Miles to go for Scholarly Commons to become a global academic norm
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This post is the first of a two-part series. In this first part, INASP Associate Ravi Murugesan describes his participation at a workshop organized by the Scholarly Commons Working Group. Part 1 of 2 There are two ways to write a report of a major event: right after attending it – while the memory of what transpired is still fresh – or sometime later, after seeing the world through a new lens inspired by that event and considering the event again in the light of what one sees. I’ve opted for the second approach to reflect on the Scholarly Commons Workshop in San Diego that I attended in September of last year. The Scholarly Commons Working Group (SCWG), which organized this workshop, is an initiative of the nonprofit organization FORCE11. According to the live draft of the Scholarly Commons principles: “…the Scholarly Commons defines a system of scholarship and research … Continue reading

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Data, dialogue and development – why the last kilometre matters
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The last kilometre – or even the last 100 metres

Picture this. A kilometre from your desk there is a warehouse where the world’s most relevant, timely and credible data and knowledge are instantly available… but you can only access or contribute to it one page at a time.
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Ten Videos on Evidence and Policy
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Here are a few of our favourite videos featuring researchers, policymakers and practitioners all over the world discussing key issues in evidence-informed policy: what it is, what the challenges are, and how to address them. Got more to share? Please tell us in the comments! 1 What is EIPM? Here Louise Shaxson of the Overseas Development Institute’s Research and Policy in Development programme draws on her experience with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to explain the concept of evidence-informed policy making, highlighting the role of processes within public institutions: “you can have the best evidence in the world but if you put it through poor processes you won’t get good evidence informed policy making”. At INASP we see these processes as a complex set of structures, relationships and behaviours within public institutions that shape how evidence is gathered, synthesised, appraised and communicated to inform policy. 2) Getting … Continue reading

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5 ways of adapting the Evidence-Informed Policy Making Toolkit training for your participants – Experiences from GIMPA
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Dr. Patrick Tandoh, lead facilitator from GIMPA

Image: Dr. Patrick Tandoh, lead facilitator from GIMPA Back in January, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) held a three day pilot of the EIPM Toolkit under their School of Public Service and Governance (SPSG), with support from Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS). The Toolkit is an adaptable suite of resources to support capacity building of civil servants and parliamentary staff in gathering, appraising and communicating evidence to inform policy making. So far, it’s been used in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Sudan. Having observed the training, Faaria Hussain (INASP’s Programme Officer for the Evidence-Informed Policy Making team) lists five ways GIMPA adapted the Toolkit to ensure learning was maximized for their participants. Feedback from both participants and facilitators: Dr. Kingsley Agomor and Dr. Patrick Tandoh, show that the training was successful, covering relevant content and as a result, GIMPA are considering rolling out the Toolkit … Continue reading

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Transforming teaching and learning in East Africa
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Students at Mzumbe University

Young people have a vital role to play in development, and universities are important sites to nurture their skills and to harness that energy for social change (as I blogged about last week). But there is work to do to realize this potential. In East Africa, the rapid growth of universities (there are now 45 universities in Uganda – and many smaller training institutions, compared to just one university 50 years ago at Independence). A huge expansion in student places – coming after many years of under-investment in infrastructure, learning resources and in academic staff – has had a serious impact on quality. In neighbouring Kenya, a recent audit by the Commission for University Education has revealed the extent of the problem. The content of many courses is out of date, the styles of teaching reflect the ‘chalk and talk’ mode of lecturing, and in many institutions there are few incentives … Continue reading

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Critical skills for change: universities, young people and learning
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Young people have a vital role to play in their countries’ development. There are now 1.8 billion young people (between the ages of 10 and 24, 2014 UN figures)  — out of a global population of 7.3 billion — and nine out of 10 of them live in developing countries. This makes youth a vital dimension of development policy and practice, and more and more, the role of young people is being recognized. In a speech last year, the UN Deputy Secretary General put it clearly: “Young people must be recognized for who they are: agents of change whose contributions will bring benefits both to themselves and to society”. A set of institutions that have long known the potential of young people are universities. It’s through university study that young people can develop the knowledge, skills, ideas and attitudes that will enable them to contribute to their societies and economies, and also through … Continue reading

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