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Librarians without Borders® Regional HINARI Train the Trainer Workshop Report: November 16-20, 2015

Suva, Fiji (November 16 - 20, 2015)

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Submitted by:  Lenny Rhine, Karin Saric 07 December 2015


This five day workshop was unique as the participants were from eight countries in the WHO/Western Pacific Region (WPRO) and this is the first regional HINARI training activity conducted in this region. It was supported by the Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS) of the Regional Office of the Western Pacific and Librarians Without Borders®/Medical Library Association (LWB). The instructors were Lenny Rhine, LWB and Karin Saric, University of Southern California. Also present was Marie Villemin Partow, Publications Officer, Information Products and Services, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO). Due to Internet access issues, it was conducted at two venues – the Computer Lab of Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN) and the conference room of DPS.

The twelve participants for the workshop were from four Group A countries (Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tokelau) and four from Group B countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru and Tonga) plus four additional participants from the Fiji Ministry of Health and one from the Fiji National University/Medical Library. The majority of the participants were Ministry of Health personnel involved in health training in their respective countries plus several librarians and one physician. The primary participants were selected to become national trainers/coordinators for HINARI use in their respective countries.

During the five day workshop, the goal was to have the participants learn the critical skills of HINARI and be able to conduct training to the various target groups in their respective countries. A key component of this workshop was the development of a viable marketing plan for these countries.

Training Material:

The HINARI/Research4Life (R4L) modules covered were searching skills, evaluation of health information on the Internet, Access to WHO information resources (WHO digital library portal, Regional Index Medicus), HINARI portal, HINARI/PubMed (website, filters, history and advanced search, Medical Subject Headings), MY NCBI accounts, evidence based practice and e-books resources from HINARI and the Internet and an overview of health information resources on the Internet, Zotero reference management software, authorship skills (How to read and write a scientific paper, Copyright and Plagiarism, Web-bibliography including AuthorAID website), the alternate Summon search tool and marketing of HINARI resources.   Also summarized was the R4L and HINARI training portals and a discussion of HINARI do’s and don’ts and access problems and solutions. Additionally, Marie Villemin-Partow taught a very useful WHO/WPRO resources module and we included a brief overview of SCOPUS and its analytical features and CINAHL – two underutilized R4L resources.


Due to the previously mentioned Internet access issues, this was the 1st workshop that was conducted at two venues. Fortunately, the WIFI/Internet access at the WHO Office and use of laptops enabled us to effectively complete the more Internet intensive modules. We did significantly revamp the program as the less Internet intensive material was covered on the 1st and 2nd days. This did result in the material not being taught in the logical sequence.

As noted, this workshop was unique being a regional one and had an additional focus on conducting country-wide training. Initially, the participants had a wide range of knowledge about HINARI and Internet searching. Fortunately, there were two trainers and, when completing the hands-on exercises, we could devote time to working with the three or four less knowledgeable participants. After the second day, this group was much more self-sufficient when completing the exercises.

The workshop covered an extensive amount of information over five days. Having this length of time enabled us to complete all the training material and have sufficient time for the exercises. Also, we were able to add additional group exercises (training program scenarios) and complete the individual country marketing plans.

As noted, the marketing module was essential and the participants began to develop plans for the follow-up training in their countries. Each individual completed a country-wide marketing plan using a newly developed spreadsheet. The trainers will continue to communicate with the participants about the ‘outcomes’ from the workshop – 3, 6 and 12 months after this workshop.

Participants also developed ‘training programs’ from scenarios that were supplied. The outcomes from the three groups were excellent and demonstrated that the participants understood how to transfer what they had learned into the training environment.[1]

From the trainers’ perspective, we were quite impressed by the group and everyone’s ability to learn the material even with different initial knowledge levels. The participants became a very cohesive group with considerable interaction. This resulted in many collaborative learning activities. Perhaps this is due to the individuals coming from eight different locations in the South Pacific. Note: Both trainers already have received communication from participants about presentations (including marketing plans) they will make to staff and supervisors and also interest from colleagues/users about the resources.

During the workshop, some of the participants did ‘ice breakers’ which were simple exercises for the whole group.   Also of interest were comments made by the participants on how this or that module would be useful in their work environment. This was particularly true of the Fiji MOH participants.   The participants also demonstrated patience and flexibility with the move from one venue to the second.

The overall success of the workshop is noted in the survey results. A vast majority (12 of 12 or 11 of 12) of the participants ‘agreed’ that the instructional materials were relevant, sessions met expectations, the hands on sessions were useful, trainers were knowledgeable, effective presenters and responsive to questions and that they acquired knowledge and skills that they could use. There is more of a mix (8 ‘agreed’, 1 ‘somewhat agreed’, 1 ‘somewhat disagreed’, 1 ‘disagreed’) in the response the length being appropriate for course content and instructional materials.   This is to be expected with the broad spread of participants’ initial knowledge.

[1] Group 1 – 2 Day workshop for library users - Basic Module: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (HINARI / PubMed), Advanced Module: 2, 5, 6 MyNCBI, CINAHL, EBP

Group 2 –Train MOH Management (these individuals do not have a lot of free time for training) Part 1: 2 mornings or a full day - Basic: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 – R4L, HINARI, PubMed – to raise awareness of HINARI & online resources; make them self sufficient and able to quickly find online information. Part 2: Advanced: 1, 2, 6, 7- follow up with one day shorter courses

Group 3: 2 day workshop for physicians and researchers Day 1: R4L Background/ Internet Searching / Searching Techniques / WHO WPRO/ HINARI Portal / Intellectual Property & Ethics; Day 2: Recap and only focus on 2 things PubMed / MeSH and EBP.


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