|ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) is Africa’s leading librarians training organization based in Africa.ITOCA is a capacity building organization aimed at enhancing information and communications technology (ICT) skills for African librarians,information specialists, scientists, researchers and students in Sub-Sahara Africa. Formerly, TEEAL Africa Office, ITOCA Albert R. Mann Library TEEAL programmefor Africa. The organization, which has professionals in 3 countries (Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) and liaison contacts in 35 was established in Feb. 1999 as a marketing and support office for Cornell University’s African countries, has trained over 1,000 information professionals,in 33 Sub-Sahara Africa countries in the last seven years.ITOCA , with backstopping from the TEEAL and AGORA projects at Mann Library (Cornell University) and FAO, the HINARI project at WHO and ORAE project at UNEP has a mandate to carry out outreach and training activities that promote the successful adoption and use of these three programs throughout Africa.|
|TAE Deans and Registrars’ Seminar 21-22 May 2009
ITOCA hosted the -Tertiary Agriculture Education (TAE) – Deans and Registrars’ Seminar from the 21st to the 22nd May 2009 in Centurion South Africa. The seminar was attended by 24 delegates from fifteen countries across Africa and during the workshop they learnt about, explored and mapped a sustainable way forward for the future of the portal.
The two-day seminar focused on the role played by universities, colleges and NGOs in supporting access to comprehensive, up-to-date information on agricultural education and extension in Africa by providing an accurate profile of available institutions, human capital outlay and human capacity in the sector for future development through the open access TAE Portal.The format of the seminar entailed presentations, plenary sessions, practical sessions on how to use the TAE Portal and group discussions.
The TAE-Africa portal is accessible from www.aet-africa.org and tracks important information on capacity developed at the participating agricultural universities and colleges. It contains an online database tracking data on the number of institutions; colleges and faculties of agriculture; programs and courses offered; student population; faculty staff and their qualifications, number of graduates per annum and related data. The aim is to provide free and easy access to accurate and up-to-date data that is relevant to policy-making and development work in SSA.
HINAGOA User Forum
CTA Supports institutions to purchase TEEAL
TEEAL is a full-text digital library of 149 agricultural journals made available at low cost to universities, agricultural research organizations and government ministries in eligible low-income countries. Journal coverage starts in the 1990s and is updated annually. TEEAL has a searchable database of citations from CAB Abstracts, BIOSIS, Econlit and PubMed. TEEAL is an offline tool – no Internet or phone line required – that you can share on a local area network, or use on a standalone PC
ITOCA’s TOT approach continues to pay dividends
Dr Nancy Budambula is a lecturer in the Department of Botany at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and was an attendant at the Kenya HINAGOA workshop held at JKUAT in January 2009. Between January and February Dr Budambula trained a total of 13 students split into 3 groups of 4-5-4. Dr Budambula used a very simple uncostly approach to teach her students as she says in her observations “ The maximum number of trainees per training session should be limited to four when using AICAD Cyber. This allows the training to go at one corner of the cyber without disrupting normal operations of the cyber. When training at this cyber the trainer should sitting in the middle with two students to the left and two students to the right. Ideally I would need 3 hours to train the Postgraduate students and 2 hours to train the undergraduate students”.
In her sessions she covered “Optimizing Google search” where she taught among others, how to do phrase searching and using the advanced search feature. Although she introduced the students to all the three programmes she concentrated on HINARI as she found it more useful for her students. Students were taught how to search by subject area, publisher and they were also shown how to use Free Books for Doctors where “they were able to open and use the 10 available genetics textbooks”. They were also taken through how to do a basic search using PubMed and finished off by talking about use of the institutional password. As she reports “To ensure that they use the resources, assignments with research topics involving the use of HINARI were given”. This story from Kenya is a good example of the role lecturers are playing in promoting the awareness and use of HINAGOA programmes.
During the training workshops there is a session where participants are put into groups according to what they do and they discuss and come-up with what they would consider some of the best ways to promote and train on use of these resources. Alice Alije Odu who was in the University librarians group had this to say about what she did when she returned to her institution: “Before coming for the training, we were already registered with OARE, subsequently in the course of the training I tried registering the institution with HINARI and AGORA as we never got feedback from the former registration the institution made.
PROTAbase included on ITOCA training portfolio
Professional Development Program Reaches Global Audience
Cornell NutritionWorks, at www.nutritionworks.cornell.edu, is an interactive, web-based continuing professional education program for food, nutrition and health practitioners sponsored by the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. A new global health feature highlights activities and topics of interest to practitioners in developing countries. These include the following:
TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library) program www.teeal.org is an innovative scholarly scientific database developed specifically for agricultural and natural resource scientists, lecturers and students in developing countries by Cornell University in association with the Rockefeller Foundation, NY, USA. TEEAL, available on CD-ROM and on a hard disk that can be put on your Local Area Network, gives access to full-text literature from the world’s leading publishers.