APO attends Oceans and Islands Conference

Oceans and Islands Conference : APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken, Dr Jackie Tuaupiki and Prof. David Robie

In late November APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken travelled to speak at the New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research’s Oceans and Islands Conference in Auckland.

While she considered the niche and nerdy topic of ‘The catalogue as a cultural practice’ she was delighted to share a panel with the ‘impressively young’ senior lecturer, Dr Jackie Tuaupiki from Waikato University discussing the reclamation of ancient Māori navigational knowledge as well as the extremely eminent former Rainbow Warrior crusader, Prof. David Robie speaking of the Pacific Media Centre and a concerning turn against media freedom during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) being hosted in Papua New Guinea.

‘These and many other speakers were inspiring to learn of and to seek out for inclusion in APO’s Pacific Research Collection as it navigates into its second year on APO,’ said Penelope of her trip to New Zealand. 

APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken

Guest blog: What is Policy? – by Grace Coleman

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Image: Hans Peter Gauster (Unsplash)

What Is Policy?

I had been asking myself – and everyone else – this question a hundred times this week. ‘What is Policy?’

True to my millennial breeding,  I turn to Google.

Policy.

Noun: policy; plural noun: policies

  • a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organisation or individual.

Your standard stiff dictionary definition – but I didn’t want a textbook definition, or politician’s definition either.

I wanted to know what YOU thought Policy meant. I wanted to know what everyone else thought it meant, and WHY it might be important.

This was one of my first tasks. On my first day at APO, I stepped out of a brand meeting in which we were discussing the many facets of what Policy is, does and can be.

For me, the meeting opened up a pandora’s box of what policy actually is – action.
Did anyone pick up on the contradiction that the word ‘policy’ is a noun defined by a verb – action?

The act of policy encompasses a lot of what we take for granted in our day to day lives.

It is the prevention, the response, the intervention, the technology, the improvement, the catalyst, the continuation, the past, the present, the future – policy is the entire network of what regulates our lives.

It’s a lot. Continue reading “Guest blog: What is Policy? – by Grace Coleman”

Fighting poverty with evidence – an interview with Dr Naomi Rutenberg

GEISAPO will be attending the Global Evidence and Implementation Summit (GEIS) 2018 this October – in the lead up, we offer a taste of some of the speakers. 

In this interview, Dr Naomi Rutenberg, Principal Associate, The Forest Hills Group, shares her thoughts on the changing role of evidence in the international development sector. Dr Naomi Rutenberg will deliver a much-anticipated presentation at the Global Evidence and Implementation Summit (GEIS) 2018 in Melbourne, 22-24 October.

Over your career, how have you seen the role of evidence change within the international development sector?

‘First, the attention to evidence for monitoring progress and identifying effective approaches and programs has increased exponentially – and all easily accessed through the internet. There are numerous trackers, such as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and HIV data trackers, of development program outputs and outcomes, hundreds of program evaluations produced by groups like 3ie and Innovations for Poverty Action, and massive open data banks at the World Bank and elsewhere.

‘In addition to a huge increase in the amount of evidence, evidence is also being used in different ways – well beyond program evaluation or tracking progress. One example is for micro-targeting program resources, where there is great need for program investments. An illustration of this is using data on recent HIV infections to identify “hotspots” of HIV transmission to prioritise for interventions. Another is combining research methods, such as impact evaluation and implementation research, to understand not only if a program works but for whom and why.’

How is evidence helping to address international development challenges and needs? Continue reading “Fighting poverty with evidence – an interview with Dr Naomi Rutenberg”

APO Director joins international committee for FAST terminology

APO Director, Amanda Lawrence recently joined the first international FAST Policy and Outreach Committee (FPOC) – one of the library domain’s most widely-used subject terminology schemas.

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‘APO adopted the FAST classification system a few years ago, and it’s also used by the Informit database, Amanda Lawrence says. ‘We have been focusing on making APO more interoperable with other systems over the past few years. Working with an international vocabulary like FAST is part of the information infrastructure that supports that goal.’

OCLC support for FAST

FAST (or Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is is a collaborative effort between the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Research and the Library of Congress, dating all the way back to 1998.

OCLC is committed to the growth and support of FAST and are actively working to transition it from an experimental research environment to OCLC production servers. The first stage, which is underway, is transitioning FAST to a production database and they are currently analysing options for next steps, based on community needs and interest.

FPOC Committee

Based in the US, OCLC has partnered with representatives from the library community to create a new FAST Policy and Outreach Committee (FPOC).

‘This is the first time that there has been an international committee to discuss the future developments of FAST,’ says Lawrence.

FPOC will represent users of FAST for the purposes of:

  • establishing editorial policies regarding terms
  • overseeing community engagement, term contributions and procedures
  • recommending directions and goals for development/improvements
  • and much more (see http://oc.lc/FASTcommittee for additional details).

Continue reading “APO Director joins international committee for FAST terminology”

Highlights from the KM2018 conference

In the first week of July, Amanda Lawrence and I attended the Knowledge Mobilisation Conference (KM2018) in Sydney, hosted by the Sax Institute. It was a packed event, with an audience of about 60 per cent researchers, 20 per cent policy makers, and the rest somewhere in between.

Amanda presenting at KM2018
Amanda presenting at 2018 Knowledge Mobilisation conference in Sydney

bridge

The discussions and workshops were all about ways to bridge the gap between researchers and policy makers. The focus was on health, but the learnings are applicable across all public policy.

My key points from the conference:

Finding, building and sustaining relationships

Researchers are challenged by the situation where people in government adviser roles change frequently, making it difficult to engage, and sustain engagement.

And from the other side, it is hard to ‘find an expert’.

While at the same time it is recognised that relationship building, and ‘deliberative dialogues’, help with knowledge translation.

Speaking the right language, as well as listening the right way Continue reading “Highlights from the KM2018 conference”

APO’s crusade against broken links

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Image: Jakob Owens (Unsplash)

Broken links have become synonymous with web browsing. There are a number of reasons why and how they occur, most commonly involving a web page being moved without a proper re-direct being put in place or a change to the URL structure of the website the user is trying to reach.

‘Broken’ links are when your web browser actually displays a ‘Page not found’ error message (sometimes displayed as ‘404: Not found’). Continue reading “APO’s crusade against broken links”

Welcome changes to the Copyright Act

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Icons borrowed from ADA

While copyright reform moves at a glacial pace, it is pleasing to report that in 2017 the Australian Government introduced important changes to copyright law in the form of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017 which came into force on Friday 22 December. The changes it brings about are the most significant to Australian copyright law in over a decade, according to the Australian Digital Alliance (ADA). The ADA report states that the Amendment:

‘…ends the antiquated concept of perpetual copyright for unpublished works, instead applying the same basic terms to all materials, regardless of whether they are published or not. It also applies flat terms to orphan works whose authors cannot be identified 70 years from when they were created or made public (this fact sheet on the changes from the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee explains what all this means).

When these laws come into effect on 1 January 2019 they will apply to all works currently protected by copyright in Australia. This means that literally millions of old unpublished works from our national collections will enter the public domain all at once, including recipes used by Captain Cook, letters written by Jane Austen and endless ephemera. Every year after that, unpublished works whose authors died 70 years earlier will also fall into the public domain, and orphan works created/made public 70 years earlier.’

Continue reading “Welcome changes to the Copyright Act”