Strategy, sustainability and quality: how INASP and its partners are strengthening access to research in Africa

POWELL, Anne and FARROW, Emma and BURNETT, Peter (2014) Strategy, sustainability and quality: how INASP and its partners are strengthening access to research in Africa. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 189 - Access to Information Network - Africa (ATINA) Special Interest Group. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Strategy, sustainability and quality: how INASP and its partners are strengthening access to research in Africa

INASP is an international development charity working with a global network of partners to improve access, production and use of research information and knowledge, so that countries are equipped to solve their development challenges. INASP has supported the African research and higher education system for many years, working with partners in a number of countries to (i) improve access to online journals and other e-resources, (ii) respond to requests for training and advice from librarians, (iii) support researchers in the production of quality research, and (iv) support the visibility of African research through the Journals Online platform. In 2013, INASP embarked on a new phase of work, adjusting some of its approaches in response to changes in research and higher education, scholarly communications and the international development sector. In this paper we will share the learning, underlying principles and new approaches associated with this new phase of work. In the area of information access, three important aspects stand out: 1. Strategic planning To ensure that the support we offer fits our partner countries longer-term needs, and so that they are able to incorporate this support into their own strategic plans, we have worked with each partner country to agree a two-three year strategic action plans. 2. Sustainability We work within national structures to ensure that the capacity that our partners develop, and that INASP seeks to support, is sustainable and effectively embedded in the existing system. In many cases this is a national consortium of higher education and research libraries; in other cases it is another national level body responsible for e-resource access. 3. Quality. To ensure that the training we deliver is effective, and that it builds genuine and enduring capacity, we have increased our emphasis on quality. To do this we have reviewed our training materials, improved approaches to participant selection and developed new ways of monitoring training outcomes. We are also training facilitators in pedagogical skills.

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