The network that bounced back
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CTA. 2002. The network that bounced back. Spore 102. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47779
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore102.pdf
Now here s a simple, straightforward story of success. The Agridoc network started in France just over 20 years ago, and for years provided a sound but basic service distributing documents about agriculture, principally to francophone Africa. Many...
Now here s a simple, straightforward story of success. The Agridoc network started in France just over 20 years ago, and for years provided a sound but basic service distributing documents about agriculture, principally to francophone Africa. Many Spore readers will know it from the 1980s and 1990s as the answer part of CTA s then Question-and-Answer Service. At the turn of the century Agridoc decided to modernise and change its service, explicitly building customer friendliness into it. This metamorphosis has led to a well-conceived and dynamic set of services, designed to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the wealth of agricultural information which Agridoc can now provide, with support from the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. They work along the lines of cascades of information. Instead of operating from one centre, they are decentralising to eight regional service points based at existing organisations which are recognised as centres of excellence in providing customised services in agricultural information, and are often mentioned in Spore. At present, six are operational: at IPD-AOS in Burkina Faso, SAILD in Cameroon, INADES-Documentation in Côte d Ivoire, CITE in Madagascar, ENAM in Morocco and UTAP in Tunisia. At the heart of their services are two twice-yearly magazines, produced by the secretariat based at BDPA, near Paris. The first magazine, an information bulletin sent to all network members, is a wonderful collection of Spore-style news of technologies, networks, courses, Websites, a bulletin board of members, and reviews of new publications. Here lies the special feature of Agridoc: members can request a number of publications. If they are, or work in, an institution able to share the publications with more partners (known as Category 1) they can request copies or purchase them. Smaller groups (Category 2) with no organised dissemination can purchase copies, or obtain sponsored copies, or consult them at Category 1 organisations or the regional service points. There is also a Category 3, encompassing other networks, donor organisations and support bodies. The second magazine is thematic: recent issues have covered trends in local development and the liberalisation of livestock services. This is sent to all members, except for Category 2 organisations when their fields of interest do not include the topic in question. Most network members can also use Agridoc s question-and-answer and selective dissemination of information services, and obtain technical documents, manuals and guides from the Website, plus the range of (French-language) books produced for Agridoc by GRET. The latter are usually mentioned in Spore, and 2003 is likely to see a rich harvest of more of these books. Much of the information in the magazines, and the documents they describe, is in English and French; other services are mainly in French only. Want to join? Just ask. With their goal of 7,000 members by the end of 2003 not yet met, the door is open to most applicants. Remember, the more you can do with their information, the more the network will do for you. Couldn t be simpler! BPDA Agridoc 3 rue Gustave Eiffel, FR- 78286 Guyancourt Cedex, France Fax: +33 130 124 840 Email: email@example.com Website: www.agridoc.com