In July 1996 INASP was appointed as the co-ordinator of the Sida Department of Research Co-operation (SAREC) Library and Book Support Programme. As part of that support, the University of Asmara in Eritrea commissioned INASP to undertake procurement of publications and library equipment on its behalf via a two-year contract covering management and disbursement of funds provided among others by Sida, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italian Co-operation, Swiss Development Assistance and USAID.
Librarians from the university also joined colleagues from Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe for a five-day workshop on the definition, collection and use of library statistics. Participants shared case studies from their libraries and did practical exercises on computerized collection, analysis, interpretation and use of statistical data.
- The University of Asmara library improved access to research information for students, lecturers and researchers.
- University librarians increased their knowledge and practical skills around using IT to collect and use statistics for collection management.
- Participants agreed to create a master questionnaire for core data collection and a guide to its use, together with examples, to be distributed to all university libraries in Africa.