Monthly Archives: April 2014

Publishers, Zanzibar and chimpanzees

Maaike Duine is leading on a pilot project entitled “Strengthening Indigenous Academic and Digital Publishing in Tanzania”. The project aims to increase the quality of academic publishing in Tanzania through the creation of a consortium of academic publishers and through training, skills development and capacity building. This is the second blog outlining her experiences working on the project. One of the first goals of the project is to get a clear picture of academic publishing in Tanzania. What kind of journals and books are being published? What knowledge is already available? In which areas of academic publishing is training necessary? What content is available online? In order to answer these questions, we are currently visiting publishers throughout Tanzania to carry out the needs assessment. Most academic journals in Tanzania are being published by the Directorates of Research and Publications at the different universities, whereas most scientific books are being published … Continue reading

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Good communications is not enough to get evidence into policy

I originally shared these thoughts on the Evidence-Based Policy in Development Network (ebpdn) and after sparking some discussion, I thought it’d be good to also share them here on INASP’s Practising Development blog too. A colleague, Kirsty Newman, was recently looking for an example of research that had influenced policy not because of the quality of the findings but because of the lobbying and communication skills of a researcher and/or think tank. After thinking about this, I’m not actually sure that such an example exists, for three different reasons:

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Why the usual figures for knowledge production are just the tip of the iceberg

This is a joint post written by Jonathan Harle (INASP Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability) and Sioux Cumming (INASP Programme Manager, Journals Online). The other week we came across this infographic posted by the Oxford Internet Institute, showing the geography of academic knowledge. As is instantly clear, Europe and North America dominate the production of academic research, with Latin America, Africa and South Asia barely visible. In fact only Nigeria and South Africa make it onto the map for Africa, while the whole of central and Southern America is reduced to six countries, and while Pakistan is just about visible alongside its larger neighbour India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal (3 countries that INASP works with) are entirely absent. Of course, it’s no surprise that Europe and North America produce so much. Between them they account for some of the world’s leading universities and research institutes and many … Continue reading

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Balancing information and participation: Reflections on learner-centred training

This is a guest post by Rachel McIntosh, Research Uptake Manager at the Department for International Development. Rachel writes about her recent participation in an INASP Pedagogy Skills workshop and how this has led her to reflect on her own skills and practices as a trainer. I recently had the privilege of attending a pedagogy skills workshop in Ghana, organised by INASP’s Strengthening Research and Knowledge Systems programme, which is funded by DFID and Sida. The workshop participants were librarians working at Ghanaian university libraries. All of the librarians train others in one form or another. For example, one lady lectures on information literacy to 200 students at a time (this provided an interesting conundrum during the workshop session on seating layouts that support effective participation!). Many of the librarians provide training to first year students to build awareness of the library’s resources and skills in using them. The librarians … Continue reading

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