Monthly Archives: August 2015

Five lessons about the use of evidence in public policy in Peru

In an article first published in the On Think Tanks blog, Daniel Boyco of the Peruvian Alliance for the use of Evidence discusses promoting the use of research evidence in policy in Peru. The Peruvian Alliance for the use of Evidence (in Spanish, Alianza Peruana para el Uso de Evidencia, will be referred to as ‘Alianza’ here) is conformed by a group of individuals and organisations interested in promoting a debate on the necessary methods, tools and capacities to generate a public culture that prioritises the critical use of evidence during the policy-making process. The Alianza’s objective is to promote the use of evidence for public policy. Its been working since the beginning of 2014, organizing meetings and public events between its members to discuss mechanisms and experiences in Peru on the use of evidence for public policy. It is inspired by the Alliance for Useful Evidence, from the UK. Since … Continue reading

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Weekly highlights – 26 August 2015

Quote “During this two-day [Journals Online managers’] meeting, we have learnt so many things regarding policies, website functions, communication and fundraising. We have met some wonderful people from all of other JOLs [Journals Online] and we will return to Nepal with renewed commitment and plans further development of NepJOL.” Lal Bahadur Chouhan, Library Officer, Tribhuvan University Central Library, Kirtipur, Kathmandu Updates AuthorAID grant winner Nurul Islam was given the award for Best Oral Presentation at SouthEast Asian Bat Conference 2015 We have published a Storify of last week’s Journals Online Managers Meeting in Vancouver Our August photo of the month shows Journals Online managers from Mongolia and Latin America sharing ideas at the recent Journals Online managers meeting Upcoming events AuthorAID Director Julie Walker is in Tanzania this week participating in a workshop organized by the University of Dodoma to support female researchers. From 8 to 10 September Deputy Executive Director … Continue reading

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Why we need to take a collective action approach to research capacity building

Sometimes it feels hard to keep afloat in the tide of thinking and debate about development – what to do, how to do it better – and difficult to find time to take the latest thinking and actually incorporate it into programme design. Harder still to incorprate the latest thinking into projects that are already in progress. It’s a couple of years since David Booth and Diana Cammack published their book on governance in Africa (there’s a nice summary here). They argue that development is about solving collective action problems. But the key idea – that problems can only be tackled by ditching the supply/demand focus, and by bringing different groups together and finding a common ground – stuck, because it made so much sense and resonated with much of what we’ve learnt at INASP over the years.  As they argue: ‘…governance challenges are not fundamentally about one set of … Continue reading

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How do you build a ‘system view’ of a country – and then what do you do next?

In the last year or so we’ve been grappling at INASP with what it means to take a systems approach to capacity building (and we’re not the only ones thinking about this, as ITAD’s framework suggests). As we blogged last year, we have begun by trying to develop a more detailed ‘systems’ view of some of the countries in which we work. It’s an exploratory approach – and these are by no means detailed, in-depth pieces of analysis. But they do give us a much richer understanding of some of the key enablers and obstacles to our work. And they show that light-but-valuable analysis of this type is within the scope of even a small NGO like INASP (we currently have around 30 members of staff, working in over 20 countries). Step one:  a quick sketch We’ve taken a two-stage approach. Firstly we’ve quickly mapped the research and knowledge system … Continue reading

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Weekly highlights – 17 August 2015

Staff quote “It’s exciting that INASP staff and associates are sharing INASP’s knowledge and experience in a range of discussions in our partner countries and internationally. We have recently contributed to articles in mainstream newspapers such as The Guardian, publishing-industry magazines such as Research Information and scientific publications such as The Scientist. INASP and our partners also contribute to local media in our partner countries. This included an interview on Ethiopian television last month. It was also great to see posts by members of our AuthorAID community featured in recent blogs (see external coverage section below) and we are looking forward to working with SciDev.Net to bring more such stories to wider attention.” Siân Harris, Communications Coordinator Updates We have published a Storify of our recent library consortia meeting in Ethiopia. Winner Chawinga, a Master’s student at the Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Western Cape, South Africa … Continue reading

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“Digital development” – the last 100 metres

Tech-solutionism is fairly common in the development sector; we regularly hear that a new widget or (increasingly) the latest app is going to transform some aspect of service delivery or save innumerable hours of time. The same thinking has swamped much discussion on higher education (HE) in the last few years, an issue typified by recent talk about MOOCs. And, as the development sector looks increasingly at the role that higher education has to play in transforming societies and economies, the streams run together. Of course technology plays and has played a vital role in development – in medicine or agriculture for example – and technology and online learning offer huge possibilities for HE. But sometimes it feels like we’re caught in our own hype. Undoubtedly, better broadband connectivity, greater mobile penetration, more students with smartphones and laptops – these are all changing the possibilities for learning, and for the way universities … Continue reading

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