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Colección:
La Educación
Número: (121) II
Año: 1995

EXCHANGE AND CIRCULATION OF INFORMATION

In the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, substantial growth has occurred in the process of strengthening the exchange of experiences and wealth of information resulting from diverse actions at all educational levels. A common criticism in the educational sector, as well as in the socio-political and economic sectors, is that many of the endeavors implemented at the experimental stage are not efficiently disseminated. This delay not only impedes the possibility of achieving success and obstructs the adoption of sucessful strategies, but also hinders the identification of the areas that are not adequately served.

In this framework, an effective instrument for disseminating information is the process of consolidating information systems into organized networks, databases and other mechanisms. These systems could present the results of educational material gathered on a daily basis by governmental and nongovernmental organizations and make it available for use by both national and international organizations.

This exchange and dissemination of specialized information facilitates the identification of offers, demands and resources for specific needs and constitutes, at the same time, a new field of regional cooperation for development. In addition to the INTERNET—which has extensive and well-known diffusion capabilities—we would like to mention the advances of the Inter-American Network of Information and Documention in Education (REDUC), a network that initiated its informational services at the beginning of the 1970s.

In this issue of La Educación, the Regional Program for Educational Development (PREDE) of the Executive Secretariat for Education, Science and Culture of the OAS, presents a joint venture undertaken with the Center for Research and Development of Education (CIDE), with Headquarters in Chile, to make available to the international educational community a selection of Analytical Summaries in Education (RAEs) that summarize the studies and research carried out annually in the Region. As pointed out by Toro and Petty in an article included in this issue, the network is a type of systematic memory of the Latin American educational experience that is capable of presenting the principle problems faced by the Region in education, the level of expertise that has been achieved to date in trying to solve them, and the nature of actions still required.

We should also mention that as part of the activities of the Information Systems of CIECC (INFOCIECC), a program designed to contribute to the gathering, exchange and diffusion of specialized information, a Manual for the Training of Information Analysts has been published. It is hoped that this manual will serve as a self-teaching guide to develop the abilities and skills needed to systematize the information produced in the countries of the Region for subsequent incorporation into the existing electronic networks.

The Editorial Advisory Committee of La Educación hopes that both contributions will advance the development of an integral information system. This system will optimize the technical and operational management of educational systems in the Region in order to improve, strengthen and consolidate the abilities of new democratic societies to meet the challenges posed by the new century.

The Editor