Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sights from RAILS - CIARD Africa Consultations, 19 - 21 June 2012

Try to ask a research scientist in a public research institute in Africa to provide open access (OA) to his research outputs and you are mostly going to get a very big NO for an answer.  Why? Open access is not well understood by most researchers and information professionals in public institutions. For this reason, I welcome the initiative to organize consultations for the Directors of Research and the Information Managers from agricultural research institutes in Africa to discuss opening access to agricultural research outputs. The three-day consultation (19-21 June, Accra, Ghana) is organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA).
Visit this blog for my analysis of the discussions and outputs of the consultations. Meanwhile, here are some photos from the consultations.

Krishan Bheenick (CTA) faciltating a session on
participants' expectations

Franz Martin (FAO) presenting on opening access
 to agricultural research outputs

Participants working in groups

Participants listerning to a presentation

Ajit Maru (GFAR) clarifying a point

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Hunting for Per Diem..."

In August 2010, I wrote a blog post on “Training Workshops and the Culture of Sitting Allowances in Africa”.  The report on “Hunting for Per Diem the Uses and Abuses of Travel Compensation in Three Developing Countries” by NORAD goes further on this topic. The report is based on a study covering Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania.  The study examined the origins, operation and consequences of per diem compensation in connection with seminars and workshops, with particular reference to effects on development programmes, national budgets and civil service delivery. The report gives insights into the potential for misuse or non-optimal use of the money that is allocated for seminars by governments, civil society and development partners. 

This is recommended reading for development practitioners.