Regional Policy Development

At the regional level, LIBSENSE has taken preliminary steps to collaborate with regional bodies that share similar passion and vision of advancing academic research and open science. This collaboration aims to establish an everyday footing and identify an alignment for the establishment of a regional open science policy based on open, transparent and inclusive principles.

At the policy level, LIBSENSE has begun to collaborate with the Association of African Universities (AAU), CAMES, CRUFAOCI, SURUA, IUCEA and a host of other regional bodies.

On infrastructure, LIBSENSE is working with RRENs aggregating knowledge on what works best and disseminating best practices, monitoring uptake of services and capacities at the regional level.

Regarding capacity-building, LIBSENSE is working with regional RENs and other like-minded organisations for regional capacity-building. LIBSENSE collaborated with the Ubuntunet Alliance (Eastern and Southern Africa Regional REN) Policy Development Workshop is the first in a series of workshops organised in collaboration with UNESCO and regional associations of higher education institutions in Africa to promote the development of open science policies at the institutional level to complement the LIBSENSE National Open Science Roadmaps.

Some of the capacity-building sessions include skills profiles webinars, open access publishing, research data repositories and repository interoperability, persistent identifiers. Also, Early Career Researcher training as well as harvester development for the discovery of Arabic content.

Regional policy Workshop 1 - Ubuntunet Connect 2021
This Policy Development Workshop was the first in a series of workshops organised in collaboration with UNESCO and regional associations of higher education institutions in Africa to promote the development of open science policies at the institutional level to complement the LIBSENSE National Open Science Roadmaps. It was held as part of the regional annual conference of the Ubuntunet Alliance (a regional REN implementing the AfricaConnect3 project in Southern and Eastern Africa)

The objective of the Workshop was to establish common ground on how to move from the high-level goals and principles articulated in the UNESCO recommendations on Open Science to the role of institutions in implementing these policies.

The workshop featured case studies of open science and open access policy development initiatives across Africa to stimulate discussion about what works and does not in such policy development and implementation initiatives. The event included a talk on localising research assessment in the context of open science.

In attendance were Deputy vice-chancellors in charge of research, head librarians, and deans in charge of early career researcher development (e.g. postgraduate researchers, PhDs, postdoctoral fellows, new lecturing staff).


LIBSENSE and DORA webinar on research assessment in Africa

LIBSENSE and DORA [Declaration of Research Assessment] have held a one-day webinar on building research assessment into open science regional policy.

The webinar drew participants from the research and education space as well as activists of open science in West Africa and beyond.

The purpose of this webinar is to sensitise participants to the concept and rationale of responsible research assessment from a unique African perspective.

In his presentation, Omo Oaiya, the Chief Strategy Officer for WACREN showed how the LIBSENSE programme is advancing in creating and fostering a community of practice for open science in Africa, taking into consideration the unique contexts and nuances that characterised the phenomenon in the continent.

He highlighted LIBSENSE’s projects and activities in the areas of policy advocacy, infrastructure framework development and capacity building for the minds and brains behind the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendations on Open Science.

Dr Laura Rovelli, the Coordinator of FOLEC-CLACSO (a Latin America Forum for Research Assessment), highlighted how FOLEC was formulated and how it is contributing to quality research assessment in that part of the world.

Presenting on the topic - ‘Research Assessment in Africa: Issues to Consider’, Prof. Frederick Ato Armah opined that there is the need for strong, fluid collaboration and engagement among various stakeholders of research to ensure that they are all in sync with the acceptable standardised way of assessment research that aligns with the local nuances.

53 participants comprising researchers, research assessment organisations and scholars attended the webinar.

Regional Policy Workshop 2 at WACREN 2022

The 2nd edition of the Regional Policy Workshop themed - 'Open Science and Research Assessment Reform', was held in Abidjan during the week of the WACREN 2022 Conference. The event was attended by representatives of different partners including the European Commission officials, CAMES, CRUFAOCI, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), Association of West African Universities (AWAU), and national RENs. Also in attendance were Vice-Chancellors, deputy vice-chancellors, rectors, deans responsible for research and innovation, and senior librarians representing mostly Francophone and Anglophone countries in the WACREN region.

There were presentations from Ana Persic - the Acting Chief of Section for Science Policy and Partnerships at the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building at UNESCO while Prof. Stephen Curry the Chair of Declaration Of Research Assessment (DORA) gave the keynote address. The 30 in-person participants had a break-out session where they discussed the issues and challenges in implementing open science policies in the region.

The day ended with an updated compendium of case studies highlighting various initiatives and activities by institutions and countries to advance open science through policy formulation and implementation.

See photos of the Workshop here.

Watch the full video here.