Tag Archives: capacity building

Enthusiasm, timing and local ownership shape our new initiatives in Sierra Leone
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Having recently returned from my second visit to Sierra Leone, I have been reflecting on the last year of our collaboration project with Reseach4Life. The project aims to advance research in Sierra Leone through supporting and developing the capacity to use and produce research literature. While INASP is actively working to support colleagues in Sierra Leone, they are helping us to understand more about the conditions necessary to advance research both in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Initial visit In September 2013 we made a scoping visit to Sierra Leone to meet with as many people connected with the higher education and research sector as possible, learning about their successes, challenges and aspirations. It struck us how many people were determined to make a success of re-building the country after the war. We recognised the familiar challenges we meet in many of the countries in which we work: inadequate electricity and … Continue reading

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme: Part 3
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This is a joint post written by: Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability In our last two posts, we discussed how INASP’s thinking on capacity building has been influenced by some recent debates on systems and complexity (and also by many years of experience) and how we go about understanding the national research systems in which we work. In the intervening weeks we’ve had some really valuable comments, and had the opportunity to reflect further as our programmes continue to unfold. As we’ve said before, we see ourselves as a ‘doing’ organisation, and want to try and ground this discussion in specific, practical experience as far as we can. So here we want to offer some examples of these approaches in three of the countries we’re working in – Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme: Part 2
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This is a joint post written by: Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability In our first post we talked about how INASP’s thinking around capacity building has been influenced by recent debates on complexity and systems thinking and by our 2012 evaluation. We also outlined what we mean when we talk about research systems. In this post we want to discuss how we go about understanding the national research systems we operate in, and how we make the most of our relatively modest role within these systems. Understanding the system When we set out to understand national level research systems we noticed a lack of documented research or case-studies in developing countries. So, as a first step, we commissioned profiles from partners in each country. The focus of the profiles was on documenting the formal components of … Continue reading

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme
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This is a joint post written by: Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability There’s been a lot of thought-provoking discussion in the last year or so of how we can ‘do development’ better. Capacity building, systems thinking and complexity, power and politics, convening and brokering – all of these have become increasingly popular themes across the development sector, and in the smaller ‘research for development’ corner. In the last 12 months we’ve also been doing some serious thinking at INASP about how we can better deliver on our mission to ‘put research at the heart of development’ and the themes above felt particularly relevant. We work in three broad areas: access to research literature, producing and communicating southern research, and supporting the use of research in policy making across 23 countries. But we’re a small NGO, working … Continue reading

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Publishers, Zanzibar and chimpanzees
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Maaike Duine is leading on a pilot project entitled “Strengthening Indigenous Academic and Digital Publishing in Tanzania”. The project aims to increase the quality of academic publishing in Tanzania through the creation of a consortium of academic publishers and through training, skills development and capacity building. This is the second blog outlining her experiences working on the project. One of the first goals of the project is to get a clear picture of academic publishing in Tanzania. What kind of journals and books are being published? What knowledge is already available? In which areas of academic publishing is training necessary? What content is available online? In order to answer these questions, we are currently visiting publishers throughout Tanzania to carry out the needs assessment. Most academic journals in Tanzania are being published by the Directorates of Research and Publications at the different universities, whereas most scientific books are being published … Continue reading

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Strengthening academic publishing in Tanzania – getting ready for Dar!
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This is the first of a series of blogs from Maaike Duine on a pilot project which aims to increase the quality of academic publishing in Tanzania through the creation of a consortium of academic publishers and through training, skills development and capacity building. The project is a collaboration between Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and INASP. It is the first time that INASP has been involved in an extended and integrated set of activities to enhance academic publishing in a single country. Through this blog, Maaike, the VSO Professional Volunteer will document her own experiences throughout the project as well as the progress and outcomes. “Tanzania is looking for a publishing advisor”. In September 2013, this vacancy posted by VSO drew my attention. After reading the job description and the goals of the two –year project “Strengthening Indigenous Academic and Digital Publishing … Continue reading

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