ICA’s Africa Programme, in association with the Training Programme recently delivered a two-day digital records preservation training course to 93 participants.
The overall goals of the course were to enable participants to understand the main challenges of digital record-keeping, to identify the characteristics of digital records and to begin to manage digital records appropriately in a cost-effective way. The course was delivered immediately after ICA’s first ever Annual Conference in the Cameroonian capital at the Palais de Congrés. Participants, who were all practitioners of archives and records management, paid a small registration fee to cover catering and administration. Those who attended the full two days received a certificate of attendance.
The first day covered an introduction to digital records in the information society and a discussion of digital records as evidence, their authenticity and reliability. There was a presentation on the goals and benefits of information audits and how to set up an information asset register and a practical session on profiling files using freeware. Day two started with an examination of metadata, its role and importance in managing digital records and went on to discuss digital preservation terminology and concepts. The final session gave participants the chance to workshop their own digital preservation strategies for low resource environments. Throughout the course there were activities and exercises to allow participants to discuss and practice the concepts and techniques around managing digital records. At the end of the course all participants were sent supporting materials such as powerpoint presentations, background notes and useful resources.
Participant evaluations rated the training very highly, with the majority of sessions scoring good or excellent and the majority of participants indicating that they had achieved all of the learning outcomes. Comments included:
Great initiative, to be continued and an on-line curriculum to be developed
What I gained from the course is very important
I advise more training of this nature
It must be continued
We would love to have the detailed course so that we can do a lot of follow-up
I discovered many concepts and methods such as information audit, information assets register
I really appreciate the expertise of trainers
Looking forward to applying the methods I learned in my office
A number of participants expressed the view that the training should have been more detailed, practical and lasted longer.