Itoca Research Policy Linkages In Agriculture Sector

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Research brokers and intermediaries in different sectors and contexts: agriculture …

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