Tag Archives: E-resources

How partnering with INASP supported our work to improve evidence use in Zimbabwe
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Ron Munatsi, Programme Manager at the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET), reflects on some of INASP’s work to support e-resource access in the country since 2002 and how the relationships built up over the years enabled ZeipNET to secure high-level buy-in and engage with government ministries as part of the VakaYiko Consortium.   The Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET) is a relatively new organization; founded in 2002, we work to improve Zimbabwe’s use of evidence in policy making. Through experience and strong networks, built up through national and international collaboration, we’re making progress towards our goal. But it isn’t always easy. Policymakers in the South can be suspicious of development organizations and their agendas. And this is further complicated by the fact that evidence-informed policy making is a relatively new concept in Zimbabwe. What’s more, evidence-informed policy making is in itself a political concept. Inevitably, it involves questioning … Continue reading

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Innovation grants at INASP: working across teams to increase use of online research literature
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In the recently announced “Innovation grant for using online research literature” we have been able to bring the various components of INASP’s programmes together. In designing and developing these grants, members of four strands of INASP’s activities – Research Access and Higher Education, AuthorAID, Evidence Informed Policy Making and our Communications team – came together to discuss possible barriers to the use of online literature, as they affect each core stakeholder group – librarians, researchers, academics and policymakers. Access to online research literature underpins many INASP activities – researchers need access to these resources to prepare high-quality papers, and policymakers can use evidence from online resources to develop their policies. Researchers and policymakers, along with academics, lecturers and librarians, are all eligible to apply for a grant to support a project that includes an innovative idea of how to increase online research literature usage while also achieving a research, policy … 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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“Digital development” – the last 100 metres
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Tech-solutionism is fairly common in the development sector; we regularly hear that a new widget or (increasingly) the latest app is going to transform some aspect of service delivery or save innumerable hours of time. The same thinking has swamped much discussion on higher education (HE) in the last few years, an issue typified by recent talk about MOOCs. And, as the development sector looks increasingly at the role that higher education has to play in transforming societies and economies, the streams run together. Of course technology plays and has played a vital role in development – in medicine or agriculture for example – and technology and online learning offer huge possibilities for HE. But sometimes it feels like we’re caught in our own hype. Undoubtedly, better broadband connectivity, greater mobile penetration, more students with smartphones and laptops – these are all changing the possibilities for learning, and for the way universities … 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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Library consortia sharing expertise: A small meeting tackling important issues in Addis Ababa
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Addis Ababa is used to hosting big and important meetings. The African Union and UNECA are both based here. A few weeks ago the UN Financing for Development conference brought several thousand visitors to Addis Ababa. And on Sunday evening President Obama flew in from Kenya. But this week Addis is also playing host to a smaller, quieter event – but an important one nevertheless. Seven library consortia have come together in Addis, hosted by the Consortium for Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) and facilitated by INASP, to spend five days sharing ideas, learning, and collectively identifying solutions to some of the many challenges they share. But library consortia aren’t just clubs or networks of libraries: they play a key role in enabling a strong and effective research and knowledge system. By enabling their member institutions to collectively purchase online journals and books, consortia are making a critical contribution … Continue reading

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