Women researchers often struggle to publish, partly because of gaps in knowledge about research writing or about the publishing process, and partly due to a lack of time resulting from the other roles and responsibilities they have as women.
Providing training to women researchers offers a unique opportunity to support them to better navigate the publishing process, and to build peer networks which can provide ongoing support and motivation.
Under the Strengthening Research and Knowledge programme, INASP expanded its support to women researchers by providing:
Accessible online courses and mentoring via our AuthorAID platform
INASP has worked to attract more women to participate on AuthorAID courses and in mentoring, which has been proven to improve the skills of individual researchers to publish their research, build confidence and provide networking opportunities.
We have encouraged experienced women from our partners and network to become mentors or facilitators on our online courses. This has helped to increase the profile of women as role models to other female researchers and academics. We have also seen that women have higher MOOC/online course completion rates than men.
The mentoring system is particularly valued by women researchers who often struggle to get the support they need in their institution. In 2016 there were 26.5% female mentors and 33% female mentees on the AuthorAID platform, and this has now grown to 33% mentors and 38% mentees. We are continuing to work to increase this percentage to ensure that female researchers get the support they need.
Focused skills support to female researchers
In partnership with the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), INASP facilitated a workshop on the AuthorAID mentoring system at the OWSD conference in Kuwait in 2016. In 2017, INASP participated in the launch of the OWSD-Sudan National Chapter in Khartoum and co-ran a workshop on Bridging the Gap between Research and Publications for the OWSD-Sudan members.