Author Archives: Jonathan Harle

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About Jonathan Harle

Jonathan Harle is Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Higher Education and Director of the Strengthening Research and Knowledge Systems programme

Research and knowledge systems in difficult places part 3: Somalia and Somaliland
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In the last few weeks we’ve been exploring what we’re learning about doing research and using evidence in “difficult places”. We’ve introduced new papers on South Sudan and Liberia. Today we turn to the Somali regions. Looking beyond the headlines Somali has become almost synonymous with the term “failed state”, and Somalis have certainly suffered years of conflict and hardship. But the label of failed state, and the stories of war and refugees disguise a region of complex, adaptive and resilient political, social and economic systems. Similarly, there is more going on in research and higher education than I’d certainly imagined. In our latest viewpoints paper, Faduma Abukar Mursal considers the South-Central and Puntland regions of Somalia, while Abdullahi Odowa explores the situation in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland. Jason Mosley provides an introductory piece of political analysis, which places the subsequent accounts of the research and knowledge systems in … Continue reading

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How can responsible practice by publishers support international development? Learn how at PfD
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As always, this year’s Publishers for Development conferences will give you a chance to hear how research, scholarship and development intersect, and how you as publishers can play a vital enabling role. You will hear from a Ugandan researcher helping to ensure staple crops in Uganda are free from pests, and how a Ghanaian researcher is helping to develop new ways of assessing vulnerability and adaptations to climate change for dryland farming systems. In both cases, you will also hear how they’ve relied on the un-sung and often invisible work of library consortia to make this possible. And we will help you understand what you can do to make sure that this potential – and the potential of thousands of other researchers and students – can be realized as they work to bring science and knowledge to bear on the development challenges their countries face. Levelling the playing field The … Continue reading

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Publishers for Development: the conference with a difference
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If you’re a publisher there’s no shortage of conferences to attend, and it’s probably a difficult decision which to attend. But while many events cover relatively similar territory, there’s one boutique event which really tries to do something different. The event is Publishers for Development. In the year where a new series of global goals to address poverty and inequality were agreed – the Sustainable Development Goals – now is the time to be thinking how publishers can play an effective part. To anyone who keeps an eye on what’s happening in research and higher education globally, there can be no doubt that something important is happening across Africa, Asia and Latin America. University systems are growing, and research activity is rising. What’s more, policymakers have woken up to the importance of research and higher education when designing and implementing national and regional development strategies. The African Union’s 50 year … Continue reading

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Research and knowledge systems in difficult places part 2: Liberia
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In April, we published a blog post featuring South Sudan, introducing the first of a series of new papers on research and knowledge systems in “difficult places”. Around 4000 miles west of Juba, hugging the Atlantic coast of the continent is Liberia, which is the subject of our next post. While South Sudan is the world’s newest state, Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic, independent since 1847. But when we chose Liberia we weren’t tracing a simple conflict or crisis theme. Instead, with strong partnerships in Ghana, and new projects in Sierra Leone, it was a logical next step for INASP to consider working in Liberia. Common threads Of course, as countries which have both suffered many years of violence, there are some obvious, if superficial, similarities between Liberia and South Sudan – both are slowly rebuilding basic infrastructure and developing new institutions, and both lost many people during these crises, … Continue reading

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Research and knowledge systems in difficult places – part 1: South Sudan
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In the first of a series of blog posts based on recent analysis into the research and knowledge systems in fragile or conflict states, Jon Harle considers South Sudan. Continue reading

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High prices could drive developing country researchers to use pirate websites like Sci-Hub
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Sci-Hub – a website that finds a way through paywalls to host free copies of over 40 million journal papers from major publishers – has been a topic of much discussion in the last few weeks. My aim here isn’t to get into the rights and wrongs of the site – I’ll leave that for others. But it is a good opportunity to reflect on a deeper problem, one that INASP sees – and works to solve – daily. In short, access to essential research is just too expensive for many institutions and individuals in the developing world. That’s something that we need to talk about. It’s also something we should be worrying about. Struggles to access research hamper development If researchers and students are still struggling to access what they need, then that’s a major obstacle to them reaching their full potential. That’s not just an issue for individual … Continue reading

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