ZeipNET has been working with the Research Department in Parliament of Zimbabwe for over three years to build capacity for the use of research evidence as part of the VakaYiko programme. Important gains have been made with regards to strengthening individual skills among researchers, building networks and initiating key organisational procedures to support the systematic use of quality evidence.
In order to gain initial insights on the skills, knowledge and, organisational capacity gaps in Parliament’s information support system, ZeipNET conducted a needs assessment survey and EIPM sensitisation workshop. The identified issues informed the design of the evidence informed policy making training course conducted by ZeipNET for the Research Department in 2015, as well as the mentoring, learning exchange programme. Through this programme, which has been running from Sept 2015 to Sept 2016, ZeipNET is supporting Parliament to operationalise action plans designed to implement some of the ideas in the course. Among these action plans was access to online evidence sources like e-journals and other scientific databases including building capacity to effectively utilize these.
OPEN ACCESS ONLINE EVIDENCE RESOURCES
Open access to research and other evidence promote unfettered access to information so as to promote evidence-informed decision-making, public accountability, and good governance. This is particularly important in the parliamentary process as this enables the crafting of responsive legislation and informed oversight functions through the use of evidence thereby putting research evidence at the heart of development.
Open access not only promotes the much-needed impetus to creativity and innovativeness but also democracy and transparency including civic participation and engagement in the development agenda.
In order to build on awareness raised about online resources during the EIPM course, and in response to the need for further support in this regard ZeipNET and INASP have compiled a collection of open access online resources and will work with the Information services Directorate (Research, ICT and Library) to further promote these online resources and make them accessible on the Parliament Website.
A promotional event will be carried out in partnership with Africa Capacity Building Foundation who will also be promoting their own open access resources and the Zimbabwe University Library Consortium. The event will include awareness-raising activities as well as practical ‘How To’ sessions to assist researchers and other parliamentary staff to use the available evidence sources. Other stakeholders like World Bank, UNDP, AfDB who also have a stake in open access to research evidence and its role in policy making will also be invited.
The event will unveil the open access online information resources like e-journals, scientific databases and other evidence portals available for the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
The resources include open access scientific databases including others resources made available through ZeipNET’s partnership with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)
The resources available are in Annexe 1
ACBF Resources can be found on http://elibrary.acbfpact.org/