Tag Archives: Monitoring

Online course builds M&E skills for library networks

Veronika Schaeffler, INASP Programme Officer, describes how a new online training course has been helping Southern library networks to understand their research collection usage better. Continue reading

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Is it a needs assessment if you have already decided on your intervention?

At INASP we provide small grants to support capacity building activities in many areas.  In all areas including mine, the evidence informed policy making (EIPM) programme, we are very interested in if a capacity gap a) exists and b) if the proposed intervention goes some way to filling that gap.  As such we provide small grants to conduct needs assessments and pilot activities.

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What caught our eye last week

The UK looks poised to take a big step into Open Access. Last week, Ian Samples (the Guardian) looked at the UK government’s plan for ‘Free access to British Scientific research within two years’. The UK would be the first country to take this controversial step. We recently came across a report published by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) entitled ‘Learning purposefully in capacity development’ (Alfredo Ortiz and Peter Taylor, IDS). The report analyses long and short term objectives of capacity development activity as well as what to take into consideration when deciding how to monitor the on-going process and evaluate the impact of the whole activity. This is a must read for any capacity development organisation. While not specifically related to research communication and international development, we did find the following links interesting. The first is simply the introduction of walking routes on Google maps for Africa. The second is a visual representation … Continue reading

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Does usage of electronic resources by researchers plateau?

Several years ago I was discussing usage statistics with Ann Snoyenbos from ProjectMUSE during a break in a conference. We concluded that there would very likely come a point when usage (as measured by full text downloads) would plateau and we would no longer see increases in the number of documents being opened from any specific electronic resource.  Would that reflect a situation where all researchers in the institution are fully aware of the resource and are using it in the most effective way to support their research?

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Spreadsheets – a waste of time or a means to an end?

I was one of a number of people in the room who sat up smartly when Ross MacIntyre opened his presentation at the 2012 UKSG conference by saying that spreadsheets are a waste of intellectual ability. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is crucial, and we need the appropriate information to inform and support our decisions, but this information is a means to an end and it is all too easy to get so involved in collecting and storing the information that we run out of time or energy to do anything with it. Librarians have moved beyond the point where just having the data is enough, we now see this a way to improving our library service. Time and effort needs to be focussed on interpretation and use, not downloading statistics and finding our own methods (usually in Excel) to produce comparable reports.

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