NetDiploma: Network for Digital Public Library of Modern Africa

Lead Research Organisation: Northumbria University
Department Name: Fac of Engineering and Environment

Abstract

The rapidly growing population of Africa calls for:
1. Education and training vis-à-vis employment of an exploding African youth population; and
2. Sustainable management of human (cultural integration and peaceful coexistence) and natural resources.

UNESCO's actions for Flagship programmes 5 and 6 (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002244/224489e.pdf) propose:
- "Improve universal access to information and knowledge as well as build capacity in the field of ICT use in Africa" (p.11)
- "Promoting universal access and preservation of information and knowledge" (p.13)
- "Culture (heritage in all its forms and contemporary creativity) is mainstreamed into public development policies" (p.13)
- "Young people made aware of the values of the heritage and mobilized to protect and safeguard it." (p.13)

Analysis of the key UN resolutions and policy documents shows the importance of access and sharing of information for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Chowdhury & Koya, In Press). However, information services in Africa face a number of challenges:
- common information delivery channels, viz. mass media; information services (libraries); education and training programmes including conferences, workshops etc., benefit only a small section of society (educated and city/urban dwellers) while the majority of the population who live in rural areas cannot reach or use these information services (Uzuegbu, 2016)
- libraries in Africa suffer from lack of funds to build an ICT infrastructure, to subscribe to online information resources, and to train personnel (Chisenga, 2015)
- management of digital content remains a huge challenge in the public sector as there is no technological infrastructure to manage and provide access to digital information properly; hence millions of digitised archival documents remain inaccessible.

Research also shows that mobile access to cultural heritage information services is rapidly increasing in Europe (Nicholas et al, 2013; Liew, 2014). Use of mobile phones is contributing to development in Africa, especially in the rural areas, through internet banking, micro-loans, micro-enterprises, market integration, social mobility, health etc (Cibangu, 2016). Indeed mobile banking has brought a revolution in Africa, and an IMF report (https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/reo/2016/afr/eng/sreo0416.htm) recommends that "there is significant potential to replicate the Kenyan experience in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa" [p. 74]. We intend to explore whether this approach can be applied to the delivery of digital information, including cultural heritage information.

Bringing together a consortium of academics, researchers and professionals, key local partners such as the national libraries, national archives and universities in three African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi), and international organizations including IFLA, UNESCO, UNECA and the African Union, we will seek to understand the historical, cultural, linguistic, technological and transregional challenges to inform the research and development agenda for building a Digital Public Library of Africa (DPLAf). A bottom-up approach will be taken to explore and prioritise various user needs to complement the ongoing activities in Africa, like the Access to Scientific and Socioeconomic Knowledge in Africa project (http://askia.uneca.org), in order to match the demand and supply of information while preparing a blueprint for the DPLAf for achieveing SDGs in Africa.

The network will provide a collaborative vehicle to communicate development needs to the multiple disciplines required to undertake the research and design. It will inform policy and strategy development for providing digital, and wherever possible mobile, access to information for African populations to facilitate education and sustainable development in any sector. Hence it will facilitate the achievement of UN SDG 16.10 (public access to information).

Planned Impact

National libraries and archives in the African countries have in recent years digitised millions of records and information objects; e.g. in a recent personal email communication, Richard Wato, Assistant Director KNADS, and a Co-I of this project, stated that although they have digitised over 15 million pages of archival documents, these are not accessible online because of the lack of appropriate and sustainable ICT infrastructure, policies, human resources and user training.

The large volume and variety of records and information resources that are dispersed in various libraries and institutions outside Africa also remain inaccessible for similar reasons. The long term beneficiaries of a DPLAf, providing easy access to these resources, are the potentially millions of African citizens, i.e farmers, artists, artisans, and businesses such as tourism, students, teachers and independent researchers, policy and decisions-makers. The more immediate users and beneficiaries of NetDiploma in Africa will include those engaged in information management professionals, national/international organisations); the information creators (e.g. governments, communities); and organisational users (e.g. policy-makers, decision makers, business) including memory institutions and national/international institutions such as the African Union (AU), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and UNESCO. Support letters and communications with these organisations confirm how this project will contribute to their information access activities e.g. public/community library development in AU's Agenda 2063; UNECA's AVLIN public information outreach programme. Additional beneficiaries will be others globally with an interest in or need for information about Africa, including those developing international policy and/or practice.

For information professionals (e.g. librarians, archivists, records and information managers, systems developers) in the African countries the benefits will be a greater understanding of information needs and the enablers/challenges to public access to information. National and international information bodies/associations (e.g. IFLA, ESARBICA - Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives, OCLC and publishers) will benefit by developing a shared understanding of the information access and use needs of stakeholder/ user communities, together with the enablers and challenges, in Africa. National/international non-governmental bodies (UNESCO, the AU etc) who promote information access, will benefit by collaborating with those who can help to develop solutions to information access challenges. Information creators, such as governments, other bodies and community groups, will benefit by contributing to shaping solutions. Diverse organisational users and communities will benefit from articulating their information needs and shaping solutions to meet them. Together they will shape the creation of a 'blueprint' for a DPLAf which, ultimately, will enable and empower African citizens to play their part in addressing the global challenges and contributing to SDGs including the economic development of their country and their own welfare.

To facilitate these impacts members of the various beneficiary groups will be engaged in the network. Academics will collaborate with practitioners in a broad range of disciplines and professions; with organisations in the public, private and third sectors who create or manage information, records and/or archives; and with other creators and (current/potential) users of this information in Africa and beyond. They will be tasked with connecting to others in designated knowledge domains and communities. This will snowball the network to the multidisciplinary experts needed to solve the conceptual and practical challenges (e.g. media, communications and publishing, lawyers, regulators), and to the diverse stakeholders in the problem and ultimate solution.

Publications

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Description Report Summary
1. A number of initiatives and activities have taken place recently, or are ongoing, for promoting access to digital information in Africa. Some key initiatives include the Agenda 2016 of the African Union, the ASKIA service of the UNECA, and various national and institutional repositories.
2. The ASKIA service provided by the UN ECA (Economic Commission for Africa; http://askia.uneca.org/) provides access to scientific and socio-economic information for the African community, including scientists, researchers, academics, students, economists and, policy-makers, over an interactive online portal acting as a one-stop shop to such knowledge and associated information. It does not specifically cover cultural heritage information, and government information and records.
3. The NetDiploma project aligns with the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, especially, Priority area 3 (Cultural heritage, creative arts and businesses): Strategy 13: Expand access to cultural information through Community public libraries; and the Pan-African e-network (http://www.un.org/en/africa/osaa/pdf/au/agenda2063-presentation.pdf) and Aspiration 5: An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics. (https://au.int/en/agenda2063/aspirations)
4. Aflia (African Library & Information Associations & Institutions) is also advocating for promoting access to information, as evidenced through their statement on Freedom of Information (FOI) Act Statement of FOI (2017) http://aflia.net/web/pages/news-events/aflia-statement-on-freedom-of-information) and the Strategic Plan 2015-2020 (http://dl.aflia.net/strategic_plan_2015_2020.pdf)
5. There have been some research on building and managing institutional repositories in the three chosen African countries; there have also been some research on access to business information, health and agricultural information; and LIS education in Africa. A summary of the key literature related to the broad theme of NetDiploma appear in Appendix 1.
6. The state of the digitisation of content varies amongst various content providers in the partner countries, e.g.
a. A large amount of content (amounting to more than 19 million pages) has been digitised at the Kenyan National Archive but they are not accessible to anyone because of the lack of resources - ICT, financial and human - and access/use policies
b. A variety of content types have been digitised - including text, manuscripts, photographs, text and films - at the National Archives of Malawi; and some documents, largely text, have been digitised at the National Library of Malawi but those cannot be accessed because of the lack of resources - ICT, financial and human - and access/use policies
c. A large volume of content has been digitised at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) but those cannot be accessed because of the lack of resources - ICT, financial and human - and access/use policies
d. Archival and cultural heritage content at ENALA have yet to be digitised.
7. A catalogue of hard copies and of digitised content is available at the national Libraries and national Archives in the three partner countries in Africa, although often not with full and standardised metadata.
8. There is a lack of legal and ethical framework in relation to access and use of digitised content held at various institutions in the partner countries.
9. The APAI (African Platform on Access to Information) Report 2017 (http://www.africanplatform.org/) provides some country level cases studies and comparison of African countries' preparedness for, and awareness of, access to information law (which are modelled on the AU model law). The AU Model Law aims to ensure that legislative drafters and policy-makers address all issues relevant to the African context in their adoption or review of access to information legislation.
10. There is a concern amongst national agencies and information professionals that if all the content is made freely available on the Internet, it may disadvantage the content providers - national libraries, national archives, research institutions, etc. The sentiment was that they might lose control of the content, and this may have implications for their long term existence and role in the management of indigenous content, records and archives.
11. ICT infrastructure and capacity - both at the supply (content providers) and demand (user) side vary significantly amongst the partner countries and specific institutions. Generally the content providers lack the modern ICT infrastructure required for digitising content and making digitised content available online.
12. Lack of resources is a key challenge for every content providing institution. Government funding is often the only source which is not adequate for running the current level of service, let alone investing in digitisation and online services. Most of the digitisation activities so far have been funded externally through grants and aid.
13. Lack of human resources, and more so for professionally qualified staff, and staff with adequate ICT skills is common amongst content providing institutions in all the partner countries. For example, it was revealed that less than 5% of the staff at ENALA are professionally qualified.
14. Capacity building: In some countries, for example in Ethiopia and Malawi, there are no university courses that offer professional qualifications in librarianship, archives, records management etc.
15. User skills: It was revealed that user skills required for accessing and using digitised content, vary significantly in Africa, and amongst the cross sections of society and geographical regions - city vs. rural areas - with regard to: literacy skills, ICT skills and language skills.
16. The vision of DPLAf can be accomplished through as joined-up approach of various stakeholders, viz. content providers (national libraries, national archives, universities and institutions), funding agencies (national, Pan-African and international), policy makers (government ministries/departments), professional associations, NGOs/charities, and users.
17. The first step should be to make the catalogue and metadata of digital content searchable online so that people can discover what is available where.
18. Appropriate access and use policies have to be developed at national and institutional level so that users can choose the most appropriate way to access the discovered content
19. Digitisation of content should continue with the long term goal of making all the content of national libraries, national archives and similar institutions accessible online
20. Content providers and other stakeholders should work together to build specific 'use cases' demonstrating the benefits of accessing and using indigenous knowledge and government information/content for better education, research and innovations, businesses, civil rights, and other global challenges.
Exploitation Route The project has already initiated a number of ongoing initiatives and activities, details of which are provided in the 'Impact section'. Overall, the project has been successful in building a network of the relevant partners and stakeholders in the partner countries and in initiating some activities that will promote the creation, management and use of digital cultural heritage content held at the national archives, national libraries and other institutions in Africa.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma
 
Description TImpact of NetDiploma in Malawi The NetDiploma project was mentioned by a Malawi Government Minister at the AFRICAN MINISTERS OF ARTS AND CULTURE ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) AGENDA 2063 AND THE CHARTER FOR AFRICAN CULTURAL RENAISSANCE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CAPE TOWN DECLARATION SIGNED IN 2015. 5-6 JULY 2018, DURBAN, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA. In preparation for the Malawi NetDiploma Workshop, which was hosted by the National Library Service in September 2018, the National Archives of Malawi worked hand-in-hand with the Malawi National Library Service. Through this close collaboration the National Archives was made aware of a collection of historic cine-films, which the National Library has but does not know what to do with them. An agreement was made for the National Archives to digitize the film collection and thereafter embark on a new programme of screening historical digitized content to the general public at the National Library. The aim of this programme is to showcase Malawi's social-economic history through the digitized film collection. The National Archives will also train the National Library staff on digitization. During the Malawi Workshop, the National Archives learnt about the Digital Malawi Project, which is funded by the World Bank. The project is being coordinated by the E-Government Department, which attended the NetDiploma Workshop. Among other components of the Digital Malawi Project is the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS), which the government wants to roll out to the entire public service. As a result of the interaction between the National Archives and the E-Government during the NetDiploma workshop, the National Archives was invited to chair the EDRMS Task-force of the Digital Malawi Project. Other members of the EDRMS Task-force are E-Government, Department of Human Resource Management and Development under the Office of the President and Cabinet, National Registration Bureau, and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. During the NetDiploma Workshop, the National Commission for UNESCO observed that there are a number of institutions in Malawi that generate and preserve archival material apart from the National Archives and the National Library Service. For this reason, the National Commission for UNESCO held a number of discussions with the National Archives and organised a national workshop on heritage preservation. The workshop was held on 10-11 December 2018 in Lilongwe and was inaugurated by the Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development. Participants to the workshop were drawn from the following institutions: National Archives, National Library, Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Reserve Bank of Malawi, Malawi University of Science and Technology, the Polytechnic, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural resources, Chancellor College, Mzuzu University, Lilongwe City Council, G4S, National Initiative for Civic education, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Zodiak Radio and TV, Ministry of Information, the media (the Times), the Judiciary and University of Ghana. The workshop was aimed at assessing the nature, volume and state of archival collections, which institutions have, discussing how those collections can be cared for professionally and made accessible to the public. At the end of the workshop, participants came up with resolutions and agreed to form an association for records mangers and archivists in Malawi. Meanwhile a draft constitution for the proposed association is undergoing stakeholder reviews. Impact of NetDiploma in Ethiopia NetDiplima had a workshop held at the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority (ENALA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 15th and 16th January 2019. The workshop led to further collaborations between the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency and the Science and Technology Department of the Ethiopian government, and especially the division in-charge of developing the Ethiopian Digital Library. A key finding of the NetDiploma project revealed a severe shortage of trained manpower in the library and archives sector in the country (e.g. only 5% of the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Services were professionally qualifies. This resulted in further discussions and a new academic programme in library and information science has since started at Addis Ababa University. Impact of NetDiploma in Kenya NetDiplima had a workshop held at the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service (KNADS) in Nairobi Kenya, on 4th and 5th September 2019. The workshop was attended by 31 people from a variety of organisations in Kenya. The workshop led to further discussions between the senior people in KNADS and various other participants at the NetDiploma project. The ongoing discussions and engagement activities convinced government minister and departments about the national and historic importance of KNADS in Kenya. As a result, KNADS has been identified as a national centre for history of Kenya in the BBI (Building Bridge Initiative) document in Kenya introduced in 2019 by the President of Kenya.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description Impact of NetDiploma project on specific initiatives and activities at the national level in the partner African countries, viz. Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Impact of NetDiploma in Malawi The NetDiploma project was mentioned by a Malawi Government Minister at the AFRICAN MINISTERS OF ARTS AND CULTURE ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) AGENDA 2063 AND THE CHARTER FOR AFRICAN CULTURAL RENAISSANCE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CAPE TOWN DECLARATION SIGNED IN 2015. 5-6 JULY 2018, DURBAN, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA. In preparation for the Malawi NetDiploma Workshop, which was hosted by the National Library Service in September 2018, the National Archives of Malawi worked hand-in-hand with the Malawi National Library Service. Through this close collaboration the National Archives was made aware of a collection of historic cine-films, which the National Library has but does not know what to do with them. An agreement was made for the National Archives to digitize the film collection and thereafter embark on a new programme of screening historical digitized content to the general public at the National Library. The aim of this programme is to showcase Malawi's social-economic history through the digitized film collection. The National Archives will also train the National Library staff on digitization. During the Malawi Workshop, the National Archives learnt about the Digital Malawi Project, which is funded by the World Bank. The project is being coordinated by the E-Government Department, which attended the NetDiploma Workshop. Among other components of the Digital Malawi Project is the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS), which the government wants to roll out to the entire public service. As a result of the interaction between the National Archives and the E-Government during the NetDiploma workshop, the National Archives was invited to chair the EDRMS Task-force of the Digital Malawi Project. Other members of the EDRMS Task-force are E-Government, Department of Human Resource Management and Development under the Office of the President and Cabinet, National Registration Bureau, and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. During the NetDiploma Workshop, the National Commission for UNESCO observed that there are a number of institutions in Malawi that generate and preserve archival material apart from the National Archives and the National Library Service. For this reason, the National Commission for UNESCO held a number of discussions with the National Archives and organised a national workshop on heritage preservation. The workshop was held on 10-11 December 2018 in Lilongwe and was inaugurated by the Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development. Participants to the workshop were drawn from the following institutions: National Archives, National Library, Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Reserve Bank of Malawi, Malawi University of Science and Technology, the Polytechnic, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural resources, Chancellor College, Mzuzu University, Lilongwe City Council, G4S, National Initiative for Civic education, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Zodiak Radio and TV, Ministry of Information, the media (the Times), the Judiciary and University of Ghana. The workshop was aimed at assessing the nature, volume and state of archival collections, which institutions have, discussing how those collections can be cared for professionally and made accessible to the public. At the end of the workshop, participants came up with resolutions and agreed to form an association for records mangers and archivists in Malawi. Meanwhile a draft constitution for the proposed association is undergoing stakeholder reviews. Impact of NetDiploma in Ethiopia NetDiplima had a workshop held at the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority (ENALA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 15th and 16th January 2019. The workshop led to further collaborations between the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency and the Science and Technology Department of the Ethiopian government, and especially the division in-charge of developing the Ethiopian Digital Library. A key finding of the NetDiploma project revealed a severe shortage of trained manpower in the library and archives sector in the country (e.g. only 5% of the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Services were professionally qualifies. This resulted in further discussions and a new academic programme in library and information science has since started at Addis Ababa University. Impact of NetDiploma in Kenya NetDiplima had a workshop held at the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service (KNADS) in Nairobi Kenya, on 4th and 5th September 2019. The workshop was attended by 31 people from a variety of organisations in Kenya. The workshop led to further discussions between the senior people in KNADS and various other participants at the NetDiploma project. The ongoing discussions and engagement activities convinced government minister and departments about the national and historic importance of KNADS in Kenya. As a result, KNADS has been identified as a national centre for history of Kenya in the BBI (Building Bridge Initiative) document in Kenya introduced in 2019 by the President of Kenya.
URL http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma
 
Description NetDiploma Malawi Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A two-day workshop was held at the National Library of Malawi in Lilongwe on 18th and 19th September 2018. The workshop was attended by 32 people from a range of organizations including the National Library and National Archives of Malawi, representatives from various ministries and government departments, research/professional bodies and private businesses in Malawi.

List of NetDiploma Workshop in Malawi
Name of Participant & Institution

Trevor Namondwe Lilongwe University of Science and Technology
Humprey Mpondaminga Department Arts (Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development)
Stanley Gondwe Delegation of the European Union in Malawi
Grace Khoza Department of Arts
Thokozani Chikuse Malawi Parliament
Nubson Benje Malawi Law Commission
Chrissie Mtonga Department of E-Government
Michael Phoya Open Culture
Christopher Magomero Malawi National Commission for UNESCO
Gray Nyali Malawi National Library
Keshav Dahal University of the West of Scotland
Richard Wato Kenya National Archives and Documentation
Solomon Abate Addis Ababa University
Julie MacLeod Northumbria University
Gobinda Chowdhury Northumbria University
Paul Lihoma National Archives of Malawi
Clement Mweso National Archives of Malawi
Heinz Kaposa National Archives of Malawi
Naomi Mwenda National Archives of Malawi
Drina Mphote National Archives of Malawi
Enock Bauleni National Archives of Malawi
Martha Khonje National Archives of Malawi
Mphatso Mwagumba National Archives of Malawi
Veronica Jere National Archives of Malawi
Evelyn Kachigamba National Archives of Malawi
Bright Joshua National Archives of Malawi
Innocent Mankhwala National Archives of Malawi
Evans Kadongola National Archives of Malawi
Philip Samuteni National Archives of Malawi
Austin Chilanga National Archives of Malawi
Annet Ng'ambi National Archives of Malawi
Robert Mkuwira National Archives of Malawi
Vote Somba National Library Service
Thomas Bello Kamuzu College of Nursing
Alice Benza Ministry of Information

Members of the project team - PI Chowdhury, UK Co-I Mcleod, Co-Is from the partner countries, viz. Co-I Lihoma, (Malawi), Co-I Wato (Kenya) and Co-I Solomon (Ethiopia) were present in the event. Prof.Dahal, member of the International Steering Committee was also present. Member of the Malawi National Steering Committee and Librarian and CEO of the Malawi National Library hosted the event and took active part in the discussions on both days.
Day 1 (Tuesday, 18th September) began with a welcome address by the country Co-I Dr. Paul Lihoma followed by a welcome address by the host Mr. Grey Niyali, Librarian and CEO of the Malawi National Library. Dr.Lihoma presented a list of the partners/stakeholders of the NetDiploma project from Malawi that include the following:
1. National Archives of Malawi
2. Malawi National Library Service
3. University library, Mzuzu University
4. National Commission for Unesco, Malawi
5. University Library, University of Malawi
6. Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
7. Kamuzu College of Nursing
8. Department of E-Government
9. Ministry of Information
10. Delegation of the European Commission to Malawi
11. Parliament of Malawi

Presentations: This was followed by:
• A presentation by Prof. Gobinda Chowdhury, PI of the NetDiploma project, where he explained the key objectives of the project, activities and achievements so far. He outlined the key objective and plan for the workshop which was to understand the key challenges and enablers for ICT and infrastructure required for building the future DPLAF (Digital Public Library of Africa), a broad outline of which was developed after the Northumbria event of NetDiploma (in March 2018) (available on the website: www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma)
• A presentation by the country Co-I Mr. Richard Wato (Kenya) explaining the networking activities and developments in relation to the NetDiploma project that have taken place in Kenya since his last report at theNetDiploma event in the UK in March 2018. He pointed out that new partners and stakeholders have been added since the beginning of the project. The list of project partners and stakeholders in Kenya now includes the following (the first four are the original partners/stakeholders, and the others are new:
1. Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service
2. Kenya National Library Service
3. UNESCO Kenya
4. Article 19
5. Kenyatta University
6. Egerton University
7. Commission on Administrative Justice (Ombudsman)
8. ICT Authority
9. Council of Governors
10. Ministry of Education

• A presentation by the country Co-I Dr. Solomon Teferra (Ethiopia) explaining the networking activities and developments in relation to the NetDiploma project that have taken place in Ethiopia since his last report at theNetDiploma event in the UK in March 2018. The list of partners/stakeholders from Ethiopia include the following:
1. Institute of Ethiopia Studies, represented by Mr. Meseret Assefa
2. National Archives & Library Agency, represented by Msr. Mulumebet Hagos
3. Knowledge & Library Services Section, UNECA, represented by Msr. Irene
4. Information & Knowledge Management Division, African union, represented by Mr. Garoma Daba
Dr. Solomon has also pointed out that he is discussing to have partnerships with other potential partners including the following:
1. ARCCH -- Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage
• Partners on LeaPs, represented by Msr. Zelalem
• Registers moveable and immoveable cultural heritages
• Makes them accessible for researchers and the public
2. MCIT
• Developed National ICT policy
• Running National open data portal
• Leads research and development of local ICT solutions
• Eg. SIS and Department of Computer Science will start developing local social media with MCIT
3. MoST
• Developing the National ICT roadmap
• Running Digital Library in the areas of S&T

In his presentation, Dr. Solomon has highlighted that the Ethiopian telecom has dramatically reduced the price of mobile call. This has been considered as an opportunity for mobile based content delivery plans in Ethiopia, enabling factor for the utilization of the fast growing mobile penetration (70%) rate in the country.

• In her presentation, a senior representative from the Malawi government responsible for providing the ICT infrastructure and networking facilities, briefly outlined the current activities, and future plans, of the Malawi government in laying out the broadband network and ICT infrastructure in the major cities and district towns in Malawi. It was evident that these ICT infrastructure and facilities will be instrumental in building the DPLAf.
• A presentation by a local entrepreneur who explained how commercial applications could be built to provide cultural heritage content to meet the specific needs of specialist users.
Group discussions: The second half of the day comprised intensive brainstorming and group discussions. Three groups were formed with participants from a mixed range of institutions. Each group was monitored by one or two project team members (PI or Co-I). Each group focused on one of the three user groups - school teachers and students, remote communities, and young people - and discussed what needs to be done,for making digital information accessible to these communities, in terms of:
• ICT infrastructure and support
• Regulations and policies
• Financial and human resources
At the end of the discussions lasting for about 3 hours, each group presented the key points of their discussions that included the following:
1. ICT and infrastructure: The broadband network connections and IT support that is currently being made available in the city and at district level, by the Ministry of IT and Communications as part of the eGovernment initiative in Malawi, will be immensely useful in making digital information available to people. Mobile penetration in Malawi is increasing (currently at 35% penetration), but it is expensive for common, especially rural population
2. New regulations and policies have to be developed to support the activities of the National Library and National Archives of Malawi to work with various ministries and government departments in their efforts to bring digital content to classrooms in a user-friendly way
3. Financial and human resources will be required to make the digitised information accessible to people to meet their specific purpose, like education, health and social developments, etc.
Day 2 (Wednesday 19th September):Key points arising from day 1 were discussed in more detail in course of five hour group discussions that took place on the second day of the event. Two groups were formed, one focusing on the primary schools and the other on secondary schools in Malawi.
Each group was asked to prepare an outline project plan for co-designing digital learning materials, based on the digitised content held at the National Library, National Archives and National Museum, for delivery to school children in Malawi using the digital infrastructure put in place by the e-Government initiative.
The key objective of these group discussions was to understand what needs to be done to make the digitised content available at the memory institutions of Malawi suitable for teaching different subjects in primary and secondary schools. The group discussions were moderated by the project team members, and the aim was to develop a draft project outline that can be discussed later with various stakeholders for further progress and possible funding support. Each group was assigned with the following tasks:
• T1: Identify user groups in two schools that can benefit from digitised content on cultural heritage and government records (archival materials) held in the National Library, National Archivesand National Museum of Malawi
• T2: Prepare a list of user requirements - teachers and children - with reference to T1
• T3: Propose a suitable means to engage with the school teachers in understanding the user requirements and for preparing the digital teaching materials for the school children
• T4: Identify different kinds of digitised content that would be used to prepare the teaching materials. Also identify how you see yourself and your role in co-designing the digital learning materials.
• T5: Prepare an outline project plan listing each task, people, resources, etc.
• T6: Present a brief report
At the end of the day, each group came up with an outline project plan, a list of activities and recommendations. It was revealed that a variety of content including photographs, letters, correspondences, maps, books and manuscripts, etc., have already been digitised, or are in the pipeline for digitisation in the Malawian memory institutions. It was also revealed that a number of staff members at those institutions have the relevant expertise that would be useful for co-designing the digital teaching materials using ICT and media skills. However, additional resources would be required to cover for the staff time, teachers' time, and ICT support/resources for design and development of the required teaching materials. Some legal and policy-related support would be required from the relevant government departments with regard to copyright clearance, changes in the school curricula for using the digital materials in teaching different subjects, etc. Similarly, resources would be required for training of school teachers. It was suggested that design and media specialist, cartoonists, etc., would add value to the teaching materials to be developed through the project. Key points from the groups discussions were noted, and an outline project plan was developed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma
 
Description NetDiploma Project Event 3 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A two-day workshop was held at the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority (ENALA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 15th and 16th January 2019. The workshop was attended by 36 people from a range of organizations including ENALA, African Union, Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Ethiopia, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, Save the Children, and so on. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A two-day workshop was held at the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority (ENALA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 15th and 16th January 2019. The workshop was attended by 36 people from a range of organizations including ENALA, African Union, Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Ethiopia, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, Save the Children, and so on.
Members of the project team - PI Chowdhury, UK Co-I Mcleod, Co-Is from the partner countries, viz. Co-I Lihoma, (Malawi), Co-I Wato (Kenya) and Co-I Solomon (Ethiopia) were present in the event. Members of the Malawi National Steering Committee and Director General of the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority (ENALA) hosted the event and took active part in the discussions on both days. Other members of the National Steering Committee such as Mr. Garoma Daba, Librarian and Head of the Knowledge Management Division of the African Union; and a representative of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies were also present.
Day 1 (Tuesday, 15th January) began with a welcome address by the country Co-I Dr. Solomon Teferra followed by a welcome address by the host Dr. Yikunamlak, Director General of the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority (ENALA). This was followed by a presentation by of a senior member of staff of ENALA, Ms. Mulumabeth, who introduced the audience to ENALA and its various services, etc.
Presentations: This was followed by:
1. A presentation by Prof. Gobinda Chowdhury, PI of the NetDiploma project, where he explained the key objectives of the project, activities and achievements so far. He outlined the key objective and plan for the workshop which was to explore and understand the key cultural, human, governance and management challenges facing memory institutions in Africa for digital information management and access. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the cultural, legal, human resources/capacity, and management issues as enablers and barriers for linking the services of the memory institutions in order to build the future Digital Public Library of Africa (DPLAf). A broad outline of the DPLAf was developed after the Northumbria event of NetDiploma (in March 2018) (available on the website: www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma) and further discussed and modified through a series of discussions among the project team, the steering committee members, and the 2-day workshop held in Malawi in September 2018.
• A presentation by the country Co-I Mr. Richard Wato (Kenya) explaining the networking activities and developments in relation to the NetDiploma project that have taken place in Kenya since his last report at the NetDiploma event in Malawi in September 2018. Mr. Wato discussed some critical challenges with regard to institutional policies and dilemma surrounding the open access to digitised content that need to be addressed. However, he also pointed out that various recent initiatives and laws in Kenya with regard to the rights to information access will be instrumental for building the DPLAf.
• A presentation by the country Co-I Dr. Paul Lihoma (Malawi) explaining the networking activities and developments in relation to the NetDiploma project that have taken place in Malawi since his last report at theNetDiploma event in Malawi in September 2018. In his presentation, Dr. Lihoma highlighted the key challenges and enablers with regard to the policies, resources and management facing the content providers in Malawi that need to be addressed in order to achieve the vision of the DPLAf. He also gave a demonstration of a variety of digitised content held at the National Archives of Malawi that include text, images, audio and video.
• A presentation by Dr. Garoma Daba from the African Union where he discussed the current status of the African Knowledgebase (AKB) service (http://akb.africa-union.org/auc/) recently developed and managed by the Library and Knowledge Management Division of the African Union (http://library.africa-union.org/). He pointed out that although the AKB focuses on providing access to reports on and from Africa, the model may be useful and lessons learnt while developing this service may be useful to build the DPLAf, which is the long term goal of the NetDiploma project.
Group discussion: The second half of the day comprised intensive brainstorming and group discussion. The group discussion was facilitated by PI Prof. Gobinda Chowdhury, UK Co-I Prof. Julie Mcleod, and Ethiopian Co-I Dr. Solomon Teferra. The group discussion focussed on the following issues facing the content providers - national libraries, national libraries, research institutions and universities - in Africa that need to be understood and addressed in order to fulfil the vision of the DPLAf:
1. legal and ethical issues
2. resource and capacity issues
3. management issues
The following key points emerged in the course of the group discussion:
1. The state of the digitisation of content varies amongst various content providers in the partner countries, e.g.
a. A large amount of content (amounting to more than 19 million pages) has been digitised at the Kenyan National Archive but they are not accessible to anyone because of the lack of resources - ICT, financial and human - and access/use policies
b. A variety of content types have been digitised - including text, manuscripts, photographs, text and films - at the National Archives of Malawi; and some documents, largely text, have been digitised at the National Library of Malawi but those cannot be accessed because of the lack of resources - ICT, financial and human - and access/use policies
c. A large volume of content has been digitised at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) but those cannot be accessed because of the lack of resources - ICT, financial and human - and access/use policies
d. Archival and cultural heritage content at ENALA have yet to be digitised.

2. A catalogue of hard copies and of digitised content is available, although often not with full and standardised metadata, and such catalogues can be searched through in-house systems of the content providers - national libraries and national archives in the partner countries.
3. There is a lack of legal and ethical framework in relation to access and use of digitised content held at various institutions in the partner countries. Also there is a concern that if all the content is made freely available on the Internet, it may disadvantage the content providers - national libraries, national archives, research institutions, etc. - in that they might lose control of the content, and this may have implications for their long term existence and role in the management of indigenous content, records and archives.
4. ICT infrastructure and capacity - both at the supply (content providers) and demand (user) side vary significantly amongst the partner countries and specific institutions. It was pointed out that the content providers lack the modern ICT infrastructure required for digitising content and making digitised content available online. A number of concerns were raised with regard to ICT access and use for the users which included:
a. Lack of access to broadband network which varies significantly amongst the partner countries, and amongst regions - cities and remote areas - within each country
b. High cost of internet access in some partner countries which could prohibit or limit the use of digitised content available through the internet, especially at the individual user level
c. Variation in the availability of ICT devices and mobile phones amongst people in different partner countries, and amongst different cross sections of society in each country, which will have implications for mobile access to, and use of, content
d. Lack of appropriate software/tolls and capabilities required for handling content in multiple languages in each partner country
5. Lack of resources - financial and human - is a key challenge for every content providing institution.
a. Government funding is often the only source which is not adequate for running the current level of service, let alone investing in digitisation and online services. Most of the digitisation activities so far have been funded externally through grants and aid.
b. Lack of adequate number of staff, and more so for professionally qualified staff, and staff with adequate ICT skills is common amongst content providing institutions in all the partner countries. For example, it was revealed that less than 5% of the staff at ENALA are professionally qualified.
c. In some countries, for example in Ethiopia and Malawi, there is a shortage of university courses offering professional qualifications in librarianship, archives, records management etc.
6. User skills: It was revealed that user skills required for accessing and using digitised content, vary significantly in the partner countries, and amongst the cross sections of society and geographical regions - city vs. rural areas - with regard to:
a. Literacy skills
b. ICT skills
c. Language skills, especially English language skills and skills in multiple languages that are spoken in each partner country.

Day 2 (Wednesday 16th January)
The day started with a presentation from the Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Ethiopia on the newly developed National Digital Library of Ethiopia (http://library.stic.et/). This service provides access to digital content on science and technology education that re openly available anywhere on the web and services like Youtube. The target audience for this service comprises school students and teachers in Ethiopia. The service model was discussed, and it appeared that this could be a good example, and perhaps a good partner, for the future DPLAf.
Key points arising from day 1 were discussed in more detail through two group discussions. Group 1 focused on metadata, data sharing/access policies, and ICT facilities; and Group 2 focused on human resources, financial resources/business models, and user literacy/training. Each group was facilitated by the three project Co-Investigators, while the project PI moved between the two groups to monitor, and from time to time, take part in the conversations. The group discussions lasted for three hours, and while discussing the specific issues, each group was encouraged to identify the key enablers as well as the key challenges associated with each topic (metadata, human resources, etc.). At the end of the discussions, each group was asked to make a brief presentation identifying the key points which were noted to be:
1. Capacity building: Lack of professionally qualified staff for managing and providing appropriate services, especially digital information services, in libraries, archives and other institutions having indigenous content and data, was noted to be a major challenges. It was also revealed that the lack of professional training facilities and CPD (continuing professional development), poor pay and recognition often cause frustration and low morale amongst the staff members of the national libraries, national archives and other content providers.
2. Lack of awareness and skills in related areas: It was revealed that there is a general lack of awareness and skills in areas that are related to digital information access and use, such as data governance and IP issues, advanced software and information retrieval techniques that can be used to govern access to, and use of, digital content for specific use/purpose/audience. This includes organisational leaders being less aware and knowledgeable about ICT issues and including ICT development/facilities in their strategic planning.
3. Lack of clear policies for information access, sharing and re-use: It appeared that the content providers and their respective governments have yet to develop clear policies and governance for information and data access, sharing and reuse. It was clear that specific policies have to be developed for making digitised content to be used for specific purposes such as education and research, commercial applications, etc.
4. Software and language issues: In addition to the lack of adequate ICT infrastructure and support that were identified in the course of the group discussion on day 1, it was revealed that each African country has several spoken and written languages (for example, there are as many as 80 languages in Ethiopia alone and many of them are in non-Roman scripts), which make it difficult to develop specific software and applications for search and retrieval, OCR and automatic indexing, etc.
5. Metadata and tagging: It was revealed that there are no clear policies and mandates for metadata and tagging of digitised content, and hence some work is needed to adopt/adapt an appropriate metadata standard and apply it to tag the digitised content in order to make it easier to index, and thus to facilitate better search and retrieval of the digitised content. With so many languages there is a need to prioritise about which language(s) to use in any DPLAf and to be able to transliterate from Amharic to English. It was also revealed that a lack of courses and policies for building professionally trained human resources would be a problem for development/adoption of metadata standards and tagging.
6. Capturing and digitising intangible cultural heritage information: Ethiopia has a strong oral tradition, especially in rural areas. It is important to think about the different formats in which to share, repackage and make such information available to the present and future generations. It was revealed that there are no formal mechanisms to capture intangible cultural heritage information in Africa such as oral tradition and storytelling, indigenous music, dance, drama, art and design, etc. Although it was revealed that there is an urgent need to capture and digitise such intangible cultural heritage content which are at the risk of being lost.
7. Business models governing access to digital content: It was revealed that varying practices exist in the partner country institutions for providing access to content and services. For example, it was revealed that access to content as well as the internet is free at ENALA for all users, whereas a small membership fee is charged for such access at the national library and national archives in Malawi. However, it was revealed that there are no specific business models or policies for supporting/promoting access to, and use/reuse, of digital content for specific business/commercial applications, and for content that have commercial value/potential.
8. Representation/Lobbying: It was revealed that professional bodies are either non-existent or too weak/invisible to represent content service providers and lobby for adequate funding support, policies and infrastructure.
9. User training: Although it is widely recognised that user training in digital literacy and information skills are essential in every partner country and institution, it was revealed that there are no formal mechanisms nor any plans to provide such training.
10. Marketing: Although there is a recognition of the value and market demand for indigenous and cultural heritage information, archives and government records, there are no marketing policies or plans for promoting the use of such content at any level - institutional or government level.

Outcomes
Based on the presentations and the group discussions held at the Addis Ababa workshop, the project team came up with a four-stage approach for providing access to, and use of, cultural heritage, archival and government information resources through the Digital Public Library of Africa (DPLAf):
1. Discovery: The first step should be to make all the catalogues of the cultural heritage archival and government information resources available online. Collection and content level access based on content type, descriptor/keyword, etc., where available, should be provided both in English language and local/original source language. This will require minimum resources and efforts at the specific institution level, but this will improve access at both national and international level which will increase demands for indigenous content and government records.
2. Access: Online access to specific content may be provided where the specific information access policies of the respective content providers permit this (e.g. identified digitised content that falls within the open access policies). Content and data may be linked, at collection and/or specific item level, through the use of appropriate metadata standards. Additional work will be required at the institutional and national level for developing appropriate policies and adoption/adaptation of appropriate metadata standards and staff training, etc.
3. Use: Downloading and use of the content discovered through the DPLAf, in whole or in part, should be based on the information use and governance policies of the respective content providers (national libraries, national archives, research institutions, etc.). Various access and governance policies specifying the terms of access to, and downloading of, different types of digital content need to be developed and implemented through the DPLAf metadata and design architecture.
4. Re-use/Re-purpose: Re-use or re-purposing of information and data held in various African organizations - national libraries, national archives, research institutions, etc. - in part or in full, in various contexts and applications should be based on the specific governance policies of the respective institutions. Specific access policies and business models governing the terms of access need to be developed to establish rights for re-purposing and commercial use of digital content, and implemented through the DPLAf metadata and design architecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma
 
Description NetDiploma Workshop 4: KNADS, Nairobi, Kenya: A two-day workshop was held at the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services (KNADS) in Nairobi, Kenya on 4th and 5th September 2019. The workshop was attended by 31 people from a variety of organisations in Kenya and members of the project team 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A two-day workshop was held at the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services (KNADS) in Nairobi, Kenya on 4th and 5th September 2019. The workshop was attended by 31 people from a variety of organisations in Kenya and members of the project team.
Members of the project team - PI Chowdhury and Co-Is from the partner countries, viz. Co-I Lihoma, (Malawi), Co-I Wato (Kenya) and Co-I Abate (Ethiopia) were present in the event. Member of the Kenya National Steering Committee and Director of the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services (KNADS) hosted the event and took active part in the discussions on both days. Other members of the National Steering Committee, for example, from the National Commission for UNESCO in Kenya, and Kenyan government ministries/departments were also present and took active part in the workshops and discussions.
Day 1 (Wednesday 4th September) began with a welcome address by the country Co-I Mr. Richard Wato followed by a welcome address by the host Mr. Francis Mwangi, Director of KNADS who highlighted the importance of the NetDipoma project for digital access to government and indigenous information in general, and for KNADS in particular. He pointed out that like many other African countries, Kenyan government is moving fast towards the use of ICT and mobile technologies to facilitate banking, government services and businesses in Kenya.
Presentations
1. In his presentation Prof. Gobinda Chowdhury, PI of the NetDiploma project, explained the key objectives of the project, activities and achievements so far. He outlined the key objective and plan for the workshop which was to explore and understand the key cultural, human, governance and management challenges facing memory institutions in Africa for digital information management and access. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the cultural, legal, human resources/capacity, and management issues as enablers and barriers for linking the services of the memory institutions in order to build the future Digital Public Library of Africa (DPLAf). A broad outline of the DPLAf was developed after the Northumbria event of NetDiploma (in March 2018) (available on the website: www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma) and further discussed and modified through a series of discussions amongst members of the project team, the steering committee members, and two 2-day workshops held in Malawi and Ethiopia in September 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

2. In his presentation, the country Co-I Dr. Paul Lihoma (Malawi) explained the networking activities and developments in relation to the NetDiploma project that have taken place in Malawi since his last report at the NetDiploma event in Malawi in September 2018. In his presentation, Dr. Lihoma highlighted the following key developments that demonstrate the continued partnership building and activities taking place in Malawi for facilitating digital access to indigenous and cultural heritage information in the country. Dr. Lihoma reported that the NetDiploma Project has drawn significant attention of various stakeholders, and it continues to register remarkable progress towards access to digital government records and cultural heritage information held at various memory institutions in Malawi. Some of the key developments, and achievements of the NetDiploma project, include the following:
? Country's President is aware of the project: Every month, Cabinet Ministers submit their reports to the President. When the NetDiploma started, the relevant Minister described the project, its goals and benefits to the country in his report to the President. Such a mention is a great achievement in itself.
? Establishment of networks of local institutions and continued activities:
? Since the beginning of the NetDiploma project, and especially after the NetDiploma workshop in Malawi in September 2019, a network of local institutions was established. Members of the network participated in the first workshop and since then the member institutions continue to cooperate in a number areas.
? The Malawi National Commission for UNESCO organised a follow-up workshop in December 2018. The workshop attracted participants from the heritage institutions, media and universities to discuss preservation and wider sharing of digital information. The Minister opened the workshop, which attracted wider media coverage.
? Formation of a local association aimed at preserving, publicising and sharing of audiovisual and other information for research, was agreed. A draft constitution of the proposed association is undergoing review processes.
? Publicity of the Project to the African Ministers' forum: During the annual African Ministers conference on Libraries and Information in Durban in 2018, the minister from Malawi mentioned the NetDiploma as one of the projects that promote regional cooperation by noting that Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi were involved in the NetDiploma project representing the African continent. He further noted that results of the NetDiploma would benefit Africa as a whole.
? Establishment of new projects
? Digital Malawi Project: During the NetDiploma workshop in Malawi, the E-Government representative informed the workshop about the World Bank sponsored Digital Malawi Project, which she said was in line with the NetDiploma goals. Further discussions led to the introduction of the National Archives into the Digital Malawi Project. A series of meetings finally led to incorporation of the National Archives into the World Bank sponsored Digital Malawi project.
? EDRMS Project: The National Archives has been identified as a lead institution to ensure that the public service should adopt an Electronic Document and Records Management System as a way of modernising government operations, managing public records systematically and promoting security and wider access to records in line with the Access to Information legislation.
? Processes are underway to recruit an EDRMS Technical Advisor to work alongside the National Archives in rolling out the EDRMS project
? Screening of Digitised Historical Footage by the National Library Service: As a result of networking and closer cooperation through the NetDiploma workshop in Malawi, the National Library Service has secured funding from the Rei Foundation to support digitisation of historical footage material held by the National Archives and National library Service. The digitised content will be screened at the National Library Service to students and the public.

3. A presentation by the country Co-I Dr. Solomon Abate (Ethiopia) explained the networking activities and developments in relation to the NetDiploma project that have taken place in Ethiopia since the beginning of the project in 2017, and especially since the workshop in Ethiopia in January 2019. Some of the key initiatives, triggered by the NetDiploma project and workshop include:
? AAU (Addis Ababa University) Digital library (http://www.aau.edu.et/library/resources/digital-library/)
? Ethiopian Digital Public Library by the Ministry (http://library.stic.et/home)
? Automation of documentation management by 'Save the Children'
? Automation of heritage management by ARCCH
? Knowledge management platform of the African Union (AU)
? Services of the Ethiopian National Archives and Library Authority Library (NALA)

Overall, the NetDiploma project workshop motivated young professionals in the promotion and use of digital cultural heritage information in Ethiopia. The NetDiploma project triggered a new initiative for the development of National Digital Information Access by NALA, INSA and AAU to undertake the following activities:
? Preliminary survey of existing national activities
? Policy analysis and stake holder identification
? Needs Assessment
? Project formulation
The NetDiploma project also triggered interests in higher education; for example, the NetDiploma project partner from the IES (Institute of Ethiopian Studies) has decided to pursue his PhD study towards digital information services.
4. A presentation by country Co-I Mr. Wato (Kenya) discussed some critical challenges with regard to institutional policies and dilemma surrounding the open access to digitised content that need to be addressed. He discussed some government initiatives for digital government services, such as the Open Government partnership (OGP), Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI), and the Access to InformationLaw, that can be used as a backbone for further developments in digital access to indigenous and cultural heritage information in Kenya.

Panel discussion
A panel discussion followed the presentations where the participants were invited to ask questions, and share their own experience in the context of access to cultural heritage and indigenous information in Africa in general, and Kenya in particular. This resulted in very lively and informative discussions lasting for three hours, where participants from various organizations, like the National Commission for UNESCO, Kenyan National Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ), Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, National Museums of Kenya, and various government departments/ministries discussed and shared their experience with some ongoing initiatives, such as the success of the Huduma Centres in providing digital government services to people in Kenya. Challenges associated with some ongoing activities and initiatives at various institutions, especially digital skills and behavioural issues of information service providers as well as the end users with regard to access to government information, and cultural heritage information were also discussed.

Day 2 (Thursday 5th September 2019)
Presentations and panel discussions on day one led to the development of a shared understanding of some key ongoing activities vis-à-vis challenges associated with access to digital cultural heritage and government information in Kenya. A group discussion was held to address the key issues in depth.
Three groups were formed, each comprising between 10-12 people, to discuss the key enablers and challenges associated with access to government and cultural heritage information in Kenya. Groups were formed such that there were people in group representing multiple organisations (see the participants' list).
Each group was given two hours to discuss the key enablers and challenges associated with three major themes: (1) technology and infrastructure, (2) policies and governance; and (3) resources.
At the end of the groups discussions, each group was invited to make a presentation highlighting the key outcomes of the discussions in their group. Each group was given between 30-40 minutes to make the presentations. The key points were noted, combined and presented in the following table.

Theme Key enablers Key challenges
Technology and infrastructure Initiatives already taken by ministries of ICT/e-Government, e.g. the Huduma centres for providing e-Government services Rapid obsolescence of ICT; some ICT facilities in government offices and memory institutions are outdated
Improved internet connectivity in the cities as well as remote areas Limited network/internet connectivity esp. in rural/remote areas
Growing awareness of ICT and mobile technologies High cost of internet access
Availability of e-Government services, e.g. for issue of passports, driving licenses, etc. Online security issues/concerns
Rapid mobile penetration throughout the country Lack of expertise/capacity in ICT and infrastructure in most government offices and memory institutions
Steady growth in internet access especially among the city population Lack of standardization for data formats
Mobile connections in the rural areas even in places with no electricity (use of alternative energy sources for ICT and mobile phones) Lack of data storage and curation facilities
Government subsidies in some areas of ICT, e.g. in the price of mobile phones and network costs People in regions/provinces have different priorities, e.g. food, water, health, sanitation etc., as opposed to ICT and information access/use
ICT devices and technology are expensive as a whole
Power failure: electricity is not available round the clock, or it is unreliable
Mobile phones are used for business/banking or entertainment, and not for access to information or knowledge
Lack of digital skills amongst people of all sections
Lack of literacy & reading/writing skills
Marginalisation: poor and remote communities can't afford and use ICT for access to information
Policies/Governance Access to Information law passed in many African countries, including Kenya No clear policies on availability of, or accessibility to, internet for everyone
Ministry of ICT is championing ICT policies Lack of policies on privacy and data protection
Government initiatives towards building digital cities Lack of policies to provide and support online access for people with disabilities
Laptop project that aims to provide laptops in schools and various other institutions Lack of policies for promoting culture and heritage
Devolutions leading to data management policies at local/regional levels Access to oral tradition (information transferred through oral communications) need to be included in the Access to Information Laws
An online dictionary of proverbs and colloquial phrases may be developed
Lack of policies for capturing indigenous and community knowledge
Lack of awareness of people w.r.t. access to information
Culture of secrecy in government offices
Lack of conflict between Access to Information Law and rules for restricted access to some information
Lack of an implementation framework (e.g. for the Access to Information law)
Lack of a quality assurance framework for information
Uncoordinated activities of various stakeholders in the digital information space
Electronic records management is not a priority (despite having the Access to Information law)
Resources Some skills are available for ICT and digitisation, etc. through the e-Government initiatives and the Huduma Centres in Kenya Lack of priorities for ICT development in specific government sectors and especially in the memory institutions
Information officers have been appointed in some government offices Lack of financial resources is a key challenge
Some digital skills training facilities are available for government office staff Sustainability of government initiatives on digitisation and digital services is affected by lack of resources and movement of people (loss of skills)
Growing human capital in general and in ICT in particular Lack of context-specific ICT and digital skills training
Lack of recognition of skills and excellence of staff/people
Lack of champions with technology and people/communication skills

The participants left the NetDiploma project workshop with a great degree of enthusiasm, a better understanding of the key challenges that call for ongoing networking and collaborative activities to promote access to cultural heritage information in African countries in general, and Kenya in particular.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/netdiploma