The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was recently represented in a meeting of African think tanks which aimed to discuss the way forward for the Africa Portal, an open access online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. The meeting, which was held on 11 November 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa, was hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
The Africa Portal is an initiative of SAIIA and CIGI. It offers open access to a suite of features, including an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts' directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component — all aimed to equip users with research and information on current policy issues in Africa.
The meeting of content partners – the first of its kind – provided an opportunity for participants to:
- discuss and identify new potential content partners in order to grow the number of publications currently accessible via the site
- discuss how to enhance marketing of the portal to improve access to the 3,500+ publications that are currently housed there
- strategise on ways in which to strengthen their institutions' presence and publications' visibility on the portal
- discuss and agree on ways of enhancing partnership and collaboration among themselves, and with SAIIA and CIGI.
The Africa Portal has a total of 41 content partners – 31 of them from Africa. ACCORD has been a content partner since 2011 and the institution's publications form part of the Africa Portal online collection.
The site carries online resources whose primary target is African policy makers. Opinion leaders, civil society representatives and senior researchers are secondary targets. The Portal houses publications arranged along five thematic areas: conflict resolution, energy, food security, health and migration – with special attention to the crosscutting theme of climate change.