04 October 2005

Agricultural libraries of ICARDA, Egypt and Sudan collaborating to strengthen information management capacities

At the recent CGIAR information managers meeting in Syria, several of the library managers reported that they have concrete collaboration programmes with national agricultural information systems, particularly in the countries or regions in which they are based. The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas - ICARDA - is actively assisting countries in the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia through the organisation of regional information training courses, support for regional agricultural information networks, and capacity sharing with individual national organisations.

An example is the agreement by the ICARDA library, the Egyptian National Agricultural Library, and the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Khartoum to join forces in a 'twinning' project to strengthen the information capabilities of the participating agencies. In recent months, this collaboration has concentrated on the University of Khartoum, developing databases, extending ICT infrastructure, establishing an agricultural information technology unit, and delivering training on IT to agricultural librarians and Faculty members from across Sudan. Planning has also started to support the development and delivery of e-learning materials in the Faculty of Agriculture. In November 2005, ICARDA will host a training course on the management of electronic documents for agricultural information managers from 12 countries. Story by Peter Ballantyne.




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