With the recognition that the global system of academia and scholarship is a global network of diverse institutions, people, and practices, the production, circulation, and visibility of scholarly information is also a global issue. NIDA is pleased to announce a new strategic focus on advancing equitable Open Access (OA) policies for economically disadvantaged and globally marginalized research communities.
NIDA believes that OA is the ultimate mechanism for levelling the playing field, and creating a vibrant and participatory global system of scholarship. However, predominant approaches adopted by organizations and institutions in high-income countries (that rely on the payment of author fees ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $5,500 per article, offsetting arrangements and Read and Publish models) although well meaning, have the potential to further marginalize global research communities in lower-income countries and exacerbate global inequities in scholarly communication.
NIDA aims to advocate for the interests of the research communities who have hitherto lacked a seat at the table at many of the discussions around OA. Through engagement with major stakeholders (OA2020, research funders, national governments, etc.), partners such as African Journals Online (AJOL), and the Open Source Infrastructure community, we will work with scholarly organizations around the world to promote policies, programs and initiatives that will enable and empower once-marginalized researchers as equal participants in the global scholarly enterprise.
Read more: Open Access Policies
Access Agriculture works in Africa, South Asia and Latin America through a network of practical partners who are interacting with smallholder farmers on a daily basis. Their work focusses on quality “farmer to farmer” training videos in local languages; almost 200 videos are now available with more than 75 languages being used.
The programme has been announced as the winner of the ‘iStandOut’ category of the biannual Prize Digital for Development (D4D) rewarding outstanding initiatives using digitisation and new technologies as a lever towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
More than 42 million farmers have seen their videos through TV transmissions, more than 800,000 through village video screenings and more than 700,000 through DVD distribution.
Farmers can register and download the videos for free. Radio Stations can download the soundtracks and easy to follow Fact Sheets can also be downloaded.
A profile of Access Agriculture’s work can be found from:
More information on the prize from www.accessagriculture.org
Hardie Wren Development Initiatives are pleased to announce the second INNOVATION in SCIENCE LITERACY AWARD WINNER
LEORA TRUST with MATHS WAALI Project
Leora Trust founded by mathematician Dr Seema Nanda in 2012, together with the educator Dr Stefan Schramm, are starting a pilot study of their validated mobile phone app in December 2018 for class 8 of a low income school in Chinnappa Garden Slums, Bangalore. It aims to enrol the whole class by developing relationships with the school. This integrated maths learning experience provides instant feedback, customised to each child, using AI. In addition, there is a dynamic modification of the lessons using a neural network algorithm. Maths Waali specifically targets the 20 million urban slum children leaving school innumerate.
Providing wide-ranging teacher training and educational programmes in water, science and climate change education, the Waterschool China Programme seeks to educate young citizens and engage communities throughout China in ways that enable them to become active participants in sustainable water resource management.
From its origins in the Yangtze River basin in 2008, the Programme now extends to four river basins across China, and has reached 173,000 students through the formal education system as well as many communities and organisations in selected watersheds.
The Programme works in five key areas: teacher training, school activities, community action, resource development, and linking and learning at national and international levels. Project teams at different levels have been established and developed through individual and institutional capacity building.
The learning platform is designed to include facilitation of information sharing among schools, communities and coordination centers as well as collate and publish regional educational resources developed. Through working with the Ministry of Education, knowledge and expertise from local, regional and national levels feed into policy within China’s Education Reforms.
A suite of textbooks and curriculum packs has been developed specific to each watershed, and a model for yearly teacher training workshops and regular communication to create a learning and sharing platform have been developed. The programme achieved a major milestone when case studies from the project were used to inform the introduction of the first ever national-level curriculum on environmental education in China.
Read more in full profile
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with RUFORUM will deliver an online course (in English and French) AGORA Fundamentals of Information Literacy and Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture 10 – 21 September 2018. The course aims to deliver knowledge about the fundamentals of information literacy competencies and develop necessary skills to access and effectively use AGORA.
The Online Course on AGORA will be provided in English and French. It consists of two units and five lessons as follows:
Unit 1: Identify, Access and Use Information Resources
Unit 2: Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA)
The course lasts for two-weeks and requires for six-hour time commitment on average per week.
Who can apply?
The course is designed specifically to serve the needs of researchers, academics, research officers, librarians, IT specialists, other practitioners and students in agriculture and relevant fields such as forestry, fisheries, climate, food security and related sciences from:
How to register?
Please submit your application through the following online forms by 3rd of September 23:00 CET (Central European Time).
Deadline for applications: 3 September 2018 23:00 CET
Details in French
The AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) programme, set up by the FAO together with major publishers, enables low-income countries to gain free or low cost access to an outstanding digital collection in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, climate, food security and related sciences. AGORA offers up to 10,500 key journals and 26,500 e-books providing full-text to more than 3,400 institutions in more than 115 countries. AGORA is one of the five programmes that make up Research4Life: AGORA, HINARI, OARE, ARDI and GOALI.
This year’s competition asks participants to build models using collected waste (e.g. plastic, cardboard, wood) found while safely exploring their neighbourhoods (or visiting the beach, parks, lakes…) and construct their design by combining together with items such as glue and staples to assist in assembly (for example glue, staples etc.). The main structure should only consist of items collected outside.
Submissions should be documented, to include where the waste came from with a short video or with images + a description.
Who can enter?
This competition is open to students from all countries attending public, private or home schools, between the ages of 11 and 18 years old.
How entries will be judged
The judges will score and rank the entry videos/images based on the following criteria:
The organisers will also invite the public to have a portion of the vote using the model images provided.
There is a prize for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and all winners will be published on the Learning Zone website and shared on their social media channels.
The competition runs from 31 Oct 2018. Judging will take place in the last two weeks of September, and the winner will be announced on the 15th November (mark your calendars!).
Hardwarethon is getting ready for its fifth inventor’s contest. This year, the capabilities and creativeness of 15 teams, with members from more than 20 different disciplines, will be tested to solve innovative technological challenges and develop functional prototypes. In this particular edition, they will seek to generate solutions with a global implication, focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the vision of the Hardwarethon organisers, technology bears the potential to be a key sector in generating creative ways to tackle macro issues and it is the hope that this contest could be a chance to bring out original solutions with a high impact on sustainability and society.
Developed four years ago by six Costa Rican engineers and technology enthusiasts, Hardwarethon was inspired by the desire to empower people to advance innovative ideas and thereby promote social and economic development, not just in Costa Rica, it has also ‘cranked out’ many new projects in Colombia and Nicaragua.
Prior to the competition, the selected teams attend a week-long workshop where they are trained and taught about creative thinking, current technological and maker trends, business models and, problem and market validation, in order to face the 48-hour challenge and develop their start-up projects.
Hardwarethon is organised by Imagine XYZ and this year will be hosted by the Texas Tech University of Costa Rica with the support of Fundecooperación.
You can find more about the experience through two short documentaries (in Spanish) on YouTube:
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has published news of two pieces of research that not only indicate that mass radio campaigns encourage prompt care-seeking but also suggest that “this type of intervention could be one of the most cost-effective ways to improve child health in low and middle-income countries.”
The first study included data from a randomised controlled trial in rural Burkina Faso, showing a radio health campaign significantly increased under-five consultations at primary health centres for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. Professor Simon Cousens of LSHTM led the evaluation reported that: “Pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhoea are the three of the biggest killers of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Ensuring that these children get appropriate treatment is a global priority. This research provides evidence that mass media has an important role to play in persuading parents to seek life-saving treatment for children.”
The second study used the mortality predictions for Burkina Faso and other countries to calculate the cost-effectiveness of mass radio campaigns. Roy Head of Development Media International (DMI) who designed and led this work in partnership with LSHTM reported: “What this study shows is that using mass media to drive people to health centres is actually more cost-effective than almost anything on earth in terms of saving children’s lives. And that makes sense – it reaches millions of people at a time – but this is the first time it has been shown in a scientific trial.”
Murray J, Head R, Sarrassat S, Hollowell J, Remes P, Lavoie M, Borghi, J, Kasteng F, Meda N, Badolo, H, Ouedraogo, Bambara R, Cousens, S. Modelling the effect of a mass radio campaign on child mortality using facility utilisation and the Lives Saved Tool (LiST): findings from a cluster randomised trial BMJ Global Health, DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000808
Kasteng F, Murray J, Cousens S, Sarrassat S, Steel J, Meda N, Ouedraog, M. Head, R. Borghi, J. Cost-effectiveness and economies of scale of a mass radio campaign to promote household life-saving practices in Burkina Faso. BMJ Global Health. DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000809
Closing date for both prizes 20 August 2018