Vietnam (March 5-15, 2007)
HINARI Training Activities - Hanoi, Vietnam
HINARI Training Workshop: sponsored by WHO Regional Office for Western Pacific Region; local sponsor/coordinator - Center for Scientific and Medical Information (CISMI); co-facilitators - Julius Dizon, WPRO, Nguyen Hai Ha and Dang Phuong Lien; 3.5 day course for 28 participants - medical/hospital librarians, physicians, researchers
Hanoi College of Pharmacy: overview of pharmacy-related Internet resources including HINARI; discussions with library staff included in-service training for pharmacists and development of National Drug Information Center
HINARI Training Mini-Workshop - Bach Mai Hospital: 2.5 hour course for 13 physicians
Thai Nguyen University: visit to an almost complete Learning Resource Center; discussed HOA with senior library staff (one had attended previous week's workshop); also presented a brief overview of HOA to junior staff
Library and Information Science Department, Hanoi College of Culture: 'Marketing for Libraries' and 'Managing Change' presentations to 100+ 3rd year students and 8-10 faculty members
Hanoi College of Public Health: 'Evaluating Internet-based Health Information' presentation to 15-18 faculty members and library staff
HINARI Training Mini-Workshop - Hanoi College of Pharmacy: 4 hour course for 12 faculty members and library staff
Hardware/Internet Access Overview: At the various sites, the hardware/bandwidth ranged from acceptable (CISMI, Hanoi College of Pharmacy) to excellent (Hanoi College of Public Health, Thai Nguyen University).
Skills of Participants: Almost all participants had sufficient baseline computer and searching skills. Some had a reasonable knowledge of HINARI while others were introduced to the program during the workshops.
English language skills varied; during the initial workshop, the Vietnamese co-facilitators summarized/translated significant parts of the presented material. There was no or minimal translation during the two mini-workshops and the presentation at the College of Public Health and complete translation at the Library and Information Science Department.
During the 'hands on' activities, almost all the participants were able to successfully complete the exercises with periodic input from the facilitators. For each module, we reviewed the answers for the whole group and this process was useful.
Use of HINARI/Institutional Level:
Each HINARI workshop included discussions of the "DOs and DON'T's" and how to market the resources. Both of these discussions review the parameters for the distribution of the institutional ID and password. The consensus was that, after a review of the DOs and DON'Ts with potential users, the ID and password should be distributed.
Participants were encouraged to train others at their institutions. At the initial workshop, this included small group discussions where participants identified potential user groups and discussed strategies for training. At the Hanoi College of Pharmacy mini-course, there was a discussion of incorporating HINARI into the curriculum.
At the principal workshop, the assistance of the two Vietnamese facilitators was invaluable. They were able to translate key material and, during the hands-on exercises, work with individuals with less English language skills.
After the workshops, the participants have a better understanding of the HINARI resources and this should result in increased use of the material. For example, one participant at the initial workshop is from a new applied genetics research institute where there is a high need for current research articles. Also, several educational institutions are in the process of registering for more than one of the HOA gateways since their curriculums include multiple disciplines.
Due to the 2nd week's flexible schedule, I was able to add activities including the trip to Thai Nguyen University and the Mini-Workshop at the Hanoi College of Pharmacy.
As a group, the faculty and library staff of the Hanoi College of Pharmacy had the best language/searching skills and understanding of the potential use of the full-text material. Because of these skills and the smaller size of the group, we were able to accomplish a considerable amount during the limited workshop time.
Per Hanoi, the food was great but the traffic is another story. There are literally millions of motor bikes and the best way to describe the traffic pattern is 'organized chaos'.
I enjoyed working with the participants as they showed a real interest in the learning and utilizing the HINARI resources.
Nigeria (June 26-30, July 2-5, 2007)
Title: AGORA/HINARI/OARE Workshops
Sponsors: Information and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA)
Librarians Without Borders SM E-Training Initiative/Elsevier
Facilitators: Gracian Chimwaza, Vimbai Hungwe (ITOCA), Justin Chesenga (FAO), Lenny Rhine, Marcus Banks (LWB)
Local Organizer: Professor Dele Fawole
Host: University of Ibadan Library
This was a four-day, full blown workshop about the three related programs with 31 participants. Besides an overview of Internet/computer use, searching skills and Internet resources, the course included in depth and hands on analysis of HINARI, AGORA and OARE and how to utilize the respective gateways, publishers' websites and databases (PubMed & CABI). Also included were material on marketing, repackaging information, developing workshops and publishing skills -a web-bibliography and FAQs.
The workshop was successful series of relevant presentations but the course had its unique circumstances. The venue and logistics were fine with more than adequate Internet access but the power supply was intermittent and often we had to rely on generators or didn't have electricity. While we were able to almost have sufficient time for 'hands on activities', we had to focus on these activities when there was electricity and be somewhat creative when there wasn't - use of white boards and notes, developing reviews and quizzes on the fly.
The students were focus and appreciative (including of how we worked around this obstacle) but, since this is their daily existence, they also were stoically frustrated by this situation.
1. The 'Do's and Don'ts' continue to be a topic for lengthy discussion. Many institutions still are too restrictive with the institutional ID and password despite the low use of HINARI/AGORA in Nigeria; we've tried to expand their 'comfort zone' to be broader and think we've been successful. Many liked the idea of a one page sheet that new users would read and sign off on.
2. We 'piloted' the Publishing Skills Web-Bibliography and FAQ sheet. The former was well received and the latter prompted an engaging discussion with many people participating. Ironically, we finished the discussion without electricity.
3. Several individuals found the 'Short Course' PowerPoint and Word exercises to be useful and plan use the material at their institutions.
Note: These comments also apply to the second workshop at the Medical Library that is reviewed below.
Title: Health Libraries/Information Management Skills Workshop
Sponsor: Librarians Without Borders SM E-Training Grant/Elsevier
Facilitators: Lenny Rhine, Marcus Banks
Local Organizer: Helen Komolafe, Director
Host: E. Latunde Adeku Medical Library, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
In the second workshop, we incorporated other topics at the request of the Library Director. This course included the HINARI Short Course and the search strategies, marketing and managing change modules. Other material included Role of Health Information Worker in the Electronic Age, Information Literacy, Overview of Internet Based Health Information, Evaluation of WWW Resources, Evidence Based Medicine, Open Access plus Web design, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint basic skills.
The course was an in-service course for the professionals and paraprofessionals of this Library. Other participants included the director from the University of Lagos Medical Library and the director and staff member from the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos (NIMR).
Similarly to the other workshop, the participants were focused and appreciative and… there were problems with the power supply. For many of the paraprofessionals, this training introduced them to resources and concepts that are not part of their daily routines. Consequently, there were many positive byproducts for the Library and its staff and the Director plan to build on this momentum.
Once again, there was a lengthy discussion of the 'do's and don'ts' and the idea of each institution developing their own 'comfort zone'. For the UI Medical Library, the staff will expand the distribution of the IDs and passwords to the residents and upper division medical students and conduct training workshops for these groups. Also, the director of the NIMR is planning to conduct a Short Course for the Institute's researchers.
Submitted by Lenny Rhine, July 13, 2007
Nepal (August 27-30, 2007)
The Nepal National Training/Workshop on HINARI and Other Internet Resources was conducted from 27-30 August at the Orchid Hotel, Kathmandu. This course was a joint endeavour of the National Health Education, Information and Communication Center, Nepal, WHO/Searo and the Librarians Without Borders SM E-Library Training Initiative/Elsevier. The workshop consisted of a series of brief presentations coupled with extensive hands on/computer based exercises. This teaching methodology was chosen to optimize the skill level of the participants.
Day 1: included a review the basic Internet usage and searching skills, an extensive overview of Internet- based health information resources and a review of the HINARI gateway and participating publishers' websites.
Days 2-3: devoted to a comprehensive study of PubMed as a tool for identify full-text article in HINARI - Overview, Limits, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), Index, History and My NCBI.
Day 4: emphasized 'Advocacy for HINARI' that included a series of presentations and exercises related to the marketing/promoting, repackaging of HINARI and related Internet material plus an overview of how to conduct a workshop and Internet based tools for publishing. The presentation of this material included a group discussions by the participants with an extensive review of HINARI 'Do's and Don'ts' and development of marketing strategies.
At the completion of each general topic, the key concepts were reviewed and, each morning, the participants answered a series of questions - to reinforce the learning from the previous day.
The instructor was ably assisted by two facilitators, Mr. Uttam M. Shelya and Ms. Gita Thapa with both individuals demonstrating extensive knowledge of the HINARI material and enthusiasm for teaching. The facilities, meals and breaks at the Hotel were quite nice and the hardware/Internet access adequate.
Submitted by Lenny Rhine
Zanzibar (September 4-7, 2007)
Re: HINARI training workshop conducted in Zanzibar
Librarians Without Borders SM, Medical Library Association, MLA
The 'Electronic Health Information Retrieval and Dissemination' Workshop was conducted at the Karume Technical College, Zanzibar from 04-07 September 2007. This course was a joint endeavour of the Ministry of Health, Zanzibar and the Librarians Without Borders SM E-Library Training Initiative/Elsevier. DANIDA funded to local arrangements - rental of the computer lab at a local technical college, printing, meals/breaks, and per-diem for the participants.
The mix of the twenty-six participants was diverse including district medical officers, regional health officers and IT support staff. There also were a number of tutors and librarians. The skill level of the students varied but, after the first day, almost all the participants were able to keep up with the tasks.
The course material paralleled the four-day HINARI training workshop. Approximately 15% differed and this included material on information literacy and repackaging of Internet based material. On the first day, the Internet access was insufficient. Consequently, this resulted in considerable lecturing on that day followed by significant hands-on activities for the other three days. Indeed, the Internet access level was acceptable and reliable for this period.
Special thanks is given to Amour Kassim, Ministry of Health Zanzibar, for his commitment to this workshop from the beginning. He initially submitted the grant to Danida and obtained the funding for the local arrangements. During the week, Amour was instrumental in insuring that all the details - large and small - were completed. Also Ashura Shaib Mussa contribution as the only facilitator was essential for the success of the workshop.
Although this workshop began slowly (due to the inadequate Internet access), we were able to accomplish all of the objectives. The participants have gained the necessary skills for the use of the HINARI resources and other health material on the Internet and also an understanding of how to disseminate this information at their institutions. Indeed, they have become their organizations' trainers.
Tanzania (September 10-13, 2007)
Re: Overview of COSTECH Workshop, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The workshop was a collaborative workshop of Librarians Without Borders SM/MLA, ITOCA (Iinformation, Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) and COSTECH (Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology). The venue was the facility of COSTECH that also served as the Internet Service Provider.
This workshop covered all the e-journal access programs - HINARI, AGORA (Agriculture) and OARE (Environmental Sciences). The 32 participants were 60/40 between AGORA/OARE and HINARI users with several in institutions having cross-discipline activities. Over the 3.5 day workshop, 50% of the time was spent jointly and 50% separately concentrating on HINARI or the other gateways. Similar to the other workshops, 'hands-on', computer-based exercises were emphasized. At the completion of each module, the key concepts were reviewed and the participants completed brief quizzes.
With four instructors, the teaching was even divided and there were multiple sets of eyes for the hands-on activities. The facility was acceptable with slow but reliable Internet access and no interruption of the power supply. Once again, I found it a pleasure to collaborate with the ITOCA staff.
What made this workshop unique was the make-up of the participants. At least 60% were researchers varying from medical sciences to traditional medicine, animal husbandry, plant science and forestry. As a group, they were inquisitive and asked insightful questions throughout the workshop. The publishing skills FAQs session prompted a lively and astute discussion.
Cambodia (October 2-5, 2007)
Overview of HINARI Workshop, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The workshop was a collaborative workshop of World Health Organization/ Western Pacific Region, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Cambodia and Librarians Without Borders/MLA. The venue was the training laboratory of the NIPH.
This workshop covered all aspects of HINARI (HINARI and participating publishers' websites, PubMed - website, searching by limits, Medical Subject Headings, Index and History features and My NCBI email options) plus Marketing for HINARI, Repackaging of HINARI Material, How to Conduct a Workshop, Publishing Skills web bibliography and a lengthy discussion of the HINARI DO's and DON'TS - including a discussion of the need to share User Names and Password on the institutional level. Also reviewed were other Internet-based health resources that are relevant in the developing country environment.
The 30 participants were predominantly library personnel from academic institutions, hospitals, research, Ministry of Health based organizations and several locally based NGOs. Approximately 7 of the participants were physicians involved in clinical practice, academic training and/or research.
Staff of the NICH were responsible the local arrangements and did an excellent job - the copies of the modules were color and numerically coded and the coffee breaks and lunches were on time with tasty food. Special thanks Ms. Nouth Sarida who coordinated these activities. With two instructors, the teaching was divided. Mr. Ratana Ouch, the NIPH IT support staff, also served as a facilitator and assisted with the hands-on activities.
The facility was excellent with 20 up-to-date PCs and furniture in a well lit room. This laboratory was developed with DED German Development Service funding and the Internet access supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The Internet access was acceptable - periodically slow but reliable with no interruption of the power supply. This venue could be available for subsequent training sessions and we encouraged NIPH management and the participants to consider this option when conducting institution based workshops.
Each workshop has its unique dynamics. What made this workshop unique was the facility - clearly the best of the year. Also, we did not have a translator which, initially, appeared to be a drawback. What ensued was those that had better English language skills assisted those with more limited capability.