Itoca Research Policy Linkages In Agriculture Sector

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Research brokers and intermediaries in different sectors and contexts: agriculture

Presentation by Gracian Chimwaza, ITOCA, South Africa at the Locating the Power of the In-between conference July 08

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Itoca Research Policy Linkages In Agriculture Sector

  1. 1. Challenges and cases in research-policy linkages in the agriculture sector: reflections from the early days of the e-agriculture initiative Gracian Chimwaza Executive Director [email_address] ITOCA- Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa ITOCA Locating the power of in-between – Pretoria July 2008
  2. 2. Research-Policy Linkage <ul><li>Research plays a major role in policy-making process (1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide communities and policy-makers with useful info to make informed relevant recommendations to solve problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Systematic collection and presentation of info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informs individuals, communities, researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to relevant up-to-date information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manner in which info is gathered and presented is important </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand & identify key issues that impact the policy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternatives are considered and best recommendations are effectively communicated to the policy-makers </li></ul></ul>Locating the power of in-between – Pretoria July 2008 1. “Understanding the Link Between Research and Policy” Rural Communities Impacting Policy Project 2002 By Steven Dukeshire & Jennifer Thurlow
  3. 3. Research Plays Important Role <ul><li>Research informs policy making </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps in formulating pragmatic, action oriented policies: research to action paradigm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sound policy decisions can be made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid foundation of expertise ad knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caters for differing levels of knowledge depending on situation and policy </li></ul></ul>Locating the power of in-between –Pretoria July 2008
  4. 4. Challenges: Weak linkages <ul><li>Different types of research can be done depending on the need/intended outcome (2) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused Synthesis; Secondary Analysis; Field Experiments; Qualitative Methods; Surveys; Case Studies; Cost-benefit Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major sources of Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media; Official statistics; Polls; Think tanks and Specialized Policy Analysis Units; Traditional knowledge; Academic community </li></ul></ul>ITOCA –Information Training & Outreach Centre www.itoca.org 2. “Understanding the Link Between Research and Policy” Rural Communities Impacting Policy Project 2002 By Steven Dukeshire & Jennifer Thurlow
  5. 5. Many Challenges in the Research –Policy linkage <ul><li>Recognizing problems and identifying them </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Key issues </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting a selected Plan of Action </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring and Evaluating Impact </li></ul>Locating the power of in-between –Pretoria July 2008
  6. 6. Challenges: Weak linkages <ul><li>Inadequate research done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify important issues and gain better understanding of the issues before making any policy recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poor access to research output, governments docs by rural poor and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Limited discussion and communication with policy-makers </li></ul><ul><li>Access to published literature/peer-reviewed literature prohibitively expensive for many researchers in Africa </li></ul>Locating the power of in-between –Pretoria July 2008
  7. 7. FREE Access to Published Literature <ul><li>April 2000 - WHO meeting - researchers identified as one of their highest priority needs – access to high quality up-to-date research </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific information is essential to development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic growth depends on healthy people, food security, viable environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct access to scientific information empowers researchers, practitioners & policy makers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free/Low cost access vital </li></ul>Locating the power of in-between –Pretoria July 2008
  8. 8. Journal Access Initiatives <ul><li>TEEAL , www.teeal.org Mann Library, Cornell University </li></ul><ul><li>HINARI , www.who.int/hinari WHO/ Yale Library </li></ul><ul><li>AGORA , www.aginternetwork.org FAO/Mann Library </li></ul><ul><li>OARE , www.oaresciences.org UNEP/Yale Library </li></ul><ul><li>PERI, www.inasp.info INASP </li></ul><ul><li>eIFL, www.eIFL.net AND Kronos </li></ul><ul><li>AJOL, www.ajol.org INASP/NISC </li></ul><ul><li>Others </li></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of publishers offering thousands of full-text journals (free/low cost to low income countries) </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture, health, medicine, environment ; social sciences, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple languages; multiple delivery systems </li></ul>
  9. 9. Objectives of these journal programmes <ul><li>Better Research </li></ul><ul><li>Updated Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Research based policy decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Connections to international scientific community </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced “publishing gap” & improved locally produced journals </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately – improve Research; policy; food security; health, environment; MDGs </li></ul>GPM Washington DC 28 July 2008
  10. 10. E-agriculture promoting access & sharing experiences <ul><li>Partner initiative led by FAO </li></ul><ul><li>Improved information and communication processes through sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informing policy making </li></ul></ul>ITOCA –Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa www.itoca.org
  11. 11. ITOCA-Info Training & Outreach Centre for Africa <ul><li>Outreach and Promotion of ICT in Research and education in SSA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25-30 missions annually </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Training in access and use of e-resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information literacy courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TEEAL, AGORA, HINARI, OARE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>32 train-the-trainer workshops in 28 countries held since Apr 2004 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1200 faculty, policy-makers, researchers, librarians, information specialists trained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15,000 trained downstream </li></ul></ul>ITOCA –Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa www.itoca.org
  12. 12. Thank You

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