8 January 2016

BSLA Project report: Advocacy and Strategic Planning workshop, Zambia

Advocacy and Strategic Planning workshop

Delegates at the Advocacy and Strategic Planning workshop, Zambia

The IFLA Building Strong Library Associations Programme (BSLA) supports projects in Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Latin America and the Caribbean. BSLA offers a strategic and coordinated approach to capacity building and sustainability of library associations and provides training modules to assist in developing the library and information profession, improving library services and building strategic partnerships and advocacy skills.

Advocacy and Strategic Planning, Zambia

On 27 April 2015, the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) held a five day workshop on Advocacy and Strategic planning, to establish a five year plan for the association and to finalise the Zambia’s National Library Policy and Bill to strengthen existing national policies that are being undertaken by Zambia's library service. The Advocacy and Strategic Planning workshop held in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education brought together a total of 57 participants attending the event.

The LIAZ Association, non-committee members and other library and information professionals submitted draft versions of the National Library Policy and the Library Bill to the Assistant Director for technical and specialized services in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to ensure that libraries in Zambia would have policies that are practical to the work of librarians.

The Workshop

The Strategic Planning and Advocacy workshop was held for five days. The workshop was divided into two parts: the Strategic Planning workshop, held on 27 to 29 April and the Library Legislation Advocacy Symposium, held from 30 April to 1 May.

Delegates at the Strategic Planning Workshop

Delegates at the Strategic Planning Workshop

The Strategic Planning Workshop

Facilitated by Dr. Buhle Mbambo Thata, the Strategic Planning Workshop focused on building a five-year strategic plan and a new Mission Statement for the Library and Information Association of Zambia.  During the workshop participants identified the importance of strategic planning, selected key stakeholders in achieving these goals and objectives and did a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of LIAZ.  At the end of the Strategic Planning workshop participants were able to draft and approve consolidated objectives for strengthening and building a stronger library association.

Objectives

  • Enhance membership portfolio of the Association
  • Improve administrative and management structures
  • Develop and implement a communications strategy
  • Champion the Library and Information Services Act process
  • Develop capacity building strategies for innovative library services
  • Improve financial base for LIAZ

The Library Legislation symposium

The Library Legislation symposium focused on creating a library and information framework for Zambia. The objective of the symposium was to discuss Zambia's national library and information service policy and draft a legislative bill that would acknowledge the contribution of libraries in national development, improve literacy levels in the country, raise the standards of libraries and library professionals, and empower citizens with information sources and services in the country.

Outcomes

The Advocacy and Strategic Planning workshop of LIAZ was a success. The outcome of the Strategic Planning workshop led to the revision of LIAZ’s vision, mission and emphasis on values. The discussions also led to the development of association goals, objectives and operational planning. The Library Legislation symposium contributed to the revision of the draft National Library policy and Library Bill. In addition, a council was put in place that would act as a corporate body with a mandate to regulate library activities in the country under the proposed Bill.

Next steps

Following the Advocacy and Strategic Planning workshop, LIAZ has outlined various activities throughout 2016 to ensure the success of the objectives outlined in the Strategic Planning workshop. A follow up meeting comprising Zambia Library Service and LIAZ members was held to further edit the National Library Policy and Library Bill in readiness for submission.  

For more information about the BSLA programme, visit the IFLA webpage Building Strong Library Associations.

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