Vision and mission
Our vision is that all people are able to access and contribute information, ideas and knowledge necessary to drive sustainable and equitable development.
Our mission is to enable worldwide access to information and knowledge with particular emphasis on the needs of developing and transitional countries. We work with partners and networks around the world to encourage the creation and production of information, to promote sustainable and equitable access to information, to foster collaboration and networking, and to strengthen local capacities to manage and use information and knowledge.
We seek to achieve these through activities and programmes that:
1. improve access to scientific and scholarly information
2. catalyse and support local publication and information exchange
3. strengthen local capacities to manage and use information and knowledge
4. foster in-country, regional and international cooperation and networking
5. advise local organisations and funding agencies on ways to utilise information and publishing to achieve development goals
We were established in 1992 by the International Council for Science (ICSU) to improve access to information and knowledge through a commitment to capacity building in emerging and developing countries. Initially based within the International African Institute, we moved to
our own premises in Oxford in June 1996. ICSU provided an umbrella legal status under its Committee for the Dissemination of Scientific Information until 2003 when INASP was registered in the United Kingdom as a company limited by guarantee. In October 2004, we were registered as a charity.
Who we work with
We assist researchers, scientists, educators, and health and rural development practitioners in transitional and developing countries to access, create and use information and knowledge.
To most effectively assist these groups, we partner with information and communication professionals such as librarians, ICT experts, professional associations, publishers, editors and networks.
What we do
We are a networking organisation with activities undertaken by staff, partners, and colleagues located throughout the world.
This means that we often take on enabling roles. By leveraging networks of contacts and partners, specific tasks are accomplished and the required local capacities are enhanced. The major roles that we play are:
- Networking - catalyzing people-to people exchanges
- Accessing - facilitating sustainable access to information
- Sharing - supporting local exchange of information and knowledge
- Publishing - strengthening local knowledge creation and dissemination
- Training and capacity development - enhancing skills of information and communication professionals and local trainers
How do we do these? Through:
- Country- and sector-focused support for networking, accessing, sharing, and publishing of information and knowledge
- Strengthening the efforts of information and communication 'enablers' - individuals and organisations supporting research, science, education and development
- Skills and capacity development in areas of information networking, accessing, sharing and publishing
- Providing advisory and liaison services and acting as an information exchange point and clearing house on information and communication issues in development
- Partnerships and joint ventures with other organisations
Our philosophy is to work in response to requests and through networking to maximise the synergy between partners. More generally, by sharing experiences and facilitating or promoting joint ventures, we aim to increase the value-added element of collaborative efforts.
Our work is delivered through activities grouped in five programme areas.
We have three main types of income:
- Programme funds provided by external funding agencies to deliver an agreed set of tasks in developing countries.
- Core funds provided by external agencies, usually unrestricted in their use.
- Core income 'earned' from management and other services delivered as part of programme activities. These 'overhead' earnings are normally a small percentage of each activity. Such funds are normally used to finance new programmes or to run pilot or feasibility studies.
We are grateful to the following organisations who have been supporting INASP:
Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), British Medical Association (BMA), Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY), European Commission, Exchange, Gibbs Trust,
Global Forum for Health Research, International Council for Science (ICSU), INTAS, International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), Morel Trust, National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) USA, Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD), Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU, United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Wellcome Trust, Wenner Gren, World Health Organization (WHO).