Monthly Archives: February 2017

Evidence Spotlight: Overcoming challenges to using evidence in the Parliament of Malawi
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Photo: Parliament of Malawi ——————————————————————————————————————————- In this Evidence Spotlight INASP’s Emily Hayter interviews Kondwani Chikafa (image, right), Senior Research Officer in the Research Section of the Parliament of Malawi. Parliament of Malawi’s Research Section is comprised of three staff. Its key function is to support decision making in parliament through research and analysis for MPs, who are its main clients. How is research information currently used in the Parliament of Malawi? Research information is used in three ways: In the Plenary: Members of Parliament (MPs) request information on issues that are on the floor of the House. This information is requested by Backbench MPs in the National Assembly and given to them before the House opens. In the Parliamentary Committees: Prior to Committee Meetings, the Research Section can be asked to prepare briefing papers on specific issues on the agenda to help members make informed decisions. Delegations: The Parliament of … Continue reading

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Promoting the use of evidence in parliaments
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Photo: Participants in the Parliament Learning Exchange (Left to right) - Mohammed Hardi Nyagsi, Parliament of Ghana; John Mugabi Bagonza, Parliament of Uganda, Christina Mafoko, Director of Research, Parliament of Zimbabwe; Abrahan Ibn Zackaria, Parliament of Ghana.

Photo: Participants in the Parliament Learning Exchange (Left to right) – Mohammed Hardi Nyagsi, Parliament of Ghana; John Mugabi Bagonza, Parliament of Uganda, Christina Mafoko, Director of Research, Parliament of Zimbabwe; Abrahan Ibn Zackaria, Parliament of Ghana. ——————————————————————————————————— – Blog by Agnes A.S. Titriku, Program Manager, African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Ghana Staff members from three parliaments (Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe) are participating in a Learning Exchange programme coordinated by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), as part of the VakaYiko project. The aim is to strengthen the role of parliamentary information support units in evidence uptake by providing a space for peer exchange and support—both ‘learning together’ and ‘learning from each other’. What do the parliaments’ information support systems look like? “Mapping out linkages and collaboration among information departments has provided insight on how to strengthen weak links for instance through learning from other parliaments”. – Research … Continue reading

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Project inspires organizational change in Southern library consortia
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Participants in Ghana celebrate the end of a productive and inspiring two days.
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Sustainable access to cutting-edge research information is essential for any strong research and knowledge system. Strengthening southern library consortia has been an important component of INASP’s work for many years.

‘Leading in the Library: A learning lab for sustainable access to knowledge in developing countries’ is a collaborative partnership between INASP and Caplor Horizons working with library consortia to inspire organizational change. The project helps strengthen leadership, strategy and influencing skills by providing space for blended learning, where a combination of online, face-to-face and other training approaches are used.

This work will strengthen the organizational effectiveness of institutions (library consortia) that play a pivotal role in the knowledge economies of Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda by enabling access to cutting edge research from around the world.

The ‘learning lab’ is an iterative and constantly evolving approach. It requires a great level of flexibility by the team to develop and adapt the project as it develops in unique ways in each country. However, being able to respond to these emerging themes and challenges is what provides an added dimension of depth and alignment with local needs.

Earlier this month, Ian Williams (Executive Director) and Lorna Pearcey (Director of Development) from Caplor Horizons together with Kemal Shaheen (Programme Manager, INASP) and members of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) reflected upon the current situation at CARLIGH and on the potential barriers and opportunities for future sustainability. The key insights and participant feedback make for an interesting read:

Project inspires organizational change in Southern library consortia

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Photo Blog: INASP celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in Science – 11 Feb
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INASP Photo of the Month Feb 2017: Sophia Osawe working in the lab on Nigerian baby white blood cells to check immune responses to childhood immunization at University of Cape Town, South Africa. Sophia was a participant of the AuthorAID online course in research-writing, which took place in October-November 2016. ————————————————————————————————————————— A core principle for INASP is to promote equity by actively addressing the needs of both men and women across all of our work. We recognize that many women in the countries where we work often face a greater number of barriers and biases than men in pursuing careers in research and academia. Limited prior education opportunities, the traditional expectations of family and society, unsupportive institutions and a lack of senior female role models are just a few of the challenges that girls and women frequently face. These gender barriers have significant implications for the creation and use of … Continue reading

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AuthorAID partners meeting reveals shared optimism for the future of research capacity building
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AuthorAID partners meeting, Tanzania, December 2016. ——————————————————————————————————————— –  Blog post by Jennifer Chapin, Programme Manager, Research and Communication, AuthorAID In December, for the first time, we held a two-day meeting of the six African AuthorAID partner institutions that are embedding AuthorAID research-writing training into their institutions. Working more closely together will help research institutions in Tanzania and beyond to tackle the many challenges facing African higher education today – challenges such as addressing gender equity, getting research published in reputable and appropriate journals, and training early career researchers in ways that are appropriate for their situations and their institutions. This was one of the highlights of the AuthorAID partners meeting that was held in Dar Es Salaam in December 2016. Our embedding partners represent a cross-section of academics and researchers, ranging from large multi-college universities, to smaller universities that focus on distance education, to research institutes that work closely with … Continue reading

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Evidence Reading: How do governments get great?
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Botswana Parliament Building

House of the Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone. The paper discussed in this evidence reading cited Botswana as an example of a government that led an impressive transformation resulting in its ranking of Sub-Saharan Africa’s least corrupt nation in the global Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 by Transparency International. —————————————————————————————————– – Blog post by Clara Richards, Director of the VakaYiko Consortium and Senior Programme Manager at INASP’s Evidence-Informed Policy Making Team I started reading more about how governments can improve their work and drive positive change because I wanted to know how we at INASP can work with governments to improve their policies by putting research and evidence at the heart of their development agenda. I discovered an endless and exciting literature. However, it is mainly driven by the same authors who are part of the ‘Building State Capability Programme’ , and although they have great insight, it would be good … Continue reading

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