Experiences from Kenya

#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.

 

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Experiences from Pakistan

INASP Principles 2 & 4: Consortium involvement and sustainable pricing

Since publishing the INASP Principles for Responsible Engagement, many INASP partners have offered perspectives on the principles. Authors will be kept anonymous.

“In my view the involvement of the consortium in the discussion is important as we have been involved in licensing and negotiation and hence we will have critical and invaluable input during any discussion. Secondly, the issue of pricing is critical for sustainability, within which the consortium can make a major contribution. Replacement of government officials – which is very common in Pakistan, can end up affecting some of these contracts in the long run.”

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Experiences from Uganda

INASP Principle 1: Understand the Country Context

Since publishing the INASP Principles for Responsible Engagement, many INASP partners have offered perspectives on the principles. Authors will be kept anonymous.

“We in Uganda have had a chance to interact with some of the publishers. Many of them are now gaining experience of working with the consortium approach of licensing their products. They often give us trial periods, which can last for three months, and they come to give us live demonstrations as well. I can say that in Uganda, we have developed good working relationships with some publishers. An example is of a publisher who wants Uganda to have access to clinical databases for nurses and doctors. They are engaging the consortium as much as they are lobbying government to fund this. This is a good sign that they recognize the role of the consortium in this.

Some that we have failed to get along with are those [publishers] who are new in our country. They have no idea of our purchasing power and come up with huge quotations. So they are frustrated and we fail to get along.”

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