Bi-lateral partnerships in Tanzania extended
The pandemic has put the spotlight on IT infrastructure and the various opportunities a robust digital landscape can afford educational institutions. With this zest, SPIDER is looking forward to pushing the agenda for initiating, increasing, and improving digital systems and other support services with our partners.
To accommodate delays in postgraduate research, partly caused by the pandemic, the bi-lateral partnerships in Tanzania have been afforded an extension year. This additional year will likely see more post graduates (PhD and Masters) finish their studies within the same funding phase.
This additional year has offered SPIDER and collaborates respite to continue work in the following ways:
Muhimbli University of health and Allied sciences
Will work to expand and develop IT and library services.
University of Dar es Salaam
The Directorate for Research Management will continue efforts to digitalise research management.
Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology
Will intensify the efforts to digitalise the research grant management process and research communications.
Infrastructure and capacity to support virtual and distance learning remain a challenge in most research institutions in developing regions. For many universities most resources are directed towards teaching and ensuring timely graduations, while support services such as libraries and IT units and are under-funded and under-staffed. What the global pandemic has highlighted is the importance of expanding – and where necessary developing infrastructure and – capacity to engage in blended forms of learning, (online and off-line) so that education systems are not disrupted during pandemics.
SPIDER’s bilateral partnerships collaborate on the expansion and development of digital environments in which research, teaching, and innovations can thrive. This involves working with IT units and university libraries to ensure they are capacitated to meet the complexity of growing needs of institutions. However as already mentioned these services are not afforded the same priority when it comes to resource distribution. The bilateral partnerships have developed an appreciation during COVID-19 for functioning and robust IT infrastructure and services that can support online learning, teaching and supervision. The interruptions that COVID-19 has had on education systems have been exponential, and even where delays have been, these are now compounded by various stay at home orders.