Category Archives: RAHE

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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The importance of self-awareness in addressing unconscious bias
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–  Blog post by Vanessa Fairhurst, Programme Assistant, INASP The question is not “do we have bias?” but rather “which are ours?” – Howard Ross We all like to think we are open-minded and non-judgemental. In fact each of us tends to believe we are more fair and hold less prejudice than the average person. However, unconscious bias is something that affects us all. Our brains are wired to see patterns in order to quickly make sense of the complexities of life; a skill which helped our ancestors in distinguishing from friend and foe. These patterns are learned from birth; our biases and preferences shaped by the people around us, cultural norms and our personal experiences. Our brain is a complex machine, constantly processing vast amounts of information, like a computer with thousands of tabs open simultaneously, so we use these patterns as mental shortcuts to provide order and aid decision … Continue reading

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Humphrey Kombe Keah on access to research, the SDGs and challenges in Kenya
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Humphrey Kombe Keah is an Information Management and Digital Services Specialist at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.  He will be speaking with Dr Beatrice Odera-Kwach on issues relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the national supply of information in Kenya at the Publishers for Development meeting on 13 September. What is your main area of work? My main area of work is in research support through information management and facilitating access to online electronic resources. How does your work relate to the SDGs or international development more generally? The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is part of a Consortium of 15 international agricultural research centres known as the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The CGIAR mission is to advance agricultural science and innovation to enable poor people, especially women, to better nourish their families and to improve productivity and resilience so that they can share … Continue reading

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Who drives research in developing countries?
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This piece was previously published on Jon Harle’s Medium blog site, republished here with his permission. To what extent is research on development issues done by researchers in developing countries? To what extent do those researchers actually decide what research needs doing and what questions need asking? And if developing country researchers do decide, to what extent do they do so in collaboration with the people who might ultimately have a use for that knowledge ? These aren’t new questions, but they re-emerged for me recently in a series of studies we commissioned of research and knowledge systems in Somalia and Somaliland, Liberia and South Sudan. And they’re echoed in a series of essays on the ethics and politics of knowledge production in fragile states. It’s a well-worn maxim that appropriate solutions require local knowledge. Yet although this is well recognized, it often seems to be missing when research is commissioned … Continue reading

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Local ownership: support, don’t lead, the process for access to research
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Local ownership is a concept that is fundamental to our work at INASP- in fact it’s more than a concept, it’s a principle that informs everything we do, and that we strive to ensure every day. I was reminded of this during recent discussions at our 28 June Publishers for Development meeting in Oxford. Here I want to suggest one way we can bring an appreciation of ownership to bear on our work in supporting access to research. Why? Because as innumerable examples have shown, solutions which are not owned, which are developed from outside and then imposed on a country rarely work in the long term. They may enjoy some early success, but often crumble – either because they don’t work, or because no-one is invested in them even if they could. From ambitious public sector reform programmes, designed by World Bank experts, which tried to make African governments … Continue reading

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Series: ‘Q&A’ with Publishers for Development speakers
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Joshua Okonya is a Research Associate at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Uganda. He will be speaking at Publishers for Development on the 28 June about his research into the impact of pests on crop yield, the resulting impact on food security and how this is affected by climate change. What is your main area of research? My area of research is crop entomology. I collect baseline information about pest related crop losses, looking at the impact of these losses on farmers’ livelihoods and how climate change affects this. I look at pest management strategies for sustainable crop production with the hope of improving the food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Uganda. How does your work relate to the SDGs or international development more generally? The research projects I work on aim to achieve food security for the smallholder farmers in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi (SDG 2); … Continue reading

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