News and Highlights from previous years
ITOCA reaches out to over 300 institutions
The Information Training and Outreach Center for Africa (ITOCA) which is mandated to carry out training and outreach work for AGORA and HINARI by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation respectively has reached out to over 300 institutions in Africa through outreach and training. Capacity building is -a critical component of the AGORA and HINARI initiatives in ensuring that the programs are fully utilised and ITOCA looks after this component in the Sub-Saharan Africa region with backstopping from FAO, WHO and Cornell University.
Under the programmes “Supporting Health and Agriculture Development Goals in Sub-Saharan Africa Through Increased Capacity Building in AGORA and HINARI” funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the CTA funded “AGORA and Other New Advances in Information Delivery and Sharing Training workshop” ITOCA has so far carried out a total of ten, 3-day training workshops in the following countries: Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Senegal. Each workshop was attended by an average of 30 participants from research government and academic institutions. Plans are set to hold similar workshops in Mali (March 2006), Kenya (May 2006) and Zambia (June 06).
As the workshops are training of trainer platforms ITOCA requires institutions to select “Individuals who by virtue of their positions or advocacy for strengthened capacity building will be able to play an energetic role in ensuring that users in their universities, departments or institutions are made aware of AGORA and HINARI and taught to use these programs”. The training sessions have brought together an exciting mixture of professionals drawn from the health and agriculture sectors including, librarians, IT specialists, researchers, academics, practitioners, journalists, journal editors, administrators and students. With users from various institutions and countries ITOCA tries to create a community of users through networking and to this effect launched an e-Newsletter circulated to all participants and interested parties as a platform for sharing ideas.
While all the previous workshops have been held in English, 2006 saw ITOCA opening a new chapter with inaugural workshops in Portuguese and French held in Maputo, Mozambique and Dakar, Senegal respectively. This step saw training materials being translated into Portuguese and French thus widening the beneficiary catchment of these valuable materials.
For more on ITOCA activities and upcoming workshops visit www.itoca.org