Tag Archives: Ghana

Reflections from the VakaYiko annual consortium meeting
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As Research Uptake Manager in the Evidence into Action team at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Ed Barney manages INASP funding on behalf of DFID. In this guest post, he reflects on the recent VakaYiko consortium meeting in Ghana. In the final week of July, the VakaYiko consortium came together for their second annual meeting in Accra. This brought a number of partners into one room, with representatives from INASP, the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS), the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). For the first time (and hopefully not the last!) DFID were also invited to take part in the meeting, which was an offer I could not refuse as a technical adviser to the programme. This meeting was fascinating for me to see how the relationships have emerged over the past two years, both within the consortium and … 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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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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Reflecting on a year of progress for the VakaYiko consortium
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As the second VakaYiko Annual Consortium Meeting approaches (it will take place in Ghana from 28-30 July 2015), Consortium Director, Clara Richards, looks back on a year full of change and progress.   I am amazed by how time is going by so quickly. It seems like it was yesterday that we were in Harare, Zimbabwe with the whole VakaYiko consortium, celebrating the first year of the project and having many expectations about the upcoming years of implementation. After having gone through a thorough planning phase we were ready and excited to start making things happen. We were full of questions and intrigue – not only about the VakaYiko project itself but also about how we were going to be working hand-in-hand with five organizations across the world; the VakaYiko project Consortium members are Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS), Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Making Network (ZeipNET), the Human Sciences … Continue reading

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#inaspPrinciples: Publishers, work with library consortia for a win-win situation
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Dr Joel Sam spoke at the recent Publishers for Development conference, where he urged publishers to work more closely with library consortia. Here, he discusses some of INASP’s Principles for Responsible Engagement in the context of Ghana. Access to current and up-to-date information for research scientists used to be an issue in Ghana from the late 1980s to early 2000s. One of the reasons for this was lack of funds within individual research institutes and universities to procure database access. However, since the mid-2000s, these issues have receded as a result of partnerships with international development agencies, such as INASP, which support developing country research scientists with access to current information on a continuous basis. This improvement began largely through INASP’s work on behalf of various consortia in negotiations with publishers. The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) was formed in 2004 to promote and facilitate the … Continue reading

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Training helps embed EIPM into Ghanaian government practices
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The VakaYiko Consortium has recently concluded a nine-day evidence-informed policy making (EIPM) training course at the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC) in Accra, Ghana. CSTC is the official training centre of the Ghanaian government, offering more than 60 courses to in-service personnel at all levels of the Civil Service. The EIPM course will be embedded within the Centre’s suite of courses, making it available to civil servants across the government in the years to come. Mid-level civil servants play a key role in policy formulation in Ghana. In preparing briefs, memos and reports on a wide range of issues from gender based violence to petroleum smuggling, fisheries policy and telecommunications systems, participants are on the front lines of the process of gathering evidence and communicating it to decision makers. However, as the Head of Civil Service, Nana K. Agyekum Dwamena, said in his opening address, “the analysis that should go … Continue reading

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