : for sustainable development and basic human needs. -- Version 2.0. -- Antwerp : Global Help Projects, 1998. -- 1 CD-ROM. -- [Enthält 800 Bücher, Reports und Broschüren sowie 430 Zeitschriften, insgesamt ca. 160.000 S. von Publikationen von mehr als100 Organisationen (z.B. FAO, gtz, Oxfam, Peace Corps, SKAT, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, World Bank); unentbehrlich!]. -- {Sie können diese CD-ROM für 30$ hier bestellen:}

Online zugänglich: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"The Humanity Development Library 2.0 contains more than 1.230 publications (160.000 pages) to help solve poverty, to increase human potential, and to provide education to all. We invite your organization to become a partner of this Humanity Libraries Project. We welcome your editorial cooperation and/or your contribution as a local distributor.

In co-operation with GTZ-GATE this HDL 2.0 also contains the Environmental Handbook, and the French and Spanish versions : Manuel sur l'environnement and Guia de protección ambiental.

A beginning of the Spanish version of the HDL 2.0 can be accessed through : "El comienzo de la versión en Español de esta biblioteca ."

4.2. Medical and Health Library

Online zugänglich: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"This CD-ROM library 1.0 contains 210 publications (35,000 pages) in the field of Medicine and Health.

The final objective of this cooperative project is to provide those active in the areas of Health, Medical care, Nutrition and Basic Needs with access to a free or low-cost CD-ROM library containing most multidisciplinary insights and solutions they need to help tackle local Health problems.

This humanitarian project is implemented in cooperation with numerous organizations and agencies. We invite many more development organizations to become partners, to share their useful publications and to participate in the distribution and other aspects of this joint project.

Apriete aqui para ir al comienzo de la Biblioteca Medica y de Salud en Español"


4.3. Food and Nutrition Library

Online zugänglich: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"This CD-ROM library 1.0 contains 260 publications (28,000 pages) in the field of food and nutrition. The objective of this cooperative project is to provide those involved in the areas of food, nutrition, and basic needs with a comprehensive library of multidisciplinary insights and solutions to help solve poverty and malnutrition.

This humanitarian project is implemented in cooperation with numerous organizations and agencies. We invite many more development organizations to share their useful publications and to participate in the distribution and other aspects of this joint project."


4.4. Collection on Critical Global Issues

Online zugänglich: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"This UNU Press Collection contains 206 publications (32,000 pages) in the fields of environment, development and food and nutrition."


4.5. World Environmental Library

Online zugänglich: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"The World Environmental Library 1.0 contains more than 400 publications (45,000 pages). The objective of this cooperative project is to provide those involved in the areas of environment with access to a free or low-cost CD-ROM library containing most multidisciplinary solutions they need to help tackle the pressing global problems.

This environmental project is implemented in cooperation with numerous organizations and agencies. We invite many more development organizations to share their useful publications and to participate in the distribution and other aspects of this joint project.

Also Included in this CD-ROM is the the Environmental Manual for Power Development (EM), a new software tool to study environmental aspects in the decision process of energy projects. Please click here to download and install this software tool."


4.6. Bibliothèque pour le Développement Durable

Online zugänglich: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"Ce CD-ROM Bibliothèque pour le Développement Durable et les Besoins Essentiels est une coproduction entre l'ONG Global Help Projects / Humanity CD-ROM Libraries et le Payson Center for International Development and Technology Transfer de l'Université de Tulane, en collaboration avec UNESCO Publica, GRET et des dizaines d'ONG.

Nous mettons à la disposition un choix de documents d'informations utiles sur le développement et les besoins humains essentiels. Plus de 35.000 pages sont réparties en thèmes que vous pouvez découvrir sous le bouton "sujets". Nous invitons les ONG, Universités, et les Départements Gouvernementaux de nous joindre et de partager leurs publications dans un objectif non lucratif. Le but est de créer une bibliothèque CD-ROM contenant 3000 à 5000 livres / 400.000 pages d'informations essentielles et qui pourra être ajoutée à chaque ordinateur en Afrique."


5. Zum Beispiel: Virtual Disaster Library

Online zugänglich in Englisch: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

Online zugänglich in Spanisch: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"You are consulting Version 1 of the electronic collection of disaster documents and publications developed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in collaboration with the Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID) and the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR).

This collection is the centerpiece of the new Virtual Disaster Library (VDL) that will create a "virtual space" to house technical and scientific disaster information sources and resources and distribute them on CDROM. The principal features of this VDL include:

The VDL’s partner and "big brother" is the Virtual Health Library (VHL) created by BIREME, the Pan American Health Organization’s Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information. Several of the tools and methodologies created by BIREME are, or will be used to develop the Virtual Disaster Library. You can visit the BIREME website at or send an email message to to find out more on the VHL.

For more information on the Virtual Disaster Library, visit the website of PAHO’s Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Program at or send an email message to ."

"This first edition of the Virtual Disaster Library contains more than 250 publications, in English and Spanish, on disaster preparedness, mitigation and response. Although these publications are oriented toward the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, they are also of interest to and useful for all countries worldwide.

The majority of this collection is made up of material published by the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Program of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) during the past 20 years. Specifically it includes:

The VDL’s collection is completed with a number of publications of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) and the National Emergency Commission of Costa Rica (CNE):

All the documents are available in HTML format (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and most of them are also in PDF (Portable Document Format). PDF was added for the purpose of preserving the document’s original format, especially when the document is no longer available in its printed version.

Searches can be made by pre-selected subjects (see "Subject" list), by words in a title, by words in any part of the document (string searches), and by the name of the publisher."

Schlagwortliste Englisch:

6. Zum Beispiel: The New Zealand Digital Library

URL: -- Zugriff am 24.4.2000

"The New Zealand Digital Library project is a research programme at The University of Waikato whose aim is to develop the underlying technology for digital libraries and make it available publicly so that others can use it to create their own collections.

Our web site provides several document collections, including historical documents, humanitarian and development information, computer science technical reports and bibliographies, literary works, and magazines. All are available over the Web, and can be accessed through searching and browsing interfacees provided by the Greenstone digital library software. Behind the query interface lies a huge collection providing gigabytes of information. We hope you find what you want, or at least something intriguing!

The Greenstone software

The Greenstone Digital Library software provides a new way of organizing information and making it available over the Internet or on CD-ROM. It is open-source software, available under the terms of the Gnu public license.

A digital library is made up of a set of collections. Each collection of information comprises several (typically several thousand, or even several million) documents, which share a uniform searching and browsing interface. Collections can be organized in many different ways while retaining a strong family resemblance.

Our research

 The goal of our research program is to explore the potential of internet-based digital libraries. Our vision is to develop systems that automatically impose structure on anarchic, uncatalogued, distributed repositories of information, thereby providing information consumers with effective tools to locate what they need and to peruse it conveniently and comfortably.

Project members are actively working on techniques for creating, managing, and and mainatining collections; extracting metadata from legacy documents; analysing library usage and user needs; Maori, Arabic and Chinese language systems; internationalising the library interface; optical music recognition and musical collections; novel interfaces for formulating queries and visualising results; novel interfaces for browsing metadata; text mining for keyphrases, acronyms, and other metadata; keyphrase extraction and phrase-based browsing; and other research topics.

Our affiliates

Global Help Projects is a registered charity responsible for the Humanity Libraries Project that provides universal low-cost information access through co-operation between UN Agencies, universities and NGOs. Global Help Projects collaborate extensively with the NZDL project, and use the Greenstone software.

DigiLib Systems Limited is an innovative software company that creates international digital libraries. As a major contributor to the Greenstone Digital Library Software they are able to build, customize, and extend digital libraries to meet exacting needs. Please contact them for an obligation free quote.

The following websites are among those currently using Greenstone, either to make their own collections available, or to mirror New Zealand Digital Library content. Some are still under development.

7. Systematik der Humanity Development Library

8. Schwerpunkt Frauen

8.1. HDL 06.00 Society, Culture, Community, Woman, Youth, Population