| || || 1st Regional
Meeting of CDS/ISIS and IDAMS distributors in Africa|
The 1st Regional Meeting of CDS/ISIS and IDAMS distributors in Africa took place from
15 through 19 December 1997 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was organized and hosted by the
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), with the financial support of
CII/INF. The meeting was attended by 30 participants from 13 countries (Benin, Burkina
Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo,
Zimbabwe) and from international/regional organizations (African Regional Organization for
Standardization, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Institut du Sahel,
International Livestock Research Institute, and ECA).
The discussions centered on the following main topics:
- a report from UNESCO on the latest developments of CDS/ISIS and IDAMS;
- country reports on the level of utilization of the two packages and distribution
- a question and answer session on problems encountered in distributing and/or using the
- a report from UNESCO on the planned future developments of the two packages.
The urgent and very felt need for training in both CDS/ISIS and IDAMS, and particularly
the training of trainers, was expressed by all speakers. It was underlined that additional
financial resources have to be identified for such training actions. The increasing role
of Internet has been recognized, but it was agreed that old ways of ISIS and IDAMS
distribution should not be abandoned. In order to make IDAMS more widely known and used in
Africa, competent institutions should be selected in those countries where there is no
IDAMS distributor yet. Need for the Windows version of IDAMS was emphasized.
Two 2-day training seminars (one on CDS/ISIS and one on IDAMS) were conducted. The
CDS/ISIS seminar, conducted by Mr. G. Del Bigio, focused on the Windows version of the
software, insisting particularly on the new features. The IDAMS seminar, conducted by Mr.
P. Hunya, was a concise presentation of the main functional features, of the ISIS-IDAMS
interface, and of interfacing IDAMS with other packages in Windows. Participants carried
out hands-on exercises under the guidance of the instructors, in well equipped training
On the last day, participants discussed and approved recommendations concerning
software development, distribution, training and application policy for UNESCO and UNECA,
as well as for distributors.
| || || Consultation of the IDAMS International Technical Advisory Group|
The 10th Consultation of the IDAMS International Technical Advisory Group (ITAG) took
place at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, from 22 through 25 September 1997. Members of
the ITAG reviewed the status of the IDAMS Programme and noted with great pleasure the
translation of IDAMS 4.0 into French and Spanish as well as the continuing design and
development of the IDAMS/WINDOWS pre-release. They noted with appreciation the extremely
important contribution of ALECSO to disseminating IDAMS.
Recommendations (concerning IDAMS activities in 1997-1998) were also elaborated.
- Dissemination of IDAMS should be pursued by the UNESCO Secretariat, by an
activated, re-organized and extended network of distributors, and using Internet
facilities. Regional meetings of IDAMS and ISIS distributors are considered very
important, and UNESCO should make an effort to organize them. To reach all potential
users, special emphasis should be placed on a publicity campaign (leaflet, newsletters,
presentations). The publication of IDAMS News should continue. Setting up an Internet
discussion group at UNESCO should be considered.
- Training in the use of IDAMS should be reinforced by connecting it to the
teaching of statistical research methodology. This type of training should start by
identifying and mobilizing competent partners, for the benefit of Africa in particular.
Within available capacities, real life applications should be identified from which case
studies could be derived. It should be publicized that UNESCO can help national and
international institutions in organizing training activities (e.g. by identifying
competent teachers, providing teaching materials, etc.). Besides maintaining classical
training, the use of information highway facilities should continue, particularly by
developing computerized training material.
- As to the software and its documentation, Release 4.0 should continue to
be distributed. Distribution of the French and Spanish versions should start. The
preparation of the Windows version of IDAMS should continue, including an outline of the
modernized User Manual.
| || || UNESCO International Training Seminar in 1997|
The International Training Seminar: Introduction to IDAMS took place from 24
through 28 November 1997 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, gathering 8 participants from
6 countries and 4 participants from the International Labour Organisation. As it is a rule
in IDAMS training seminars, there was no registration fee. All other costs (travel, board,
lodging) were at the charge of designating institutions with the exception of four
participants from African countries who received small grants from UNESCO to cover their
board and lodging expenses. The extended course (five days instead of three) provided
better conditions for individual and group-wise consultations on national and
| || || UNESCO International Training Seminar in 1998|
The basic part of the International Training Seminar: Introduction to IDAMS will
take place from Monday 23 through Wednesday 25 November 1998 at UNESCO
Headquarters, Paris. Its purpose is to introduce the latest version of the IDAMS software
package. Participants who would like to extend their knowledge and/or perform more
exercises could continue individual work on 26 and 27 November. The IDAMS
development staff and computer rooms will remain at their disposal during this period.
The overall structure of IDAMS, the editors, graphical facilities and other utilities
offered by the package will be presented, and also the interface with micro CDS/ISIS. The
Seminar is not meant to train participants in statistical techniques. The training
sessions will comprise two main components: lectures (oral presentations) and exercises
during which participants will be guided and assisted in their work.. English will be the
main language of this Seminar although explanations in French can also be provided.
Training material will be available in both English and French.
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