Tuesday, October 15, 2019

ORI Seminar Presentation

There will be a presentation on Wednesday, 16th  October 2019 in the Okavango Research Institute Seminar room.

The presentation will be done by Eric Morgan, who is a Professor in Veterinary Parasitology at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland.  
The seminar will address how climate and other environmental change might affect disease dynamics in such systems, and discuss approaches to predicting future change. Examples include recent mass die-offs of saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan, and parasite flows across mixed use landscapes in Botswana.

You are all invited to attend

Monday, October 14, 2019

Okavango Research Institute Library

The Okavango Research Institute Library (ORI)  is a resource for the  ORI community (students and staff) and other stakeholders who are involved in the studying and planning of the Okavango Delta and other related wetlands.  The core of the library holdings include information sources that are covers the 5 major research programmes of the institute which are: ecosystem dynamics, Ecosystem services, water resources management, sustainable tourism and climate change, as well as other related information which supplement the core areas.
The Library provides access to over +20 000 scholarly full text electronic journals, online and Networked databases, E-books and print books.  The library recently hosted training on accessing information from ProQuest Database to ORI researchers and students.  

The library has four special collections which are:
  • Peter Alexander Smith collection
  • Dr Hans Joachim Heinz collection
  • Dr Richard Bell collection
  • The Hunting Records Collection
 In the next uploads, I am going to give you a preview of the different collections and the types of information sources that be found in them. 

By Mosepele Mabutho

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

2019 Open Access Week

The 2019 International Open Access Week  will be held in October 21-27. The week was established by Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and partners in the student committee in 2008. The week present an opportunity for libraries to advocate for action towards making openness the default for research, to raise the visibility of scholarship and accelerate research. The theme 2019 Open Access Week is ''Open for Who? Equity in open Knowledge".

According to the 2019 Open Access Week Advisory Committee, The  theme for 2019  is built on the groundwork laid last year when discussions focused on “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.” The 2018 theme highlighted the importance of making a central commitment to equity as we transition toward new systems for sharing knowledge, and the past twelve months have only seen the pace of that transition increase. Because of this, the Open Access Week Advisory Committee decided it was important to focus on equity again in 2019—to deepen our conversations about being inclusive by design and to turn those conversations into action.

As a way of celebrating the week the Okavango Research Institute library will embark on a wholistic examination of the University of Botswana Research Innovation and Scholarship Archive (UBRISA), with particular interest to the Okavango Research Institute community to determine how far the institute has contributed to the repository  with regards to content population. UBRISA is a University of Botswana  repository that is used to showcase the university's scholarly and  intellectual knowledge. It is hosted on DSpace platform that advances open access.

By Mosepele Mabutho

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Stakeholders’ perceptions on water resources management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

By Reniko Gondo, Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawolem Joseph Mbaiwa & Moseki Motsholapheko
Okavango Research Institute

Cultural perceptions are an integral part of rural water resources governance, which ostensibly conflict with urban water resources management. Issues of access to water and culturally embedded gender roles are rife in water governance debates. Notwithstanding the importance of cultural perceptions in water management, no study has been undertaken to assess stakeholders’ perceptions on customary and statutory water management institutions and their impact on water management issues in the Okavango Delta. Guided by the cultural lag concept, a purposive sampling technique was used to select three villages (Shakawe, Tubu and Shorobe) in the study area. While 455 household heads were randomly selected to elicit pertinent socio-economic and cultural data via a questionnaire survey, an expert purposive sampling technique was used to select nine key informants from whom in-depth information on the subject was obtained. The results indicated that local people’s perceptions of cultural water management practices were mostly tied to their belief systems even though the existing management strategy is grossly sympathetic towards statutory water management institutions. The paper recommends the blending of customary and statutory water management institutions and placing both of them on the same pedestal in the management of water resources in the Okavango Delta and other, similar social-ecological milieus.

Read more: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0035919X.2019.1658655

Monday, September 23, 2019

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) perspective in driving SDGs

Thupe, BO

 IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. It has more than 1,400 Members in over 140 countries around the world. IFLA was founded in 1927 with headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. Botswana Library Association (BLA) is the association member of IFLA. Access to information is a prerequisite for achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. IFLA has engaged closely in promoting the role of libraries and the equitable access to information. IFLA’s International Advocacy Program (IAP) promotes and support the role libraries can play in the planning and implementation of SDGs. 

In empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality IFLA sees access to information as a prerequisite for achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. It maintains that there can be no access to information without functional and efficient libraries. IFLA has engaged closely in promoting the role of libraries and the equitable access to information. Its International Advocacy Program (IAP) promotes and support the role libraries can play in the planning and implementation of SDGs.

Libraries drive progress across the entire SDGs through;
      Providing public access to information both online and in print sources as well as through the use of ICTs.
      Providing neutral and inclusive spaces.
      Training in skills needed for specific tasks.
      Providing information to support decision making.
      Providing research and data on medical, Agric, water, sanitation, land use, climate change, natural resources.
      Supporting literacy, equitable education and lifelong learning.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Domesticating the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Botswana

Thupe, BO
This presentation gives the background on the conceptualization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by leaders from 193 countries of the world at a United Nations Conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro in September 2012. The conference noted that there were famines, drought, wars, plagues and poverty all over the world. They also noted that; there was enough food to feed the world, but it was shared by a few; there were medicines for HIV/AIDS and other diseases but they were expensive and they knew that earthquakes and floods were inevitable but high death tolls could be avoided.

The conference was tasked with producing a set of goals that would meet the social, environmental, political and economic challenges facing the world in today. The leaders created a plan called the 2030 which had 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and about 230 indicators. The SDGs envisioned a future that would be rid of poverty, hunger and be safe from the worst effects of climate change by 2030. After wide consultations, the 2030 Agenda was adopted on 25th September 2015. 

Botswana was amongst the countries which adopted the 2030 Agenda and the Government of Botswana has since made a commitment to implement the agenda through Vision 2036, NDP11, District Development Plan 8 and National Framework for Sustainable Development. After adopting the 2030 Agenda, Botswana undertook vigorous campaign to ensure the country ownership and leadership at both local and national levels. The National Steering Committee, Technical Task Force and Secretariat were formed in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to coordinate implementation and monitoring of SDGs. A National Roadmap which is a national strategy document was developed.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Maun Public Library's role in driving the sustainable development goals

By Hilda Bayani
Maun Public Library exists to provide Information access for the purpose of Education, Research and recreation through documentation, preservation and management of Literary Heritage. This is a service provider to the public that enables people to use it for their informational basis in carrying out their studies and researches. As a branch of the BNLS, it transmits its library services to the community of Maun and extends them through Shorobe and Sehithwa Village Reading Rooms (VRRs).

The community Development Society (CDS) Reading Club Project - Case of Matlapana Primary School 

As an effort to promote reading, at early primary school Maun Public Library had a tripartite partnership with UB-ORI and Thari E Ntsho storytellers for a reading club project themed; “Using Indigenous story books to catch them young”.  The aim of the project was to encourage a reading culture amongst primary schools to drive community development in the Okavango Delta.  Students from Matlapana Primary School which is a gate way to the Okavango Delta were used as project participants.
The first stage (phase 1) of the projected started in March 2018 and ended in July this year with twelve participants from standard 5 and 6 mainly sampled from moderate to those with learning difficulties. They formed the vulnerable and needy community from Sexaxa, Boronyana and Lekgolong which are remote settlements hence equitable access to the indigenous and vulnerable communities. 
As one of the libraries aims is to promote independent learning outside the teacher or school environment, the students were exposed to reading a variety of texts. Put in smaller groups they read loud granting them an opportunity to correct each other at peer level i.e. in pronunciations and punctuations.  Reading loud also offered an emotional and social experience as it allowed a closer engagement with books and improved their vocabulary. In addition to that they were introduced to using the library reference sources like dictionaries which opened their experience in using the library resources and also improving grammar. After reading students identified difficult or new words and phrases from the passages and had an assignment of finding their meaning. This on its own challenged their understanding.  
Their reading material as one of the project objects was more focused on the environmental issues, mainly to familiarise them with such issues which affect them daily.  To compound the above, their literacy skills were improved, hence imparting Lifelong learning.
In addition to reading, they summarised the stories they read which provided a further insight and as a step forward in enriching their understanding. This formed the second phase of the project where they came up with stories and drawing illustrations through the skills they gained to produce the anthology. A further step in the project is to achieve one of the  objectives of encouraging the reading culture amongst youngsters to enhance the intellectual and socio-cultural development. 
Observation from the project: The exercise assisted the facilitators to identify the different needs of the students which was interesting challenge to learning as some could not read nor write but were good listeners while others pronounced words well and knew the meaning. Others could recite without understanding.  This on its own demonstrated some element of teamwork during peer sessions as those who could read had poor vocabulary while those with reading challenges could explain the meaning of the words and could interpret what was read.
Impact from the project coming to the library on its own reduced the existing barriers students who may not gain access to the public library resources due to factors like distance. Participants acquired some reading and writing skills and that the reading club was formed.  As for challenges; the inconsistency in attendance derailed the project coupled with low intellectual capacity as most had learning difficulties.
This project addressed Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities for all.
This was more emphasised;
Target 4.1 :  Ensure sure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
4.5: Eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training         for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.