Methodology - Robert and Gilbert
The major activity resulting into the above mentioned outputs of this action are mainly described below:
- Activities for Output 1: Sharing of development information and knowledge to improved
- Identify sources of specific information on sustainable development and seek the participation of these sources into the networking programme.
In each partner country technical groups will be constituted and form the national focal nodes. The national nodes will be coordinated by a secretariat. The secretariat will spearhead the SWOT analysis of available information resources. The strength and the weakness of the existing information resources will be identified using a prior developed assessment instrument. This instrument will be developed by a team of selected experts within the region. After administration of the instrument, the outcome of this activity will be analysed and a report of results submitted to RUFORUM. The report will include a list of available resources and identify resource gaps and needs. Sources of available resources (human, infrastructure, financial, materials) will also be documented. These information will be shared at regional level and consensus reached on the way forward in the implementation of the network. For instance, where some nodes does not have qualified human resource to handle network activities, RUFORUM will organise a crush programme to re-skill/retool such resources, where it is found that networking facilities are absent or inadequate RUFORUM will look for funds for equipping the nodes. In short the aim of all actions at this stage is to prepare all nodes to function when the platform is built.
- Develop a dynamic database of information collaborators and partners.
The collected information need to be stored in interactive system for easy retrieval and update. National focal nodes will select a team of expert to be appointed by RUFORUM to define the Terms of reference of the consultant firm to design the database template. RUFORUM will select a team of experts in the region to analyse the identified resources and develop compatibility standards as mean for developing the database template. The template will be shared among the partner institutions for comments and improvements. Technical working will be identified by each national focal node to evaluate the template. The template will be tested on pilot basis for compatibility until final version is achieved. If found successful the template will be distributed to the different nodes.
- Develop an information sharing policy among the RUFORUM fraternity
Riding on all activities of the network is the institutional policies accepting to participate in networking efforts. It is the intention of this action to enlist the support of the leader to accept this noble idea by including this project in their annual plans and on a sustainable basis. A series of consultative meetings will be conducted with all the leaders of the partner institutions around policy framework to regulate the information flow and sharing. A regional workshop will be then organized by RUFORUM to build the consensus on the information sharing policy. A team of experts from the different partner countries will be proposed in the workshop for drafting the policy. This policy will be shared among the participating insttitutions up to a consensus.
- Activities for Output 2: Output information audit
This action aims at mapping the information institutions in each country and thereafter carry out an information audit of each information institution follows. The purpose at this stage is to establish quantity and quality resources systems in information and knowledge management, the quality of human resources available, the equipment available and in use.
- Conduct information needs assessment to establish which institution has what kind of information, the information they need and the format it is available.
- Identify expertise or Resource persons to develop the required information-knowledge resources
- Develop a platform/interface or portal for accessing information and knowledge resources
The national focal nodes will propose a team of experts to RUFORUM to define ToT for a team of consultants to design the platform for accessing the regional information. RUFORUM will advertise the job, and appoint a engage a Team of expert to develop a platform/interface or portal for accessing the regional information and knowledge resources at each node of the network. This platform will piloted by selected nodes of in the region for feasibility (compatibility, ease of use). The resultant output of this action is to achieve a working platform in each node. An integration process will be initiated at national level and eventually at regional. At level of integration sufficient time will be given to learn lessons on the action until regional integration is complete. Testing the portal, and supply with the menu : open access open-access information and knowledge resource materials
- Activities for Output 3: Network or platform for collaboration and sharing knowledge and information in research and training developed
- Identify the type of platform for networking and collaboration to be developed
- Design and develop the agreed upon platform
- Pull together the information and knowledge resources for development
- Launching the Platform
- Activities for Output 4: Human, infrastructural and networking capacity of higher education institutions to share information and knowledge for sustainable development enhanced
- Human capacity building to information generators and administrators
Attaining critical mass of required input is essential for an effective network. This critical need to be built at node, national and regional level.
- ICT infrastructure of partner institutions up-graded
- Information sharing and collaboration policy developed and approved