Dr. Hassan’s comments on ZIRPP establishment

30 09 2009

The ZIRPP idea is excellent and very timely. Congratulations for bringing it up to the fore.

Zanzibar itajengwa na Wazanzibari wenyewe na wale wote wanaoipendelea mema! The spectrum of tasks that ZIRPP can tackle is huge! For that reason, a clear focus needs to be drawn right from the outset lest the organization becomes a jack of all trade and a master of none.

I hope you and those you’ve already consulted have already defined a realistic scope of tasks for ZIRPP. If not, I’d strongly recommend that to be the first thing to be discussed by the potential members.

Dr. Harith (copied) in his comments mentioned a very important point that I’d like to stress. ZIRPP will be of limited benefit to Zanzibaris if there is no framework within the Zanzibar Government that demands the incorporation of research results in its policy-making processes.

Quoting Dr. Harith Ghassany:
“The empirical approach assumes that there is evidence which policymakers can use to make policy decisions but does not ask if there are policies to guide policymakers to demand research results. A government policy statement to support research and its implementation in public policy-making is therefore an important cornerstone in establishing and sustaining the Institute in Zanzibari settings.”

I could not agree with that more! It would be worthwhile ascertaining the existence of such a government policy statement or work towards its issuance if it doesn’t already exist. More important is the need for ZIRPP to have members from various Zanzibar policy-making bodies. With a diverse membership located in various parts of the world, it’s unthinkable for ZIRPP not to have a website with all the bells-and-whistles to support lively discussions among its members.

In fact, it is not unprecedented for Tanzania to adopt policies baked in Internet forums. The Tanzania’s National ICT Policy is one of them. It was hatched through the eThink-TankTz forum (http://www.ethinktanktz.org/) which I’m a member of. It’s very easy to start up a website – the problem is maintaining it. If a source could be found to maintain the website (e.g. update web material, work on membership needs, do some administrative work) then it won’t be a problem to have the website. Just let me know.

If initially only a temporary mailing list is needed, I can set that one up easily through my GLCOM.COM domain. Let me know.


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