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Evidence-based information practice in developing countries: issues and contexts Buhle Mbambo-Thata, DPHIL UNISA Library Pretoria. South Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Evidence-based information practice in developing countries: issues and contexts Buhle Mbambo-Thata, DPHIL UNISA Library Pretoria. South Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidence-based information practice in developing countries: issues and contexts Buhle Mbambo-Thata, DPHIL UNISA Library Pretoria. South Africa

2 Overview of presentation Introduction Definition EBI practices Approaches to practice Issues Role of information professional Some applications Intervention strategies Conclusion

3 Introduction Evidence-based librarianship Evidence-based librarianship or information Research informed practice or supporting clients research? Relevance to contexts Researching self?

4 Definitions an applied science: merging scientific research with pressing need to solve practical problems Elderedge 2000 an approach to information science that promotes the collection, interpretation and integration of valid, important and applicable user reported, librarian observed and research derived evidence Booth 2000

5 Definitions (continued) A generally accepted working definition includes; EBIP as …. a means to improve the information practice by asking questions as well as finding, critically appraising and incorporating research evidence from library science into daily practice….. my addition …. decision making

6 EBI practices Information management processes that constitute evidence-based information practise include: –Problem specification (clarifying question) –Searching the literature –Filtering results Evaluate validity Assess the relative value –Critical appraisal

7 EBI practices (continued) Implementation processes include –Applying results –Evaluating performance

8 Two emerging approaches of EBIP A(internal): intervention to improve level of practice within library B(external): Intervention to improve practice of information integration in a subject field Both are integral to information practice. Both reinforce each other and need to be engaged.

9 Focus of presentation Presentation will touch on both aspects but focus on evidence-based problem solving, policy influence, social practice and the role of the librarian and /or information officers. NOTE not all information is evidence

10 Information management and evidence Information not evidence Application just –in-time and appropriate application to problem solving turns it into evidence. Information management an essential prerequisite to application in evidence facilitating access.

11 Emerging Trends Literature on EBIP practice in developing countries, and Africa, in particular was difficult to locate Increasing call for evidence based information practice in the health sector Increased call for usage of research information in policy formulation Post WSIS era has called for greater involvement of library and information sector to inform planning in government information issues

12 Why the apparent lack of evidence of EBIP? Could be technical- not cited in mainstream to search (not in Google either) Could not be an area of activity Could off the print radar Could be not documented practice even where it may be occurring (as in reflective practice) Need evidence on where EBIP is in developing countries

13 EBIP in developing countries? Policy formulation requires it Decision making requires it Scarce resources demand it Development issues depend on it Quality of life issues in, health, agriculture, education, economics will be better served

14 Issues Context and methods of evidence gathering Indigenous knowledge –Unrecorded knowledge –Oral culture based knowledge in environment Tapping on tacit knowledge Examining reflective practice What knowledge is objective? Measurement of research impacts? Paradigms of operation

15 Role of information professional Linking information, research policy formulation and development Question is how? Managing information Creating networks and frameworks for collaboration with stakeholders for problem definition, information access, and application to research Aligning own skills in order to tap into oral, tacit and public information

16 Some applications… Cameroun: July A workshop organised to bring researchers and policy makers to discuss implementation of research findings ( Information literacy colloquium examining more than print literacy in various disciplines, while engaging information literacy applications (IFLA) Kaniki call for libraians to be involved in indigenous knowledge management for development ( 2006 Stellenbosch Symposium

17 Intervention strategies Evidence- --research EBIP practice Engagement in fields where EBIP lands itself as modus operandi--- health information, agriculture, and economics Create frameworks for IK access and applications Collaborate to find an information entrance Return to information science

18 Intervention strategies (continued) Make local research visible(--- institutional repositories) Training--- continuing education, curriculum change Advisory role Building practice and research partnership Return to funding of library and information science programmes and practice

19 Conclusion The role of information profession is to inform –To identify intervention niches, just in time –To be part of the research and policy formulation process solution Information, policy and research cycle is intricate Information professionals to engage in examination of role and applications Where is information science? How do we engage with IK? Training and funding part of strategic direction.

20 Thank you

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