LIDA supports the strengthening of library and information services in developing countries and emerging economies by working in partnership with country stakeholders and development agencies. It has special expertise in the transformation of library services and dissemination of local content in the digital era.
Toward this goal, team members have worked on projects and programmes funded by the Asian Development Bank, Department for Information Development (DFID) UK, European Development Fund, EU TACIS, EU TEMPUS, Mellon Foundation, Open Society Institute and the World Bank. In total, this work has supported the more effective deployment of over £25 million to libraries across the world. During 2006-7 MDR provided consultancy services to the Global Libraries programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is currently working on a Library Landscape Study in China funded by the Foundation through the World Bank. During 2009-11 it was funded by the Government of Namibia to compile an updated new library policy document for the Republic of Namibia, based on a comprehensive assessment of the current situation.
The countries with the LIDA team have worked in this context include: Angola, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lao PDR, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ukraine and Uganda in addition to all of the Member States of the European Union and SouthEast Europe (including Albania and the new nations of the former Yugoslavia). Currently they are participating in the Future Library project in Greece.
Through LIDA, MDR is especially well-placed to share experiences and best practices of usable and appropriate knowledge and expertise with developing countries. MDR's work in ICT research, development and implementation in EU-funded libraries projects and networks such as CALIMERA, PULMAN and EuropeanaLocal can be particularly relevant and transferable.