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Private Sector Research Institutes' Initiatives in Promoting/Advocating for Open Data and Open Science in Africa/Joseph Mwelwa


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Presentation during the 14th Association of African Universities (AAU) Conference and African Open Science Platform (AOSP)/Research Data Alliance (RDA) Workshop in Accra, Ghana, 7-8 June 2017.

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Private Sector Research Institutes' Initiatives in Promoting/Advocating for Open Data and Open Science in Africa/Joseph Mwelwa

  1. 1. 1 ©JMC 2017. All Rights Reserved Private Sector Research Institutes’ Initiatives in Promoting/Advocating for Open Data and Open Science in Africa -A Case of Botswana- A Presentation at the African Open Science Forum (AOSP)/ (AAU) 50th Anniversary Accra - Ghana Joseph Mwelwa, PhD. – -Founder & Senior Partner - Joint Minds Consult -
  2. 2. 2OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION • A brief overview of Joint Minds Consult • Motivation for private sector participation in the ODOS discourse • What private sector can do to promote ODOS in Africa • Joint Minds Consult's contributions to ODOS as a private sector • Strategies for promoting ODOS • Lessons learnt in the process
  3. 3. 3What is Joint Minds Consult? • Joint Minds Consult (JMC) is an example of a private institution promoting ODOS • Country Managing Partner - Botswana – Dr Patrick Molutsi • Board consists of experienced and international team of researchers, education and training consultants [Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe] – based in Gaborone- Botswana. • Research, Knowledge Development and Management, Training and H Ed Student Support [Master & PhDs] • Research co-ordination and advocacy for research based policy and decision making in Africa. • A member of the Research Data Alliance. • Endorser of the SI Accord on (ODOS)
  4. 4. 4 Figure. 3 JMCproposed Quadrant approach . Adapted on source: World map by D] European Union block and Russia E]Asia B] USA and Canada C1 ] The Caribbean and South America F]. Central + East Africa A] PRINCIPAL CONSULTANTS- BOTSWANA R.C- Jamaica R.C - Barbados R.C- U.K R.C- India R.C -Zambia GLOBAL SPREAD AND NETWORK OF CONSULTANTS A] SADC G] West + North Africa H] Middle East I] Horn of Africa J] Australia and New Zealand C2 USA
  5. 5. 5 WHAT IS OUR MOTIVATION ON ODOS IN AFRICA ?  In a technologically and knowledge driven Africa,… data are indispensable.  Digital revolution has produced … enormous amounts of data …organizations are drowning in transactional data - Data not informing decisions  Knowledge production takes place in a multiplicity of places including public and private sector institutions  Need formalization and recognition of data production points  Open data up for access, sharability, and optimal good use  Data production, like knowledge, have been de-concentrated from the traditional bastions of knowledge such as universities, public and private sector research institutions  Data stubbornly tends to lock away wealth from even those who produce it,  Data is a source for innovation, creativity and job creation  We know the local Data terrain  Compelling reasons for us to participate in data discourse
  6. 6. 6WHAT CAN PRIVATE SECTOR DO TO PROMOTE ODOS IN AFRICA ? Through collaboration, private sector can engage research institutions to understand needs  Provide funding for data initiatives  Participate in ODOS discourse  Support knowledge creation as an investment sector area that thrives on data  Provide infrastructure as and when needed
  7. 7. 7 2 3 1 Joint Minds Consult’s Contribution as a Private Sector • We are about research promotion, knowledge development and management that includes research and data issues •The Board of Directors made a conscious decision to participate in ODOS discourse •Board decision released key company resources: Time, human physical, financial and social capital • JMC was making an investment in the data sector • For analysis on key social economic issues, we need DATA •Hence we are aggressively building our own data bank through our consultancies e.g The Out of School Education for Children project • Process includes conducting SA, benchmarking which generates data that can be re-used and shared. • Using our social capital, initiated discussions with partners in Botswana, the international partners in France, UK, the US and Australia • These are partners who have developed critical experience and expertise developing and managing data
  8. 8. 8 • With our local and international partners, facilitated seminars in Botswana in October 2016 •With partners, we developed a framework for thinking about ODOS •We participated in producing a position paper to guide ODOS discourse in Botswana • Paper provides a useful framework for operationalising ODOS in Botswana • Paper was presented at the African Open Science side-event in Pretoria in 2016 • Joint Minds Consult is official Secretariat of the ODOS national committee • 2nd collaborative paper to further enrich thinking about ODOS process is in press STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING/ADVOCATING FOR /ODOS IN BOTSWANA
  9. 9. 9 WHAT ARE THE LESSONS LEARNT? • Getting the stakeholders together requires skillful application of social capital • Contextual knowledge is key to unlock inertia and ‘siloism’ • Brokers are necessary to keep the momentum at each stage Build trust among stakeholders • Develop a coordination centre- for local and international linkages • Focus on developing a grassroots awareness for the first step • Private sector has a big role to play in promotion of ODOS • JMC has demonstrated modest initiatives on ODOS • It is small but growing company • However, there is a need for large corporations to do the same as they are better positioned for provision of funding and infrastructure .
  10. 10. 10 Thank you!