Tag Archives: Africa

Promoting Policy Dialogue in Harare
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On Monday 7th July 2014, the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET) hosted the first in a series of Policy Dialogue events. The aim of these Policy Dialogues is to open discussions around key national policy issues, bringing government together with relevant members of the society such as the private sector, journalists, researchers, social leaders, etc. This series will help to bridge the research-policy divide and engage relevant stakeholders in the policy-making process. ZeipNET is part of VakaYiko; a consortium of five organisations involved in building the capacity of policy-makers to recognise, articulate and act on research to shape better policy. The first Policy Dialogue was held in Harare, Zimbabwe and focused on improving trade and industrial policy coordination and dialogue between the government and private sector. Director General of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, Eve .C Gadzikwa, attended and chaired the Policy Dialogue. We asked her a few questions … Continue reading

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Why the usual figures for knowledge production are just the tip of the iceberg
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This is a joint post written by Jonathan Harle (INASP Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability) and Sioux Cumming (INASP Programme Manager, Journals Online). The other week we came across this infographic posted by the Oxford Internet Institute, showing the geography of academic knowledge. As is instantly clear, Europe and North America dominate the production of academic research, with Latin America, Africa and South Asia barely visible. In fact only Nigeria and South Africa make it onto the map for Africa, while the whole of central and Southern America is reduced to six countries, and while Pakistan is just about visible alongside its larger neighbour India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal (3 countries that INASP works with) are entirely absent. Of course, it’s no surprise that Europe and North America produce so much. Between them they account for some of the world’s leading universities and research institutes and many … Continue reading

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Poems from a Library Ambassador
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Kenneth Mukigi is a 19 year old student at the Co-operative University College of Kenya, studying for his Bachelor of Co-operative Business (BCOB). He works as a Library Ambassador with one of INASP’s partner librarians.  “I am glad to be a student ambassador because I want to be involved with the university activities – it gives me a level of responsibility. I am eager to meet new people, including other ambassadors, and I always welcome exposure to different opportunities. I also have an avid passion to give back to my society, which has raised me to the level I am” – Kenneth Mukigi Kenneth started writing when he was in primary school. He is inspired to write by the environment and society that surrounds him and is currently working on a novel, “The Chapter”. Kenneth wrote the two poems featured below after working with INASP.

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Policy and financial commitments to research in Africa, Asia and Latin America
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By Martin Belcher and Sara Gwynn A recent Royal Society review of global scientific collaboration9 notes that “the challenge of measuring the value of science… faces all the scientific community” p25. For INASP part of measuring this value is in considering the inputs into science, and in particular research, in developing and emerging countries. Understanding if and how financial and policy commitments to research change over time might offer us some useful indicators of the health of the research sector in the countries that we work with and help us in our work to tailor research capacity support to each country’s context. We are particularly interested in understanding these issues in the context of developments over the last 10 years and then looking forward to the next 10. How has the environment changed since INASP has been working extensively in research sector strengthening? What are the wider trends and likely … Continue reading

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Something worth celebrating
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There are a number of interesting links this week including an interview, a survey and the spread of the Science Café. However, before jumping into that, you may have heard that this year marks INASP’s 20th anniversary and, to celebrate the occasion, we held a symposium in June that focused on discussing a number of accepted ‘truths’ that impact on research, information and development.  Our latest newsletter focuses on this important milestone featuring articles that look at our past and our future as well as contributions from speakers and participants of the symposium.

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What caught our eye this week
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While Kirsty Newman has now moved on from INASP, she is still telling us what we need to hear. ‘Fighting the RCT bogeyman’ is a recent post on her blog Kirstyevidence. This discusses the often unproductive debate around randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and the possible (desirable) combination of rigorous quantitative methodologies and qualitative observation. The blog is one to watch. Speaking of which, it seems the Guardian has been making a frequent appearance in this little round up recently. Although this week’s is something of an ‘oldie but a goodie’. Jonathan Tanner’s ‘Talk Point: Should we change the way we talk about development?’ urges us to dump the development jargon and speak more plainly. There are some good points and interesting comments. Pete Guest’s article in Wired, ‘In search of Africa’s Einstein’, looks at Neil Turok’s plan to invest in higher education institutions in Africa. Also worth checking out is the … Continue reading

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