Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

The Auditing Instrument for Food Security in Higher Education (AIFSHE)

This document is an adaptation of the AISHE book (Auditing Instrument for Sustainability in Higher Education, DHO 2001). It offers a description of the concept and details on each of the 20 criteria used in the AIFSHE assessment protocol.


UNESCO's 'Women in Science' interactive tool

Women in Science, a new interactive tool produced by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. By highlighting trends in different regions and countries, this tool provided a unique view on International Women’s Day (8 March 2014). The tool allows for exploring and visualising gender gaps in the process that leads to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work. It presents internationally comparable data produced by the UIS. This means that the indicators can be accurately compared across countries with very different contexts for women in science.   It is particularly useful for those interested in a global perspective on the gender gap in research, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The data tool shows just how important it is to encourage girls to pursue mathematics and science at a young age.   Available in English, French and Spanish, it can be easily embedded on your website, blog or social media sites.   (UIS, 2014)


Africa Lead Short Course Database: e-Learning food security

The Africa Lead database features an extensive listing of upcoming training courses and open education resources from around the world related to food security issues in Africa. It is relevant for government officials, farm leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and policy leaders in agriculture. It is a collaborative project between OER Africa, an initiative of the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE), the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and the Africa Leadership Training and Capacity Building Program (Africa Lead). The database will ensure the widespread dissemination and usage of some of the courses offered by Africa’s and America’s agricultural institutions. and  (e-agriculture, 15/01/2013) 


A low bandwidth interactive map for the Association of Commonwealth Universities' (ACU) new website

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) has launched a major re-design of their site. ACU asked Aptivate to use its low-bandwidth expertise to design a click-able map as part of the new site.


Phytotracker: an information management system for easy recording of plants, seeds and plasmids

A large number of different plant lines are produced and maintained in a typical plant research laboratory, both as seed stocks and in active growth. These collections need careful and consistent management to track and maintain them properly, and this is a particularly pressing issue in laboratories undertaking research involving genetic manipulation due to regulatory requirements. Phytotracker is a laboratory management system/software designed specifically to organise and track plasmids, seeds and growing plants that can be used in mixed platform environments. It utilises the cross-platform Filemaker relational database, which allows it to be run as a stand-alone or as a server-based networked solution, to provide cataloguing and search functions for plasmids, seed batches, seed stocks and plants growing in pots or trays, and allows tracking of each plant from seed sowing, through harvest to the new seed batch and can print appropriate labels at each stage. The software was developed at Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK by Jeroen Nieuwland and colleagues. Learn more about the software here.(Plant Methods 2012, 8:43; 13/10/2012)


Guide to good practices for university open-access policies

The Harvard Open Access (OA) Project has released version 1.0 (10/2012) of a guide to good practices for university open-access policies. The guide is based on policies adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and several other institutions around the world. It includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions using other approaches and those that are interested in considering implementing an OA policy.(Harvard University, 17/10/2012)


European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) brings together higher education institutions, research centres and businesses and aims to build Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs, a type of cross-border public-private-partnerships). To date, three KICs have been created, focusing on sustainable energy, climate change and information and communication society. The EIT should set up a KIC in 2014 on ‘Food for the future’ that will examine sustainable supply chains. Click to visit the EIT’s website(EIT, 7/11/2012)


Resources to track botanical literature on the Web

The Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog posted a useful reminder to anyone looking online for scientific resources on ethnobotany and germplasm collection. The post has a link to a webpage maintained by the University of Kent listing a comprenhensive compilation of online databases, search engines, checklists, image galleries, etc., meant for students in ethnobotany. This page is an overview of where to find complete plant names, conservation status and uses, citations and references managers.For the germsplasm collector, also points to the Crop Genebank Knowledge Base and its page on 'Published sources of information on wild plant species' which is synthesis of new knowledge, procedures, best practices and references for collecting plant diversity. It explains how and where to check taxonomy/species name, digitized botanical literature and flora guides.(, 9/10/2012)


Swaminathan Research Foundation

M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) is a non-profit research organization, established in 1988 and located in India. The Foundation is carrying out research and development in six major thematic areas : Coastal Systems Research (restoration of mangrove forests, alternative livelihood for fishing community), Biotechnology (developing salt and drought tolerant transgenic rice varieties, testing availability of oil content in plants), Biodiversity (medicinal plants register, ex-situ community based gene bank, in-situ on-farm conservation), Ecotechnology (bio-villages), Food Security (urban and rural food insecurity atlases) and Information, Education and Communication.


POL-SABINA : Policy and support actions for Southern African natural product partnership

The Policy and Support Actions for Southern African Natural Product Partnership (POL-SABINA) is funded through the European Union Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (EU-ACP) programme. The project will develop a ‘Virtual Research Environment’ for SABINA; provide training courses and workshops on a number of topics such as project management and fund management. It will address intellectual property management in the SADC region. SABINA (Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products) is funded by the Carnegie Corporation as a regional initiative in science and education. The programme aims to grow human capacity in natural products research through training of PhD and MSc students in the partner institutions.