Category Archives: PfD

Series: ‘Q&A’ with Publishers for Development speakers
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Willie Davison Ganda (Eng.) is the Director for Research Development and Innovation at the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development for the Government of Zimbabwe. He will discuss the Zimbabwean perspective on access to resources at the Publishers for Development conference on the 28 June 2016. What does your organization do? My ministry is responsible for the development of human capital for the country and the promotion of science and technology development. How does the work of your organization relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or international development more generally? My ministry is involved in supporting the SDGs in that we are the ones responsible for training human capital in the country. It will be human capital with the necessary skills working in the various sectors of the economy that will make the SDGs attainable. With more of a specific focus on research and science … Continue reading

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Why collaborating in the research sector is mutually beneficial for consortia, publishers and donors
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As Research Uptake Manager in the Evidence into Action team at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Ed Barney manages INASP funding on behalf of DFID. In this guest post, he reflects on the recent Publishers for Development conference. I was lucky enough to make it along to the 7th annual Publishers for Development conference (PfD, #pfd2015), which took place in London on Tuesday 30th June. The event brought together a wide range of publishers, library consortia, NGOs, donors and academics into one room to address the question of how publishers can engage with developing countries in a responsible manner. As a relative newbie to work in this area there were a number of things that struck me during the day, which I’ve attempted to summarize below. The morning sessions were used to build a picture of the range of contextual issues that library consortia experience in developing countries. These … Continue reading

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#inaspPrinciples for publishers 4 & 5: Pricing and sales, be realistic and predictable
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Principle #4 Think medium to long term on pricing Principle #5: Be realistic about sales expectations – where increases are needed, make these affordable, incremental and predictable In the last few posts we’ve covered a range of issues: varying levels of infrastructure; the day-to-day challenges of getting things done; the importance of working through the consortia that countries are striving to develop. We deliberately started with these issues because they’re the all-too-important context that can get lost in conversations that begin with price. But of course price matters, and it’s one of the biggest concerns for INASP’s partners, particularly as some begin to take on the negotiating role that INASP has played for many years. Our final two principles both tackle the finances so we’re grouping them together in this post. Competing for limited funding As we discussed in Principle 1, research and higher education are growing in many of … Continue reading

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#inaspPrinciples for publishers 3: Avoid making sudden changes
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– 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

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#inaspPrinciples for publishers 2: Respect a country’s wish to negotiate as a consortium
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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

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#inaspPrinciples for publishers 1: Taking the time to understand country context
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Principle 1: Making the effort to understand the country context – understanding local needs and going beyond the capital city. – for full list of the principles see here – The (admittedly specialist) news is awash with stories about the growth of research and higher education in developing countries. After years of neglect, interest has returned, governments are investing, and foreign donors are providing additional funding. Student numbers are growing rapidly, new universities are being built to cater for demand, and there’s a greater focus on the value that research has in tackling some of the difficult problems of development. Infrastructure But these headlines can conceal the more prosaic challenges that universities and their staff and students face day to day. This remarkable growth means that student numbers often outpace improvements to university campuses, and the ability to train new faculty. Government funding has to go further, and newer institutions … Continue reading

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