Learning and future action: conference evaluation

May 20, 2009

A summary of findings from the conference evaluation

76% of particpants who completed the evalaution questionnaire from the Power of In-between conference felt the conference met or exceeded their expectations.  Participants thought that in one way or another the conference had helped them to:

•    Debate and discuss the role of intermediaries: Helping to define, understand, broaden, clarify, value and explore the challenges relating to the role of the intermediary/research broker

“[My understanding of intermediary roles] has been blown up! There are horizontal roles, vertical roles, one-way, two-way, multi-way, 360°”

•    Share lessons and experiences with other intermediaries and learn from others:  Particularly in relation to gaining new ideas, comparing experiences and setting their work in a wider context.

“[There was] A sense of connection with other people facing the same issues.”

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Open access movements in developing countries

September 16, 2008

Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Executive Director from UNISA responds to questions raised at the conference about whether the benefits of open access are limited in developing countries. She stresses the importance of the open access movement for researchers in developing countries and argues that it can support greater access to local research. She talks about how institutions need to change and promote their own researchers work in-country rather than purchasing from elsewhere, and encourage researchers to publish in open access journals.

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Why we do what we do

September 16, 2008

Mohamed Motala, Executive Director from the Community Agency for Social Enquiry in South Africa reflects on the importance of the “why” question. He argues that we should continually ask ourselves why we do what we do in regards to public policy issues.
Intermediaries can discuss who they are and how they do things, but they need to first address why they do what they do.

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Learning from other I-K-Mediaries

September 3, 2008

Reflections on the conference/workshop from GDNet

Adriana Forero, LAC Regional Coordinator, GDNet
I personally found the workshop/conference very helpful in providing an input for both the day-to-day work and for the long term planning of our institutions. The possibility to get to know other IK-Mediaries and share with them work experiences was really constructive, among others, to start thinking on different ways to measure the effectiveness and impact of our work.

The discussion definitely raised a lot of issues to reflect on and enriched the process of formalizing the concept of “IK-Mediaries”. Since nowadays almost everything builds on networks the workshop/conference was a very good occasion build an effective network of ours. With regards to the internet tools we have to get familiar with, I feel that the cyberworld is changing too fast and for some of us that still have to learn more on them the network might be a very good instrument to provide support for our activities.

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Are intermediaries neutral?

August 13, 2008

Gillies Kasongo from PANOS Southern Africa talks about the one thing he’ll be taking away with him from the conference. He questions the neutrality of intermediaries and asks: Who influences the way intermediaries operate and why they operate?  Why do intermediaries exist and how neutral are their interventions?

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Intermediaries just repositories or more?

August 13, 2008

Mark Hepworth from Loughborough University in the UK tells us two things he will be taking away from the conference. Can intermediaries be satisfied with being just a repository? How can intermediaries add value and engage with people’s capacity to use information?

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Locating the power of what?

August 13, 2008

Andrew Chetley from Healthlink talks about puzzled reactions and new understandings of the conference title ‘Locating the Power of the In-between’.

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