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Librarians without Borders® HINARI Train the Trainers Report Ghana: March 13-15, 2017

Accra, Ghana (March 13-15, 2017)

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This three day workshop was conducted at the University of Ghana, College of Health Sciences, Korle-Bu Computer Centre. The instructors were Lenny Rhine, LWB and Karin Saric University of Southern California, Norris Library.   The funding was provided by the Elsevier Foundation.  Karin was one of the recipients of the 2016 Librarians Without Borders/Elsevier Foundation Research4Life grants. 

Note: this report discusses the above mentioned workshop. The grant also supported one day training for University of Southern California Occupation Training students who participated in an outreach project in Ghana plus two one day workshop conducted for the occupational therapy faculty and students of the University of Ghana School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences. These activities will be reported separately by Karin. Dr. Bonnie Nakasuji, Adjunct Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is the USC link with School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences. Her contacts and expertise were essential for the development and implementation of the grant.

For the Hinari Train the Trainers workshop, Karin had many of the responsibilities that the WHO Country Office or host organization usually complete. These activities include obtaining the venue, sorting out the purchase of the items for the breaks and lunches and printing plus numerous other details. Another unique activity was dealing with Internet access issues. To insure sufficient bandwidth, we purchased a router and data. This additional infrastructure insured reliable and sufficiently speedy Internet access.

Karin was assisted with the local arrangements by Catherine Asamoah & Rita Oduro Anane, College of Health Sciences Librarians, University of Ghana. They helped facilitate many of the details of the workshop. Also, the contribution of Michael Quartey ICT assistant, College of Health Sciences must be noted. He was available throughout the workshop and was diligent in solving any IT problems. Also, Michael served as the photographer for the workshop and definitely took over 500 photos. 

Thirty eight participants from the country’s health-related academic institutions attended the workshop. The category breakup was 9 librarians, 10 program managers/administrators/IT staff, ten library assistants, eight physicians and lecturers and one nurse. Staff from nineteen institutions attended the training. Only two institutions needed to register for HINARI and participants from another two needed to receive their institutions’ passwords. The ten library assistants were from the host institution and this allowed these individuals to get valuable training to assist the library’s users.

In the three day workshop, the objectives were to have the participants learn the critical access skills of HINARI and related resources and be able to conduct training to the various target groups at their respective institutions. 

The modules covered were similar to many of the previously conducted three day workshops - searching skills, HINARI portal, HINARI/PubMed (website, filters, history and advanced search), the alternate Summon search tool for HINARI, MY NCBI accounts, evidence-based medicine, e-book and Internet resources for Hinari users, Zotero reference management software plus an overview of authorship skills material (How to read and write a scientific paper, plagiarism, Web-bibliography).  

We also focused on the HINARI marketing module and used the marketing checklist. This is a tool for developing a detailed marketing plan for each institution.   Another group exercise was the development of the curriculum for specific training scenarios. In both cases, the presentations by the groups were excellent. After six months, the participants will receive a survey that ‘evaluates’ their outcomes and particularly the use of the marketing plan for training activities.

At the end of the workshop, the participants completed post-workshop surveys (attached). Almost all the participants ‘agreed’ that the workshop was well organized, had relevant material with useful ‘hands-on’ exercises, that the trainers were knowledgeable/organized, effective presenters and responsive to questions and that the workshop resulted in their obtaining useful knowledge and skills. According to the participants, major strengths of the workshop included Demos/Hands on, Information Gained, Support Material and Networking. 

There were a somewhat broader reply to the ‘length was appropriate for course content’ question but not nearly as wide a response as in other workshops.  The responses were 70% replying ‘agree’ and another 25% noting ‘somewhat agree.’

This was a successful workshop due to the participants’ interest and energy. As a group, they were very conscientious as all focused on completing the hands on activities and learned skills that they can apply to their work including training responsibilities. One of the participants sent an email message that noted the value of the workshop for her:

"Hello Lenny,

Words fail me in expressing how exceptional this training has been for me (and to think I wasn’t keen on attending). I have upgraded my then paltry J knowledge on Hinari and the use of other search engines not just for science based disciplines but for general use. I am also the Academic coordinator for the Hospital and I have since updated the “online learning source” section of the Residents curriculum and this time I did it with a better understanding of what I was writing. We have submitted a report on the workshop and are currently planning the training sessions for the various groups within the Hospital. Will keep you posted. Once again thanks so much for this opportunity! It was great.

Kind regards,

Afua (Afua Asomaning, Academic Assistant to Prof. O. Boachie-Adjei, Academic Co-ordinator. FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital"

Finally, I must note again the excellent organizational work done by Karin plus it always is great to teach with her. Also, the continued support of the Elsevier Foundation for the LWB ‘E-library Training Initiative’ has been critical. Without the additional funding for 2016-18, this and three other projects would not have occurred. 

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