Information policies in agricultural research institutions
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CTA. 1997. Information policies in agricultural research institutions. Spore 72. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48936
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore72.pdf
CTA has organized two further workshops on the theme of information management policy within national agricultural research institutions in Africa.  workshops were held for member countries of the Commission de l'Océan Indien (COI) in Mauritius (
This year CTA has organized two further workshops on the theme of information management policy within national agricultural research institutions in Africa. A workshop held in Mali for representatives of NARS in West and Central Africa, which was the first phase of a study launched by CTA in 1996, was reported in Spore 68. This year's workshops were held for member countries of the Commission de l'Océan Indien (COI) in Mauritius (23-25 June) and for member countries of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) in Kenya (10-12 July). Participants included representatives of national agricultural research institutions, agricultural training institutions and international organizations, as well as information professionals. These workshops, like the one held in Mali, focused on the role of information in institutional development and on the use of research results in each region. In particular, the aims were: ? to establish the current status of information management within the NARS of the countries concerned, possibly comparing this with the situation found in West and Central African countries; ? to encourage institutions to adopt policies and strategies that are appropriate to the management of agricultural information; ? to encourage NARS to work together at the level of sub-regions and thereby achieve economies of scale. Two studies of information practices and needs, which had been carried out in the regions concerned prior to the workshops, backed up the findings of the participants, particularly with respect to the following points: ? institutions remain isolated from each other at national, regional or international level; ? there is a need for information on potential partners in the sub-region; ? there is a need for NARS to produce research results which justify a more pro-active dissemination process; ? there is a lack of competence in the use of modern communication technology. Participants at the two workshops therefore recommended: ? setting up an integrated regional information system - SIROI (Système d'information de la région de l'Océan Indien) and RAIN (Regional Agricultural Information Network) to collect and exchange information about institutions (research centres, laboratories and others), scientists, research programmes and results; ? involving the NARS in each region in the development and setting up of the information systems; ? setting up a training scheme, integrated with the information system project, which would enhance the capability of local professionals, NARS personnel and scientists to manage databases, to use Web servers on the Internet and to format Web pages. Participants at the workshop in Mauritius agreed to establish a monitoring committee which would be composed, on a voluntary basis, of representatives of NARS in the sub-region. COI: Commission de l'Océan Indien 4 Sir Guy Forget Avenue Quatre Bornes MAURITIUS Fax: +230 425 95 64 ASARECA: Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa PO Box 765 Entebbe UGANDA Fax: +256 42 21126