The enhancement of information capacity-building for evidence-based policy-making and management
Project update: January 2015
Two central concepts for information capacity building are ‘information’ (statistics) and evidence-based policy-making.
From previous CHET projects it is apparent that the management of information is an indicator of the degree of institutional coherence, or fragmentation, of the organisation. While in some cases fragmentation is the result of a shortage of trained staff or inappropriate technology, the biggest problem appears to be the lack of institutionalisation of data and procedures. Because institutionalisation is the basis for evidence-based policy and management, it is problematic when ‘once-off’ data sets are used to influence decision-making.
This project is the central component of the HERANA Phase 2 study. In HERANA Phase 1, CHET sent broad summary tables to universities to complete. This primary data collection process proved problematic because it assumed, incorrectly, that all HERANA universities had good electronic information systems from which the summaries could be extracted. A key aspect of Phase 2 is that universities are no longer expected to supply only summary tables to CHET and more detailed basic information is being collected from the participating universities.
In April 2013 a progress report was circulated to all nine universities. This report included summarised data for 2008/9 to 2010/11 in a series of tables, as well as an overview section that offered the first analyses of the new data on student enrolments, graduates, academic staffing, and high-level knowledge production. In May and June 2013, all the missing and incomplete data were received from Eduardo Mondlane, University of Ghana, University of Botswana, Dar es Salaam, University of Nairobi and University of Cape Town.
A first draft progress and analytical report was completed in June 2014: HERANA Overview of Eight African Flagship Universities: 2001-2011. The report covers trends and patterns in student enrolments, academic staffing, and knowledge outputs in the form of graduates and research publications. It concludes with an example of high-level knowledge performance indicators which could be extracted from the data.
A manual on the production and analysis of HERANA data was also published. The manual deals with (a) the conceptual definitions and steps required to produce HERANA data, and (b) the use of this data in specific examples of institutional planning.
AN EMPIRICAL OVERVIEW OF EIGHT FLAGSHIP UNIVERSITIES IN AFRICA 2001-2011
African Universities Performance Indicator Data:
A MANUAL on Collecting Academic Programme, Student and Academic Staff Data