Archive for AGRIS Pilots

Kenya Agris pilot project: Kenya Agricultural Information Network (KAINet)

The Kenya Pilot AGRIS Project aims to establish systems that promote information exchange and access among researchers and other agricultural stakeholders through building capacity to manage information and through establishing institutional repositories of agricultural information. Its bigger vision is to establish a national forum for exchange of agricultural content through a national information network with essentials components such as national electronically repository. The documented lessons learnt will be used to replicate other similar projects within the AGRIS network.  The project is born out of a need to address issues critical to content development and information exchange between users, identified in several AGRIS activities in Kenya as well as the new AGRIS vision which emphasises the following: decentralized capacities to manage and exchange agricultural information;  strengthen national and institutional capacities to manage, disseminate and exchange agricultural Information; availability of full text content and;  promote use of standard tools and methodologies. 

The project if funded by DFID (Department for International Development), through FAO, who are in collaboration with CABI Africa and the Regional Agricultural Information Network (RAIN). It will be initially implemented in 5 pilot institutions and will open to other institutions once the project objectives are realised. The five pilot institutions represent different agricultural institutions including national research systems and universities. The project will be implements over a period of three years (June 2006-June 2009) in three phases  The pilot institutions are: the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI-HQ) which is leading the project, the Kenya National Agricultural Research Laboratories (KARI-NARL), the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and Jomo Kenya University of Agriculture and Forestry (JKUAT). The first phase running from June 2006 to December 2006 was a preparatory phase devoted to build a common vision amongst the Stakeholders and institutionalize the network. The achievements include:

 

  • commitment by the pilot centers & resources secured
  • needs assessment study done and report compiled
  • national planning workshop held
  • draft KAINet framework developed
  • phase II activities, draft work plan and budget developed

The second phase starting 31st December 2006 to 31st of May 2007, will focus on the activities identified in a needs assessment done in phase two. The activities are; support to institutions to develop their ICT/M strategies and policies; establishment of the Kenya Agricultural Information Network (KAINet), its strategy and action plan; Capacity building and technical support on the establishment of institutional information systems; establishment of a framework for sharing information documenting and developing a case study on the lessons learnt from the project. The highlights of the second phase include:

  • a three month’s mission of a FAO information officer to
    Kenya to provide technical support to the activity on capacity building. Between the months of February to mid March 2007, all the pilot centre personnel have been on-site trained on the AGRIS tools and methodologies.
  • All the five institutions have installed WebAGRIS and are now using it for the development of their institutional repositories.
  • A project Management Team comprising of members from each of the institutions has been appointed to collective manage the project.
  • A one day stakeholder workshop was held on the 28th/2/2007 to review the progress of each centre and to recommit on the activities of the second phase. Most of these activities are underway.
  • A four day write-shop is scheduled for the week of 19th-23rd /3/2007 for the development of draft institutional strategies and policies under the leadership of a policy consultant.
  • A training programme has been developed covering the identified areas for skills development and is under circulations for comments from the institutions.
  • A KAINet Dgroup e-forum has been established and is being used for discussions and exchange of experiences and documents.
  • Identification and preliminary work on the Kenya Agricultural Research Database (KARD) with 40, 000+ records as the basis of the national central repository. KARD has bibliographic records from many agricultural research institutions in
    Kenya.

The second phase will conclude with a two day stakeholder workshop in May to report on the status and progress of each centre according to the five activities outlined above and to plan for phase 3.  

Irene Onyancha, FAO.

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