TechTip: Information management for development


While ICTs are becoming more available to rural communities in ACP countries, the technology is still beyond many individual farmers. However, NGO field staff and extension officers often have better access to internet and computers and are therefore able to follow e-learning courses to complement their work.

The information management resource kit (IMARK) is supported by FAO, CIRAD, APC and CTA, and was developed to provide e-learning modules on agricultural information management. It promotes web 2.0 skills, networking techniques and digitising methods for the development of e-libraries.

Getting started

Visit the website: www.imarkgroup.org and click on the link ‘new learner’ in the left hand margin to register. Complete the form with your name, e-mail address, country, and the name of your organisation and its web address (if available). Choose a username and a password then click ‘submit’. You will then receive an e-mail confirming your username and password.

Modules

All IMARK modules have been designed for learners to follow at their own pace. They are available free online or, if you have limited access to the internet you can request the module as a CD-ROM (also free).

Log in with your username and password to view the ‘my IMARK’page, and click on ‘select new module’. You can then choose from the modules below. Just click on the button to select your preferred language to start.

For more information about each module, such as content, the suggested target audience and additional resources, click on the ‘module description’ link.

Digital libraries, repositories and documents

Currently available in English only.
‘The module covers the processes relevant to the creation and management of digital libraries and repositories, including digital file formats, metadata management, database management and the preservation of digital information.’
They consist of 40 lessons, each taking 25 to 45 minutes to complete, and add up to a total of around 24 hours of learning.

Web 2.0 and social media for development

Available in English, French and Spanish.
‘Describes a wide range of social media tools that enhance the ways in which information is created and published, and which provide the means to collaborate and share resources online. It also describes how to take advantage of those tools for more effective networking, collaboration and exchange of knowledge.’
Comprises two units with a total of 11 lessons.

Networking in support of development

Available in English only.
‘This module describes how different ICTs in a country — local, national and international — fit together to provide a workable means of communication, and the issues that affect each level.’
Four lessons cover the topics: ICT as media; ICT's influence on the future; costs and effectiveness of the links in the ICT chain, and the impact of regulatory frameworks on ICT choices and costs.

Building electronic communities and networks

Available in English, French and Spanish. Arabic version available soon.
‘Covers the approaches, methods and tools used to build electronic communities, and covers the various steps and procedures for developing and facilitating electronic communities.’
The module comprises 29 lessons, each taking between 15 to 90 minutes to complete. Total learning time is estimated at about 16 to 22 hours.

Investing in information for development

Available in English, French and Spanish.
This module was developed to support people involved with developing information management strategies.
Its six units cover: investing in information for development; information strategy; information access; information dissemination; organisation and management; evaluating an information project.

Digitisation and digital libraries

Available in English, French and Spanish. Arabic version available soon.
The lessons cover ‘copyright issues, electronic formats for text and images, metadata and subject indexing, as well as a comprehensive overview of the creation and management of digital documents’.
Comprises six units and a total of 31 lessons.

Management of electronic documents

Available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. Arabic version available soon.
‘The module offers a series of lessons on electronic document management which introduce basic concepts and describe specific workflows and topics.’
Covers subjects including the variety of formats for electronic documents and images, production and management of electronic documents, and database management systems.

The English versions of these last two modules have been superseded by the module Digital libraries, repositories and documents (described above), with other language versions to follow soon.

NOTE: You will need to have Flash Player 7 installed on your computer to view lessons, and Adobe Acrobat 4 or above to print files.

31 January 2011

Copyright © 2014, CTA. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (ACP-EU)