34th Annual Conference (March 2001)

Not a One-Way Street: Information Collaboration in a Global Context

March 26-28, 2001


Information on conference presenters | List of participants | Conference Photos

Monday, March 26, 2001

  • Tour of the National Library of Medicine
    The visit included a tour and special update on PubMed, including any expected changes in POPLINE; Demonstration of the NLM Gateway, short report on NLM’s efforts in the field of distance learning; and demo of clinicaltrials.gov.
  • APLIC Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Wednesday, March 28 – Franklin Square, Independence Level 5B

Biographies of Conference Participants

Carl Haub

Carl Haub is a senior demographer and holder of the Conrad Taeuber Chair of Population Information at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., where he has been employed since 1979. He is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and publications on world and U.S. population trends. Beginning in 1980, he has prepared the annual World Population Data Sheet, the most widely circulated world population data source in use. His publications include the U.N. Long-Range Population Projections: What They Tell Us and the Population Bulletins Understanding Population Projections, World Population Beyond Six Billion, and Population Change in the Former Soviet Republics. In recent years, he has traveled to Belarus, Germany, India, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam conducting demographic studies for the World Bank and other international organizations and has served as United Nations Expert on the International Transmission of Population Policy Experience. His position at PRB entails daily support of the media on demographic matters in addition to frequent public speaking activities and media interviews. Mr. Haub has also worked in the field of demography at the National Academy of Sciences, the World Bank, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. He holds a Master’s degree in demography from Georgetown University and is a member of the Population Association of America and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

Nancy Hafkin

Nancy worked at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from 1976-2000 in the areas of information on women and development and in promoting information technology for African development. She was chief of research and publications at the African Centre for Women from 1977-1986, and then joined the Pan African Development Information System (PADIS) in 1986, directing its work from 1989-1996. In order to facilitate the exchange of development information in Africa, she initiated a number of projects for African electronic connectivity, including “Computer Networking in Africa” (1987-1990) and Capacity Building for Electronic Communication in Africa (1991-1994). She organized several major regional conferences related to connectivity in Africa and initiated the ECA programme in promoting information technology for development in 1995, which she then led. She served as ECA focal point for the POPIN-Africa Network from 1994 to 1998 and was coordinator of the African Information Society Initiative from 1996-2000. The Association for Progressive Communications in 2000 established the Nancy J. Hafkin Information Society Prize to encourage and recognize African initiatives in information and communication technologies Nancy Hafkin holds a Ph.D. in history (Africa) from Boston University. She currently lives in Wayland MA where she is an independent consultant in information technology for development.

Marlaine E. Lockheed

Education Sector Manager, Human Development Network, The World Bank
Marlaine Lockheed received her Ph.D. from Stanford University’s International Development Education Center (SIDEC) in 1972, and is Education Sector Manager in the Human Development Network of the World Bank. She was formerly Education Sector Manager in the Social and Human Development Department of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region. Before joining the Bank in 1985, she held various positions in research at Educational Testing Service, and taught as a visiting professor, at the University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University in sociology and policy analysis. She has directed research on a wide range of topics–including social and cultural diversity, educational assessment, school effectiveness , cross-national variations in education reform and education decentralization –and has worked in over a dozen countries worldwide.

Lockheed has authored or edited nine books and special issues of journals, over 50 journal articles and book chapters, 35 technical reports and 80 papers presented at professional meetings covering a broad range of education policy and practice issues. Recent books include Primary Education in India (World Bank, 1997), National Assessments: Testing the System (with P. Murphy, V. Greaney and C. Rojas, EDI/World Bank 1996) and Effective Schools in Developing Countries (with H. Levin, Falmer Press 1993). She was the principal author of the World Bank’s policy paper Primary Education and the book Improving Primary Education in Developing Countries (with A. Verspoor and others, Oxford University Press); the latter were the World Bank’s core contributions to the 1990 World Conference of Education for All in Jomtien.

Lockheed has served as Vice-President of the American Educational Research Association (Division G: Social Context of Education) and as member of the Executive Committee, President of the AERA International Studies Special Interest Group, Chair of AERA’s Government and Professional Relations Committee, Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Committee on the Status of Women, and member of the Board of the Comparative and International Education Society.

She was Associate Editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis ,1997-2000, has served on the editorial boards of the Comparative Education Review and four other peer-reviewed journals, and as consulting editor for 11 journals (including Economics of Education Review and Economic Development and Cultural Change). She is a member of the National Academy of Science National Research Council’s Board on International and Comparative Studies in Education. She was the 1985 recipient of the AERA’s Willystine Goodsall Award.

Leela McCullough

Dr. Leela McCullough’s education in the Biological Sciences (B.A.,Australia), science education (M.A., Canada) and curriculum development and teacher training (Ed.D., USA) form a solid foundation for her efforts to promote the use of IT tools in creating access to information for health professionals in the developing world. She is currently Director of Information Services at SATELLIFE and is responsible for the development and implementation of a suite of electronic information services serving almost 10, 000 health professionals in 140 countries. Born and raised in South Africa, Dr. McCullough has lived in India, Ethiopia, England, Australia, Canada, and the US.

Kurt Moses

Kurt is Vice President and Director of Computer and Systems Services at the Academy for Education Development. He has an M.B.A. in Finance and Public Administration from the University of Chicago. His expertise is in the fields of learning technologies, higher education strategic planning, and computerizing education systems in developing countries. He has worked in Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, former Czechoslovakia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, Palau, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
His recent presentations include:

  • “Transformation of Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla: Strategy and Technology,” presented at the Educational Leadership Seminar, San Francisco, November 1996.
  • “The Transformational Nature of Technology-Distance Learning: A New Paradigm for Developing Institutions,” presented at the International Congress on Technology and Distance Education, San Jose, Costa Rica, November 1996.
  • “International Case Studies in Distance Learning,” in Annals of the American Academy of Political Science and Social Science: Electronic Links for Learning, March 1991.

Susan Kingsley Pasquariella, D.L.S.

Dr. Pasquariella has been global Coordinator of the United Nations Population Information Network since October 1993. A primary responsibility has been the introduction and promotion of electronic technologies and the design and implementation of a decentralized Internet-based system of regional and national electronic information-sharing networks strengthened through training and capaicty-building to ensure skills transfer to all countries and regions. This has been done with financial support from UNFPA and in partnership with the the UN regional commissions, the specialized agencies and the non-governmental population community. Prior to joining the United Nations, Dr. Pasquariella was Director of the Library Information Program, Columbia University Center for Population and Family Health (CPFH), where her responsibilities included managing the CPFH contribution to the POPLINE database and building developing country information support for health research and delivery services. Dr. Pasquariella holds Doctoral and Masters’ degrees from Columbia University. For more information about POPIN, see www.undp.org/popin.

Elizabeth T. Robinson, M.S.

Associate Director for Information Programs, Family Health International, Ms. Robinson manages information programs, technical assistance in communications and media relations efforts. Her responsibilities include developing and overseeing U.S. and developing country information dissemination activities, FHI’s library, publications, and research dissemination programs, including FHI’s Web site and other initiatives in electronic dissemination. Since joining FHI in 1985, she has served in various capacities, including as managing editor for FHI’s scientific bulletins Network, Network en francais and Network en espanol and established FHI’s health journalism training program. Prior to coming to FHI she worked as a journalist in the New York area, Washington, DC, and in Algeria, Tunisia, Niger and Burkina Faso. Ms. Robinson received an M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York and held a one-year fellowship in the Columbia University School of International Affairs Fellows Program in 1981.

Presentation summaries

First Presentation: Carl Haub, Population Reference Bureau

World Population is now over 6 billion: How do we know that?

UN Projections and nature and sources of data
How do we know the size of world population? How is it tabulated? UN projections go through 2050. In 15 years population growth charts will look the same as today.

Population pyramids – population graphs for developed countries look evenly distributed, they are not pyramids. Developing countries do look like pyramids with the majority of population in young age brackets. This age structure guarantees population growth. Don’t expect population to go vertical, it won’t take off

How large will future world population be?
UN produces 3 series of projections (high, middle and low) but they use the middle projection. On data sheets use official national projections. Often countries do not have an odd number of series, which can make it more difficult. Good to tell people that there is a range of projections to give an idea of variation.

How do you determine population projections?
Look at what countries have done in the past. Pattern for TFR in Latin America is to decline just below 3 but does not continue to decrease to the replacement level. It is important to look at social and cultural factors that influence data (i.e. Sweden, Iran, Jamaica)

Data is given and true. It should be something that is measured, not estimated, projected or just plain guessed at. Two different worlds from where we get data, developed and developing countries. Data should measure a trend. There is a census from almost every developing country. It is important to remember how numbers are collected and where they come from. (ex. US census mail out mail back form).

Basic sources of data

  • Demographic Yearbook is raw data, it is unadjusted. More and less developed was defined by fertility rates in the 1960s. The UN only classifies regions as ore and less developed. A fertility rate above 4 is considered less developed. (Japan, Australia and New Zealand are the only countries removed from the region).
  • World Population Prospects is adjusted; the numbers are massaged, and tend to be used more frequently for developing countries.
  • DHS started as world fertility survey. Not perfect, but they have shed a great deal of light into what we know about a country’s fertility rate and other health indicators.
  • The UNs Population and Vital Statistics Report is a quarterly update to yearbook.
  • World Population Profile


Statistics on maternal mortality is relatively rare. Virtually no vital statistics from developing countries, they are simply not registered. Maternal mortality is hard to separate from other types of deaths. UNICEF has spot estimates, came up with a set of very rough estimates. DHS or reproductive health surveys can also be a source of information for maternal mortality. However, in India for example the sampling error is too big to determine if it went up or down. UNICEF will release new information on maternal mortality, and he suspects that it will be lower. AIDS epidemic is incorporated into projections.

PRB data sheet may differ from UN. In developed countries they are probably more recent because there is only a three-week lead-time.

Building the 2-Way Street, Enabling Voices for the South – Panel Discussion

Susan Pasquariella, POPIN; Nancy Hafkin, formerly of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; Leela McCullough, Satellife

POPIN: Bringing information into and out of the developing world
POPIN global partnership established in 1979 by ECOSOC, population community approached UN to set up and coordinate population activities. POPIN Network Structure- APLIC serves as North American POPIN. Increase worldwide access to population and reproductive health information and data from developed and developing countries. Help to stimulate population activities in developing countries. POPIN promotes electronic publication capacity building through training and technical assistance. POPIN uses IT to empower institutions in developing countries and helps set up websites using local servers. It is building Internet population information knowledge base. POPIN success due in large part to global teamwork and coordination

Satellife provides connectivity and access to information. They are committed to improving health care through use of IT. It was founded in 1987 by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Began to look at appropriate technology that could ease communication. 1989 created HealthNet, a global electronic information communications network for health professionals. Satellife looks at needs of health professional, in context of the digital divide and information poverty and is trying to create access to information. Now the focus is on information services at eight sites. Each HealthNet site works with local partners and each site determines their own needs. Look at the need to create access to information and each other, creating a sense of community. Began with electronic publications, also global electronic conferences (community in cyberspace) all discussions are moderated, comments are reviewed for accuracy and relevance, and then posted. Creating a flow of information for South-South sharing. Technology should not drive what you do but rather goals, objectives and purpose should determine activities.

Lessons learned:

  • Technology continuum-there is not just one technology, should utilize all of them. All services are based on email, but there is also the website. Ensure that the underserved are not excluded
  • Develop institutional capacity and local ownership
  • Self-sustainability and business planning, provide training for users
  • Training-investment in technology must be matched by investment in people to maximize technology. Training of trainers can have a grass roots impact. Important to provide them with a foundation

Interested in looking at moving beyond the capital cities and into more rural areas with portable sites; development of local content; and Look at all of the channels available to share information

Building Connectivity in Africa – efforts of the UN Economic Commission for Africa
In order for there to be a 2 way street there must be connectivity and infrastructure:

  • 1987-1993 CABECA helped to set up nodes in 24 countries
  • 1995 5 countries in Africa connected to Internet
  • 1995-1998 bi-lateral and multi-lateral projects
  • 1998-present ISPs have become private sector led

Africa communication and information needs: telecommunication costs are high, post takes a long time, libraries are few or do not provide access for students. There is one fixed phone line for every 635 people, and one computer for every 500 people.

AISI (African Information Society Initiative) is needed because of delay in entering information age. Set infrastructure in place and must have policy for enabling environment for content to be developed. AISI did a lot of sensitization, promoted connectivity, helped development of national strategies:

  • 53 African countries connected-every country has direct access to the Internet
  • 450 ISPs; 20,000 hosts connected to the Internet
  • Francophone content is growing
  • .06% of people connected in sub-Saharan
  • Internet usage highly educated, predominantly male in capital cities
  • Work with African institutions to encourage web content development and push on policy front and creation of enabling environments


Content development assistance:
Development of local content is very difficult must provide appropriate training, HealthNet Nepal collected local Nepalese generated information and posted them on the website. It is important to realize the value of information and combine that with technical skills. There are many elements that go into the creation. POPIN works with organizations/institutions that are well-established or key players that have published information in the past and encourage them to be posted locally. Commitment to local development has to come from local organization, can be regarded as too public. Requires sensitization to the idea of information and knowledge management and there must be commitment to update the sites. Maintenance is the difficult piece, having the resources to support it.

Posting local sites on non-local servers. The ultimate goal is to have everything posted locally but it is important to be posted at all.

How has the use of information technologies affected FHI’s publications and dissemination programs? Beth Robinson, FHI

FHI uses a hybrid of traditional dissemination and aggressive electronic dissemination techniques. The have a multilingual website and email lists, CD-ROMs for developing country libraries and IT training centers. Intended audience service delivery, donors, scientist, NGOs, etc. They mail out 100,000s of materials overseas and have over 10,000 people asking for more information each year. 1700 books articles and reports Translated key sites into all 3 languages. They use the key words users enter for searches from web trends to decide on dissemination strategies. Website experienced a lot of growth in 2000 they think it is due to HIV/AIDS materials available. Over 2000 other sites have links to their site. Pursue licensing agreements with online catalogues and encourage other groups to repost their information. Burn CDs with information that is on the web.

FHI’s transition from traditional publications trainings etc to CDs, network has been organic. Purpose is to disseminate information that they have and use the technology. With electronic dissemination must think about who is falling through the cracks and come up with ways to distribute information to them. Basics of dissemination and how have they changed using technology? The framework has changed. As producers of information, are we creating virtual communities is the dialogue changing what people do and think? What has changed since technology? How we access information using the web and how we store information has changed. Communication with the field is easier. As disseminators of information we do not have to spend resources with printing and postage. CD of book cost much less that a hard copy of book. We are able to disseminate information to huge audience globally on our own. With the web, the audience now includes the general public so we now have to answer more questions coming from an unintended audience. As conduits of information we have to screen information that we receive, the amount of material that we have to go through We experience many more contacts with NGOs in the South. Email provides immediate delivery at no cost. Shifts from traditional form of dissemination to electronic.

Purpose of dissemination:

  • Strengthen and increase frequency for researchers
  • Support researchers
  • Help researchers, scientists and decision makers to understand social, economic and cultural factors that affect reproductive health
  • Empower marginalized groups
  • Reproductive health is now on the international public health agenda

Dissemination is communication. Meeting with MOH is dissemination and receiving feedback personal interaction there is always dialogue

Does electronic dissemination accomplish ongoing communication and interaction with stakeholders?

Important for librarians to be involved in information architecture because of their understanding of how users look for information. Researchers do not view dissemination as their responsibility, but researchers, communication specialists and library should work together on projects, asking questions on use. Study reports should be disseminated to participants or community to report on findings Researchers should have more active role. Distribute copies of study reports to university libraries, local NGOs. It is important to encourage posting of local reports/newsletters with a feedback loop that can allow users to get in touch with the local organization. Frequent email contact with collaborators. However, sending emails is not the same as TA. There is no substitute for capacity building. Frequency of contact and ability for people to ask questions is important. How can we evaluate what is useful to our website. How appropriate were dissemination approaches, what impact, what innovations, what weaknesses and strengths. It is important to track and monitor electronic dissemination. Send out email announcements with link to full text they enter through link provided look at number on URL. Provides use indicators

What hasn’t changed? Developing strategy is the key assess the possibility impact how will this change policy and programs. How many people can it reach? What is possibility of work having a multiplier affect? Will findings matter, are they relevant to users needs, practical and applicable, is it understandable, will it be timely? Get publication list to universities that want journal articles and let them know that they are available at no cost. Both hard and e documents are a combination of technical and programmatic information/findings Voices from the field because resources aren’t available to use high tech innovations. News media more penetrating than the web we should not forget that the media is powerful infrastructure of communication professional Capacity building at local level is important, develop local capacity to generate and access information. Credibility. Translations into local and major languages is necessary because there is not materials Human face of the issue can be most effective way to communicate an issue. Use photos on web. People relate to other people highly effective disseminate plans do not have to be costly if they are well planned Important to find as many ways as possible to reach the people that we want to reach. See if there are existing consortia that we can integrate dissemination efforts. Build in opportunities for cocreation of knowledge joint creation and dissemination.


Translators hired as needed out of house Translations are done on publication level Accuracy If they publish it they are accountable

Are print and web distribution the same? English most accessed on web. 22% of web visits are from LA

Spanish print materials

Electronically it is easier to tell who is accessing materials profile of users average visit time on page is 1/2-second average time for FHI pubs was 5-8 minutes. With print pubs send out surveys – 50% response included prepaid response envelope Did not ask questions just lines for them to write how they use it. Use it for citations, continuing knowledge. No substitute for sending out materials and working with local people to create hybrids of local and international materials.

Panel Discussion Education / Distance Learning
Kurt Moses, AED and Donald MacDonald, World Bank

Kurt Moses
Structural features of distance learning that relate to global context and info support in terms of distance learning, not enough to generate original content and edu experience

Global context
Distance learning and pressures of population: The tale of the hunt is seldom told be the prey. People talk about what they perceive as success but they very seldom talk about failures. In the year 2000 the world passed the 6 billion mark. The developed world will be flat in terms of growth rate and less developed countries will have huge increase. This has a huge effect on distance learning because everyone will want access to education. World urbanization – there are huge increases in urban growth, most occurring in the developing world. This affects education, health, etc. In urban centers connectivity is easier. Urbanization has an impact on access. In the US more ethnic diversity -Asians and Hispanics- account for new enrollment. In the US groups that are non-European will be the majority. Demand for tertiary education will drive demand for distance learning, and there will be an ever increasing demand for tertiary education. Issue of distance learning is that you have to look at volume. The numbers in tertiary will be larger than we have ever seen before. Lack of trained IT professionals is worldwid. e International universities tend to be larger than US and the yare often state funded so underfunded. Distance learning offers option for dated curricula because it crossed borders

DL decision issues, ACTIONS questions
Access, cost (cost structure and unit cost), teaching and learning (what is needed), interactivity (interaction, ease of use), organizational issues (barriers), novelty (new technology), speed (quickly can content change?)

DL requirements

  • User centered, Intellectual support structure available to students in less developed countries there are not as may alternatives
  • Increase in international business/trade increase need for dist learning
  • As population grows need for teachers increase and the need for distance learning increases. As global access to Internet increases the Internet will be a multilingual, Internet experience will shift. Costs impact access.
  • What can US contribute-uniquely positioned b/c of how has structured support for tertiary education. For dl to work must have high connectivity rates.
  • Future, partnerships are key future of ed delivery, because no one group can do it all, focus on external validation, watch cost and impact, huge demands for teacher, creeping digital divide, universities can become ” anchor” for communities.
  • Role of info professionals, focused support that is access & avail, certification information authenticity, confidence that what you are looking at is correct, delivery to user, alternatives.
  • Global themes – if technology makes life easier and more efficient it will flourish

Donald MacDonald, World Bank
Global Dev Learning Network

  • Knowledge and info are commodities; engage people in creating their own knowledge sources management
  • Knowledge sharing is the focus
  • Develop people as key development strategy
  • Take advantage of info revolution empowerment – GDLN trying to influence decision makers, provides cost-effective alternatives to face-to-face learning. People can stay home and learn in their environment, which enables people to put training into context
  • GDLN has courses, global dialogues, videoconferences seminars, computer based courses
  • WB trying to have sustainable infrastructure and students pay for course. Trying to engage donors to fill the costs gap GDLN has partnerships with participants, program partners, donor partners, distance learning centers (DLCs)
  • Realize that the capital city is not representative of country as a whole
  • Benefits of DL: Lower overall cost (long term); can reach more people, more often; easier to facilitate participatory knowledge sharing it imposes good adult learning practices the technology is engaging because they do not have to go far to participate in a learning group
  • Eventually would like to be a facility that people can rent out
  • Million dollar facilities to build, but eventually will be sustainable

Problems/issues in dev countries
Connectivity and access, language of interaction (diverse language groups), technology and learning culture-important to realize cultural definitions of learning, 14 time zones very challenging to have synchronous meetings

Lessons learned

  • Quality of Learning experience is paramount, it must be useful
  • QA processes are necessary
  • Focus on real learning needs- ascribed, felt, combination of the two
  • Empower participants early, get people to speak up early and participate
  • Make haste slowly
  • Technology is a means not an end
  • Need buy-ins from a variety of stakeholders

Role of IT professional
DL is subset of knowledge management – DL and knowledge management (information) are essentially the same thing looking at it from different angles.