Issue No 21. July 2013 Tell a Friend Feedback Unsubscribe



“Tapping into E-resources” workshop for Kenya DAAD scholars

The Kenya workshop, held at the Silver-springs Hotel in Nairobi during 27-30 May 2013 was for Masters and PhD scholars sponsored by DAAD – the German Academic Exchange Service. The students are based at several universities in Kenya and the region. Christoph Hansert, Director – DAAD Regional Office for Africa, gave the opening address to the twenty four participants who attended the 4-day course. Ten of the participants were female.

The course covered several modules including, Introduction to library electronic information resources (e-resources); Formulation of effective search strategies; How to use search strategies in various scholarly databases such as SCOPUS and SCIRUS; How to make use of Research4Life programmes (HINARI, AGORA, OARE and ARDI). The course also touched on copyright and plagiarism issues.

The feedback from participants was very positive with all participants indicating that the workshop had ‘met their expectations’ and that they ‘would recommend the same training to other scholars’. Realising how e-resources make life easier in the research writing process, the majority of participants recommended that other scholars receive similar training in the first year of their studies.

ITOCA has partnered with DAAD to deliver E-resources training for its Masters and PhD scholars in East Africa. The Kenya workshop was the third in a series following similar trainings held in Uganda and Tanzania starting November 2012. Another workshop is planned for Uganda in November this year.

African inventors trained on Research4Life programmes
The Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) programme is coordinated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) together with its partners in the publishing industry with the aim to increase the availability of scientific and technical information in developing countries. ITOCA has been partnering with WIPO to provide training in the following workshops during WIPO’s Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) Meetings on Developing the TISC Projects. The WIPO meetings are also aimed at promoting searching patent and scientific and technical journal databases.

Ethiopia, 19 – 21 March 2013: The workshop, hosted at UNECA in Addis Ababa proved yet another opportunity to showcase and train of Research4Life programmes to inventors, researchers and faculty in East Africa. About 50 professionals attended the event and ITOCA delivered the Research4Life programmes during a 11/2 day long hands-on session.

Rwanda, 25 – 27 March 2013: Continuing with outreach and training activities in East Africa, WIPO organised another workshop immediately after the Ethiopia workshop in Kigali. About 45 people were in attendance and once again ITOCA had an opportunity to demonstrate Research4Life programmes.

Congo, Brazzaville, 7-10 May 2013: This workshop demonstrates one of many marketing and outreach efforts across different languages in Sub-Saharan Africa. During this workshop attended by more than 40 participants and delivered in French, ITOCA sent a representative, Josue Tetang from Cameroon to deliver training on Research4Life programmes.

CEPD courses Update
Our Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD) training unit now offers courses which give each participant a Mecer tablet at the end of the course. The tablet is essential for a professional in this era of technology. The tablet allows you to do almost all functions that you can with your laptop. The difference is that is much lighter, more portable, can be used as a personal hotspot, photo or video camera and enables you to work on the go. Keep up with your emails and reduce your travel weight. Moreover, the tablet enables one to practice what they learn in the CEPD classes. Courses which come with a tablet are Information Literacy, Records Management and Monitoring and Evaluation.

The CEPD courses are aimed at enhancing skills for practising professionals through hands-on and practical skills building classes. Participants are able to learn new skills in small well-coordinated groups where they can interact and benefit through peer-assist and team building activities as they build their careers. For more information on the courses you can contact .

Improving Teacher-Librarian Education in Rwanda
ITOCA’s Improving Teacher-Librarian Education in Rwanda project is among the winning projects, which fall under the skills development theme of Rwanda’s Innovation for Education project. ITOCA is partnering with the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) and the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University (USA) to deliver this innovative project aimed at contributing to the improvement of the quality of education in Rwanda. The project Improving Teacher-Librarian Education in Rwanda is supported by Innovation for Education, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK.

Innovation for Education is an opportunity to test new ideas to improve the quality of education in Rwanda. The aim is to demonstrate effective and equitable ways of improving children’s learning. Innovation for Education, managed by a Fund Management Team based at the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) in Kigali, offers a major opportunity to test new ideas to improve the quality of education in Rwanda. Its aim is to demonstrate effective and equitable ways of improving children’s learning. Since December 2012, 26 innovative projects are up and running all over Rwanda. The projects are being implemented in classrooms, schools and other education institutions over a two-year period.

Rwanda, like most African countries, is grappling with a lack of reading culture and a lack of school libraries. School libraries not only increase literacy and reading for pleasure, they also enable teachers to use a wider range of resources in their classroom to help create a learner-centred environment. Teacher-librarians, through this project, will be trained to encourage reading for pleasure by providing a range of interesting and fun books to read. They will also organize the materials, both print and digital, that support the curriculum and allow teachers to enhance lessons in the classroom and students to explore further what they learn.

Many schools in Rwanda are struggling to offer school library services. This is partly because, generally, no one on staff is trained as a professional librarian. This project is hoping to change that and allow schools to select and train a teacher to focus on activities that promote information literacy and a reading culture at the school. The project will train teacher-librarians through specialised short-courses held at seven Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs). It will also train four selected KIE academic staff through a year-long development programme at Syracuse University aimed at building librarianship skills geared towards launching a teacher-librarian degree programme at KIE. It is hoped that the project will contribute to building strong school libraries by improving information literacy at schools which will promote reading culture in the country.

Enhancing Access to Research in Central and West Africa Award
ITOCA recently won a grant award from the Elsevier Foundation Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries programme (  The Enhancing Access to Research in Central and West Africa project will focus on promoting access to up to date published research through the Research4Life programmes at research and academic institutions in the West and Central Africa region.

“The Elsevier Foundation grant will enable us to address the critical need for capacity building and information literacy to boost Africa’s participation in the global research community,” said Gracian Chimwaza, Executive Director – Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA).

The 2102 winners of the Elsevier Foundation Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries include:

  • Enhancing access to research for academic and research institutions in Central and West Africa, Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa, ITOCA, South Africa
  • Strengthening professional’s skills in evidence based health care in Tanzania, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania
  • E-Library Training Initiative in Asia and Latin America, MLA/Librarians Without Borders (MLA/WB) Programme, and Nepal Knowledge Nexus, Dhulikhel Hospital / Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences

Small grants for improving Public Access to Health Information (PAHI) Awarded
In January 2013 Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) in collaboration with the Association for Health Information & Libraries in Africa (AHILA) announced two small grants to support health librarians/ health information professionals in carrying out a small project of their choosing.

The grants were aimed to build on the several Public Access to Health Information (PAHI)  training workshops which have been held in various African countries (in English, French and Portuguese), the most recent one having being held at AHILA 13 Congress, Cape Verde. The challenge was to develop an idea which would promote and improve public access to health information.

On 1 May 2013 two proposals were selected out of 12 entries and awards of USD1000 each and these were generously sponsored by International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). The successful proposals came from Mrs Symphrose Ouma, Kenya and Ms. Monica  Chipungahelo, Tanzania ;  there was a ‘highly commended’ proposal from Mr Ronald Munatsi, Zimbabwe. Congratulations!

Research4Life User Forum
Are you a user of any of the Research4Life (R4L) programmes ( ) –HINARI, AGORA, OARE or ARDI? If you are or would like to start using any of the R4L programmes and want to interact with other users, share ideas, experiences and get news on the programmes as well as related topics join us on the R4L forum. To join send an email to or go to where you can sign up.


Internship at ITOCA

ITOCA has an internship programme aimed at Library and Information Science (LIS) students or recent graduates. Interns are involved in several LIS and development programmes. They work under the supervision of a senior ITOCA programme officer. The duration of an internship is 6 – 12 months. Apply to

Look out for us at these upcoming Conferences and Meetings

ITOCA plans to exhibit and promote its programmes at the following upcoming events:

  • Africa Library summit, Pretoria, South Africa, 2 – 5 July 2013
  • FARA Science week, Accra, Ghana, 15-20 July 2013
  • IAALD Congress, Ithaca, New York, USA, 22-24 July 2013

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TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library) program 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.

AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) is an online program that gives educational, government departments and not-for-profit organizations, in selected developing countries instant online access to over 900 journals in agriculture and related sciences for free. Led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with Cornell University, WHO and the Rockefeller Foundation, the goal of AGORA is to increase the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research and training in low-income countries, and in turn, to improve food security. Researchers, policy-makers, educators, students, technical workers and extension specialists now have access to high-quality, relevant and timely agricultural information via the Internet.

The Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) is part of the United Nation’s Health InterNetwork (HIN) project, and is coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the lead agency. It is a collaboration between the WHO, publishers and other health care content owners intended to provide biomedical and health care research and guideline information to non profit academic and research institutions, governmental and policy making departments in low income countries. Access to this information will generally be provided at low cost or in most cases free by the Publisher, to institutions in many countries with a Gross National Product (GNP) per capita of US $1,000 or less according to the World Bank Report, December 1999.

Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) an international public-private consortium coordinated by by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading science and technology publishers, enables developing countries to gain free access to one of the world’s largest collections of environmental science literature. Over one thousand scientific journal titles owned and published by over 200 prestigious publishing houses, scholarly societies, and scientific associations are now available in 70 low income countries. Another 36 countries will be added by 2008. Research is provided in a wide range of disciplines, including biotechnology, botany, climate change, ecology, energy, environmental chemistry, environmental economics, environmental engineering and planning, environmental law and policy, environmental toxicology and pollution, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, urban planning, zoology, and many others.