The 2019 Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (UNESCO, 2019) has called on member states, and educational systems and institutions therein, to develop supportive policies to foster open education (OE). We understand OE policies as
“written or unwritten guidelines, regulations and strategies which seek to foster the development and implementation of Open Educational Practices, including the creation and use of Open Educational Resources. Through such policies, governments, institutions and other organisations allocate resources and orchestrate activities in order to increase access to educational opportunity, as well as promote educational quality, efficiency and innovation.” (Authors, 2020)
As open education is a democratic and participatory movement representing a wide range of practices, we suggest that development of such policies requires an appropriate community-led approach. UNESCO (2019) has called for the development of frameworks to develop OER, allocation of resources for policy implementation, creation of communities of practice and fostering of recognition mechanisms.
The authors will provide an overview of their guidelines, building on a range of sources drawn from research literature, Open Education (OE), Open Government and policy actors, to support institutions and governments in the development of OE policies. Our particular focus is on the policymaking process, particularly the adoption of co-creation mechanisms in order to advance an open and collaborative culture and foster a paradigm of participation.
Governments willing to adopt a co-creation approach to foster policymaking, need to consider the principles of public innovation and participation to produce inclusive policies, while institutions can adopt a co-creation approach to foster openness to benefit their own community and embrace a sustainable development approach to ensure wider impact of their research and resources. We contend that the adoption of this approach to foster OE policymaking can empower education communities by infusing policy with a sense of shared responsibility and ownership.