Evaluation of the Publication Distribution Service Dora: case study Nigeria
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CTA. 2001. Evaluation of the Publication Distribution Service Dora: case study Nigeria. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/63604
The purpose for which CTA commissioned this study is to determine DORA’s impact on the performance of beneficiaries (teachers, students, and participating institutions) so as to facilitate necessary improvement...
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Dissemination of Agricultural Reference Books (DORA) is a program set up to provide agricultural information for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The main objective is to make sources of information (books)available to rural development practitioners, which will enable them to find their own solutions to the technical, socio-economic and human problems that they face on a daily basis. The goal is to help ACP countries have better access to agricultural information services by making available relevant information and ocumentation to serve as a resource base for agricultural and rural development. Several institutions in Nigeria receive books mainly in agriculture, through Intermediate Technology Publication (ITP), under the DORA program. This program is of immense value in Nigeria particularly where there are numerous institutions of higher learning, and shortage of foreign exchange prohibits acquisition of literature. It is uncommon to find in some schools and institutions of higher learning up-to-date books on agriculture. The purpose for which CTA commissioned this study is to determine DORA’s impact on the performance of beneficiaries (teachers, students, and participating institutions) so as to facilitate necessary improvement in the efficiency and usefulness of the program. The specific objective is to determine the benefits resulting from the DORA program. DORA was launched in 1991, to cater in general for the needs in ACP countries for agricultural information. However, the evaluation meeting of 1993 in Swaziland, and the inventory of agricultural training institutions made by CTA in 1997 by BDPA for CTA, shifted the focus of DORA to agricultural training institutions within the ACP countries because of the dearth of information withinagricultural training institutions. This study is to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the publications distributed to various agricultural institutions in Nigeria; in addition to assess the relevance of the content of the books procured under the DORA program. The information about the usefulness, benefits and impact of the DORA program to stakeholders was gathered through questionnaires, interviews, site visits, focus group discussions and structured observations. The approach employed was to visit the London office of ITP, and all the institutions participating in the DORA Program in Nigeria, conduct a series of interviews of stakeholders, particularly program contact persons (Librarian) and institution/Faculty Deans and Heads of Department. This was followed up with focus group discussions with students and lecturers to obtain information which ordinary interview or questionnaire cannot give. A structured survey instrument was administered to both students and staff. A combination of objective and subjective approaches were employed to gather information. These approaches are as follows: • Designing questionnaires in English, which examines relevance, satisfaction and use of DORA books. • Distributing questionnaires to participating institutions. • Visit by the consultants to all the participating institutions. • Conducting structured interviews and focus group discussions. • Analysing the results in terms of the objectives with emphasis on use and benefits. • Desk study which included review of literature concerning the DORA. • Citation analysis of user’s publications in which DORA books are used for reference. • Review of previous impact assessment studies especially with respect to information dissemination. The framework for impact assessment was designed to motivate all stakeholders within National Agriculture Research Service (NARS), and to assist CTA in making informed decisions with respect to the DORA program. This framework covers effectiveness, access, adoption, use of agricultural technologies, priority setting, program formulation, efficiency, networking, and reduction of duplication. Results are presented in 17 tables designated (a) and (b) together with 10 figures illustrating the benefit and impact of DORA as reflected by students and lecturers who are the main beneficiaries in all the institutions surveyed. The National average is shown on the tables. Approximately 42% of students and 61% of lecturers are satisfied with library opening hours. On important aspects of library use such as reading space and library distance, 38% of students and 30% of lecturers indicated that there is always enough space, and distance from the library does not impede library use. Among those who are not using DORA books, three major reasons were given: Approximately 40% of students and lecturers claimed the books are not readily available. About 30% (students and lecturers) claimed that they couldn’t locate the books in the library. The third reason given by 24% of students and 10% of staff was difficulty in burrowing the books. Both students (52%) and staff (48%) in the institutions surveyed have better success of finding DORA books in the library because the library staff offer valuable assistance, by providing information on the availability and location of DORA books in the library. In institutions having very high enrollment of students, there is a higher demand for DORA books than available. About 60% of respondents indicated that DORA books can be found in the library by browsing, using catalogues or using the subject index. Corresponding percentage for students is 50 percent. Locating DORA books sometimes through a friend or colleague is 41% possible for students and 51% for lecturers. As a source of information library books rank highest, with 47% of students and 65% of lecturers considering this source very useful. In all institutions surveyed the library staff performance is rated very high (52% by students, and 59% by lecturers). There is need for improvement in the physical condition and arrangement in all the libraries visited with only 36% of students and 24% of lecturers rating them good. Physical disabilities of students and staff do not hinder their accessibility to DORA books; neither does gender. The main thrust of the results is that the DORA books are immensely valued by the various institutions, the books' content are relevant to the agricultural curriculum and practical training in virtually all the institutions. Users of the books are satisfied with the quality, and the coverage of the subject matter. The only set back is that the quantity of books sent is grossly insufficient for the users, and therefore strong attempts should be made to increase the quantity of the books. It is suggested that this could be done in discouraging individual in favour of institutional acquisitions. It is further suggested that where CTA has a program like DORA, a local consultant should be engaged to ensure efficiency, proper usage and documentation.