Six years ago, the first AuthorAID workshop was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since then, we have conducted numerous workshops on research communication, and regular readers of this blog would have seen Barbara’s and occasionally my reports on our workshops.
A train-the-trainers component is typically included within our research writing workshops, so as to enable some of the more qualified participants to lead their own workshops locally. We’re pleased to see that over the years several AuthorAID workshops have been organised in various countries by trained and motivated researchers. This ‘cascading’ effect has imparted research writing skills to many more people than those who’ve got to attend workshops organised by AuthorAID staff.
We are now building on this success as part of Strengthening Research and Knowledge Systems (SRKS), the current flagship programme of INASP, which is AuthorAID’s parent organisation. One of the things we hope to do in the coming years is to work with universities in developing countries to embed training in academic literacy, research writing and publishing skills.
The key word here is ’embed’. By this, we mean training programmes that are regularly organised, not as one-off events. We hope to facilitate embedding through an initial train-the-trainers programme, such as the one we conducted in Sri Lanka last year, and continuing support after that.
We recently began working on embedding with two institutions in Sri Lanka, the Research Promotion and Facilitation Centre within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Colombo and the Sri Lanka Medical Association. We are delighted that our partners at these institutions have begun to organise workshops on research writing, one of which is described in this guest post, and also have plans to organise workshops in the near future.
We are now preparing to work with some universities in Tanzania to embed training on research writing, following a workshop we facilitated there in March.
Alongside our embedding initiative which is at the institutional and country level, we continue to focus on offering training and support to individual researchers in developing countries. For example, we have recently improved our mentoring system. And at this point, we are inviting applications to our upcoming online course in research writing.
Please do make the most of your AuthorAID membership by keeping your profile up-to-date and following our blog. All the best!