As part of the Hewlett Foundation grant for the African Health OER Network, Professor Ken Harley (University of KwaZulu-Natal) conducts an annual external evaluation of the project. For his 2009 evaluation, Prof Harley interviewed participants at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Ghana (UG), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of the Western Cape (UWC), the South African Institute of Distance Education (Saide) and the University of Michigan (U-M). In 2010, he conducted follow-up interviews with the same institutions. The 2010 evaluation was aimed at exploring institutional experiences, to establish how the project was being consolidated, and to start assessing issues of sustainability. Based on document analysis and institutional interviews, broadly, the evaluation concludes that:
The African Health OER Network has supported institutions to develop OER based on institutional needs and choices. This in itself is a signifier of sustainability.
Because of the modelling of OER production along institutional needs and choices, institutions have produced OER that are consistent with their “ethos, contextual realities, strategies and resources.” In other words, what is being produced will be utilised in the institution and is not designed for ‘show and tell’ to meet funder requirements.
The development of OER has encouraged institutions to reconsider their policies on OER and also how they can support OER within their own means.
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