Tag Archives: Library Consortia

Local ownership: support, don’t lead, the process for access to research
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Local ownership is a concept that is fundamental to our work at INASP- in fact it’s more than a concept, it’s a principle that informs everything we do, and that we strive to ensure every day. I was reminded of this during recent discussions at our 28 June Publishers for Development meeting in Oxford. Here I want to suggest one way we can bring an appreciation of ownership to bear on our work in supporting access to research. Why? Because as innumerable examples have shown, solutions which are not owned, which are developed from outside and then imposed on a country rarely work in the long term. They may enjoy some early success, but often crumble – either because they don’t work, or because no-one is invested in them even if they could. From ambitious public sector reform programmes, designed by World Bank experts, which tried to make African governments … Continue reading

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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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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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Building capacity of Africa’s library consortia
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Jon Harle reports on the recent library consortia meeting in Addis Ababa about building strong foundations for research to deliver African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’ Last week’s workshop in Ethiopia wasn’t about libraries. It was about taking a vision of research and higher education – a vision of enabling development, tackling critical problems, improving the delivery of basic and much-needed services, preparing Africa for a changing world – and pulling that down to the detail of skills, of organizational processes and structures, of defining and addressing priorities through the incremental, day-to-day steps through which capacity is developed, services improved and progress made. One of my frustrations after the Senegal African Higher Education Summit in March was that we weren’t discussing the ‘how’ – and realising these ambitions for research and higher education will depend on taking high-level goals and translating them to real and sustained improvements in myriad areas, so that … Continue reading

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From Principles to Practice: Conference gets library consortia and publishers working together
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A guest post by Teresa Hanley, Facilitator at Publishers for Development, Independent Consultant (thanley@gmail.com) I was pleased to be asked by INASP and the Association of Commonwealth Universities to facilitate the 7th Publishers for Development (PfD) meeting which took place on 30th June in London on one of the hottest days of the year so far. I had heard of PfD as a fledgling group while evaluating an INASP programme about five years ago. It was striking, then, to now find such an established group with excellent camaraderie and, working relations, very focused on how to work responsibly in developing countries. Discussions focused on the five principles developed by INASP which include understanding country context, respecting a country’s wish to work as a consortium, not making sudden changes, thinking long-term, and being realistic about sales.  The principles aim to support publishers working in developing countries to balance their commercial aims … Continue reading

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