Tag Archives: Access

How to access research evidence as a policymaker
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INASP’s Programme Officer for Information Access, Mai Skovgaard, considers how national collaboration and consortia support access to research, which in turn supports policymakers to use evidence in making decisions. Use of research evidence in decision making for policymakers is critical for supporting knowledge-based debate and decision making during the policy-making process. As the lead organization in the VakaYiko Consortium, the EIPM team at INASP has been working with partners in Ghana and Zimbabwe to develop and deliver a practical evidence-informed policy making course. Participants in the course pilots have been civil servants in research and policy analysis teams whose role is to provide policymakers with the information to guide their decision making. One of the aims of the course is to highlight research as an important part of the evidence spectrum, while also recognizing that there are other forms of evidence that inform policy making such as data, citizen knowledge … Continue reading

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Beyond the library in Malawi: taking the MALICO consortium to uncharted waters
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This is a guest blog by Patrick Mapulanga of Malawi’s MALICO library consortium. Patrick spent five days travelling the country in March 2015 with INASP staff on a country visit. Here he discusses lessons learned for the MALICO consortium. Billed as the “warm heart of Africa”, Malawi has stunning scenery and some of the friendliest people. The country offers attractions for everyone, from palm-lined lakeshores to busy market places. In March 2015, the INASP Executive Director, Sue Corbett and her colleague, Emma Farrow paid a visit to Malawi. It was a long journey that would cover 2010 kilometres covering almost all of the three regions of the country. While for our visitors the trip was a chance to share information on reforms taking place at INASP with their partners, for the Malawi Library and Information Consortium (MALICO) it was an opportunity for us to take stock of where we are … Continue reading

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Why we need to take a collective action approach to research capacity building
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Sometimes it feels hard to keep afloat in the tide of thinking and debate about development – what to do, how to do it better – and difficult to find time to take the latest thinking and actually incorporate it into programme design. Harder still to incorprate the latest thinking into projects that are already in progress. It’s a couple of years since David Booth and Diana Cammack published their book on governance in Africa (there’s a nice summary here). They argue that development is about solving collective action problems. But the key idea – that problems can only be tackled by ditching the supply/demand focus, and by bringing different groups together and finding a common ground – stuck, because it made so much sense and resonated with much of what we’ve learnt at INASP over the years.  As they argue: ‘…governance challenges are not fundamentally about one set of … Continue reading

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Training supports libraries to monitor use of e-resources
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Veronika Schaeffler discusses the importance for research and development of monitoring and evaluation of e-resources for library consortia and reflects on a recent workshop in Sri Lanka Through my work at INASP I have learned that a wider availability of digital material constitutes a huge step forward in enabling the work of researchers, lecturers and decision makers in developing countries. Libraries that INASP work with in Asia, Africa and Latin America have access to up to 50,000 online journals and 20,000 e-books through our access and availability programme. They also have over 45,000 titles via Research4Life and other schemes. But availability is not enough, as there are diverse challenges for researchers and other users to access the resources. Librarians must be responsible for offering easy access to publications, and they must have means to assess accessibility. Informed decision and policy making relies on access to knowledge and research, which starts … Continue reading

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Why Obama’s visit wasn’t the only reason for excitement in Kenya this week
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The big excitement in Nairobi this week has been President Obama’s impending visit – his first as president. Workers were busy hanging the Stars and Stripes from the lamposts on Thika Road, there were helicopters parked on the lawns of Nairobi and Kenyatta universities, and residents worried that road closures would leave them stranded across the city. As I write this on Friday evening, Air Force One has just landed and the three day visit is finally underway. But for me Nairobi held a different kind of excitement this week – seeing what some of our partners in Kenya have achieved. Dr @AumaObama hugs her brother, US President @BarackObama, on his arrival in Kenya on Friday. http://t.co/MM4r1uFG9H pic.twitter.com/9ZluxXJomu — Daily Nation (@dailynation) July 25, 2015 Enabling research for development in Kenya I spent much of Thursday with members of Kenya’s national library consortium – KLISC. INASP has been working with … Continue reading

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Slogans, social media and competition drive students into libraries for innovative winners of 2014 E-Resource Promotion grants
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Since 2011, INASP has offered several small grants of up to $500 to libraries and consortia to assist them in promoting their online journals and books – or e-resources. In the  2014 cycle, librarians and library staff at universities in INASP partner countries came up with creative and imaginative ways to reach out to students, reaching over 7600 people through their activities. Some applicant institutions were finding that, while they had a high-quality and wide-ranging collection of e-resources, many students simply weren’t using them. At the Mwenge University College of Education (MWUCE) in Tanzania, a survey found that 38% of students had no awareness of e-resources. In most cases this was because they were not equipped with the skills or knowledge to be comfortable in accessing the resources. At Kenya’s United States International University (USUI) Library staff suspected that students found the library environment a ‘mystifying’ place, with e-resources the … Continue reading

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