Monthly Archives: November 2012

The role of the researcher in policy making – thoughts from the recent PLAAS conference
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I attended the Politics of poverty research symposium organised by PLAAS.  It was a great space to discuss some of the tensions inherent in the use of evidence in policy making and explore how those tensions affect researchers (particularly social science researchers) and policy makers.  Reflecting on some of the discussions from the conference a few points struck me about the role of the researcher in the policy making process which I thought would be worth sharing.

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ePosters are innovative, interactive and inclusive
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I attended the Berlin10 conference in South Africa a couple of weeks ago. The theme was ‘Networked scholarship in a networked world: Participating in Open Access’. Following Open Access Week in October and the INASP’s Open Access Competition — see Anne Powell’s post ‘Open Access 2012‘ for more information — it seemed like a poster at Berlin 10 would be a brilliant way to share some of the achievements.

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Mind the gap
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I was recently asked this question: ‘Can you think of a situation when gender mattered to you?’ It was a very difficult question to answer because until a few months ago, I never really thought about the importance of gender. To me it meant filling in a box on a form, or a consideration when selecting participants for our workshops. I never considered what it meant to be a woman in my own society and I rarely thought about what it meant to be female in the countries INASP works with.  Then I was asked to develop our gender strategy. I started reading up on the subject, attended a gender analysis and planning course and reviewed the 2012 World Economic Forum Gender Gap report.  I realised how little I knew about women in the countries we work with and even the country I live in.

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Needs assessments and self-fulfilling prophecies
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Jennifer Obado Joel, Research Associate, Centre for Public Policy Alternatives, Lagos Nigeria, currently a student in the MA Public Policy program at the Central European University, Budapest Hungary. After reading Alex’s post ‘Is it a needs assessment if you have already decided on your intervention?’, I would like to give my comments on questions raised by him. In my response, I write as a policy research analyst in the global south and also as a former applicant to one of the INASP grant programs.

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When marketing e-resources…
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This post was written by Ruth Gibendi. Ruth is currently the Senior Librarian at Meru University College of Science and Technology, Kenya, a constituent college of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She has shared her experience in marketing electronic resources and given us some excellent ‘top tips’. The information below is drawn from her own experience and similar experiences of colleagues at Strathmore University library. 

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