To foster national collaboration and enhance capacity building In Research Data Management (RDM) practices and governance, WACREN, through LIBSENSE, organised a novel workshop, bringing together stakeholders in academia and industry, including librarians, researchers, and research administrators. 

Under the theme, “National Collaboration and Capacity Building in Research Data Management Practices and Governance in Ghana,” the Workshop underscored the pivotal role of effective RDM practices in advancing open science. Participants actively explored the policy landscape in RDM, deliberating on the efficacy of various governance models and scrutinising the indispensable role libraries play in supporting RDM initiatives. The Workshop spurred attendees to contemplate the ramifications of future research endeavours within the context of open science, providing a practical perspective on the challenges and opportunities inherent in implementing effective RDM practices.

The discussions transcended mere theoretical frameworks, delving into actionable strategies with a pronounced emphasis on the pivotal role of libraries in bolstering RDM. Workshop speakers included Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences; Mr Oliver Boachie, a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation; and Mr Lucas Chigabatia, the CEO of GARNET, who lent their unparalleled expertise to the discourse. Their thought-provoking presentations set the tone for the deliberations and instilled a sense of reflection regarding the future trajectory of RDM in the Ghanaian context.

Dr. Fatima Abduldayan of the Federal University of Technology – Minna, Nigeria—and Dr. Pamela Abbott of the University of Sheffield – UK shed light on the nuances of RDM policies and practices in Africa and beyond. Their session provided a practical perspective on the challenges and opportunities of implementing effective RDM practices.

Participants enthusiastically engaged in dialogues to delineate role profiles and essential skill sets for librarians involved in RDM support. This collaborative endeavour sought to craft a blueprint for equipping librarians with the requisite tools to navigate the ever-evolving research data management landscape.

The RDM Workshop enriched the ongoing discourse on RDM. It catalysed the Ghanaian research community’s transformative trajectory towards effective research data management practices and governance by fostering national collaboration and emphasising capacity building.

More than 80 participants from over 30 institutions of higher learning participated in the Workshop. Career demographics included early career researchers, research assistants and administrators, heads of graduate research units of HEIs and government institutions in charge of research.