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Author Archives: Anne Powell
– for full list of the principles see here – I’ve had the privilege of travelling to many of the countries in which INASP works. In most of the cities I have visited, I find that my hosts have a kind of inverse pride in their traffic jams. I have been told that the jams are worst in Dhaka, in Nairobi, in Hanoi, in Dar es Salaam… I wouldn’t put it to the vote, but I have sat in hot cars for many hours in all those cities. And that was in a car, not reliant on public transport which may or may not show up, or have space. This affects the ability of people to plan ahead; even with allowances for the “jams”, one cannot set arrival times with any confidence. It also limits the number of places one can plan to get to in a day, so we … Continue reading
Principle 2: Respect a country’s wish to negotiate as a consortium or purchasing club – for full list of the principles see here – In this post, we will be considering the importance of working through library consortia. Consortia are critical because they enable a wide range of institutions to purchase and access content, which some wouldn’t be able to do alone. Working in this way is important to countries, but we think it’s also good business practice – as we’ll explain below. In our previous blog post in this series we looked at the importance of understanding the context of a country. As several of our partners explained, IT infrastructure is often worse outside the capital city and countries have a range of institutions engaged in research, all therefore need access to the literature. Greater visibility One of the strengths of a consortium is their reach. The consortium is … Continue reading
Having recently returned from my second visit to Sierra Leone, I have been reflecting on the last year of our collaboration project with Reseach4Life. The project aims to advance research in Sierra Leone through supporting and developing the capacity to use and produce research literature. While INASP is actively working to support colleagues in Sierra Leone, they are helping us to understand more about the conditions necessary to advance research both in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Initial visit In September 2013 we made a scoping visit to Sierra Leone to meet with as many people connected with the higher education and research sector as possible, learning about their successes, challenges and aspirations. It struck us how many people were determined to make a success of re-building the country after the war. We recognised the familiar challenges we meet in many of the countries in which we work: inadequate electricity and … Continue reading
I recently attended the eLearning in Africa conference in Windhoek, Namibia to meet with others active in my field and hear about some of the new developments taking place. The event was host to some very interesting people and presentations. I particularly enjoyed the closing debate with Dr Adele Botha’s illustrations of African innovations which have ensured sustainability — such as repairing and using old cell phones (the very early Nokia versions, known as “bricks”) and housing a community computer in a drum for protection from the weather. There were a number of themes that caught my eye, particularly given the recent ‘Moocs and educational development’ series of blogs by Ravi Murugesan. In his previous post (part 4), Ravi mentioned “separate” learners who prefer to rely on authoritative sources of information and “connected” learners who like to learn from discussions with others. Presenters at the conference generally concluded that learning is stronger … Continue reading
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.
This week has been a very interesting as we hear the stories of how librarians (and in many cases students) have embraced Open Access Week. While I have not attended any events in person, I have been able to share in many — some supported through the INASP competition, others managed and financed entirely by the host libraries. A common theme and realisation coming out of the activities this year is around the increased visibility researchers get from publishing in Open Access journals and depositing their papers in repositories. There have also been many comments about the value of using OA articles and an increasing awareness that these are of a high quality as they have usually gone through stringent peer review processes.