#INASPPrinciples 1 & 2: understanding country context and negotiating with consortium
Since publishing the INASP Principles for Responsible Engagement, many INASP partners have offered perspectives on the principles. Contributors will be kept anonymous; these are the views of several people.
“When I look at our environment and at members of my consortium, I realize that some members are disadvantaged because they are still struggling to put in place an enabling infrastructure. It comes as no surprise when you enquire about available IPs or networks for an institution to reply that they do not have a network in place. Although these institutions are in a minority, it is important to understand that we have such scenarios. Bandwidths may have improved in some of our countries but the rural areas are still struggling.”
“The other issue to note is the growing market for smartphones among our younger generation, most of whom are in higher education. These smartphones are being used for all kinds of internet access and it is clear that where resources are optimized for such devices, we have been able to bridge the gap in the access to wired resources.”
“Negotiating as a consortium has a lot of advantages and publishers should respect this. “Going through the consortium is time saving for the publisher whose energies might be wasted visiting different institutions without striking any deal.”
“We have seen publishers approaching individual institutions with a hope of striking a deal; they have come away disappointed because the management in most of our member institutions recognize that the consortium is capable of negotiating and providing the necessary resources.”
“Where a publisher has insisted on dealing with individual institutions, we have noticed that this has disadvantaged both the publisher and members of the consortium because in most cases the deals have not gone through, thus denying the institutions much-needed resources and, of course, the publisher loses a potential market.”
“My final message to publishers is this: let us not just focus on striking a one-time deal. It would be more worthwhile to ensure that you have understood the environment you are targeting and created a viable business partnership with the country through the consortium. We need you and you need us, so that makes the two of us.”