You are here

Now open: Call for Expressions of Interest in the ‘Capacity Building for Public Librarians’ initiative

EIFL is inviting Expressions of Interest from public library systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, to partner with EIFL-PLIP to adapt its ‘Capacity Building for Public Librarians’ initiative to local needs.

The Expression of Interest application form is available for download here.


Le formulaire d'inscription à la manifestation d'intérêt est téléchargeable ici.

The Call closes on 20 January 2017.

Focus of the Call

The EIFL-PLIP capacity building initiative targets public libraries that already have, or will receive, computers and internet connections. The training is designed to enable librarians to use this technology effectively to serve their communities, for example, in services that meet farmers’ information needs, provide information about local health issues, or in activities that support children’s education, and in general, build the digital skills in their communities.

Since 2014, EIFL-PLIP has been collaborating with local partners to deliver capacity building programmes for public librarians in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia (read about the curriculum and results here). With this call we are opening up the capacity building initiative to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What will this initiative provide to the public library system?

EIFL-PLIP will work with the public library system to evaluate public librarians’ skills, to adapt the EIFL-PLIP capacity building initiative to local needs, and provide matching funds to deliver the training. The public library system that is applying could be centralised or decentralised, depending on the situation in the country.

Libraries that participate in the training will have the opportunity to receive a small grant to apply their ideas for innovative services in the library. There will be up to three such grants available per country, typically with an amount of up to USD$5,000. Awarding of the grants will depend on the quality of proposals received.

What commitment is expected from the public library system?

Before applying for the initiative, the public library system (for eligibility criteria see next section) is expected to identify opportunities for matching funding from government agencies. By matching funding we mean, that the government is either contributing funding to the training,  or is committing to equip public libraries with computers and the internet, in situations where libraries are short of technology, or their technology is out of date.

In addition, public library managers must commit to allowing staff to participate in all training modules and pay for related travel. They are also expected to work with EIFL-PLIP on the evaluation of staff’s skills and knowledge to adapt the capacity building initiative to local needs, and contribute to post-training assessment.

What public library systems are eligible?

Public library systems in Sub-Saharan Africa that meet the following requirements are eligible:

  • The system can be either the national public library system, or a sub-national system, such as a provincial / municipal / city system, and there should be at least 10 libraries in the system.
  • There should be at least two staff per library who can participate in training.
  • The libraries participating in the capacity building must be equipped with public access computers and internet access. If they do not already have computers and the internet, the government must commit to providing these in order to qualify for their inclusion in the initiative.

Countries NOT eligible to apply for this call:

  • EIFL-PLIP is supported by a grant from the Global Libraries Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Botswana and South Africa are also receiving support from this programme.
  • Public library systems in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Ethiopia are already benefitting from the EIFL-PLIP Capacity Building Initiative.

What happens after an Expression of Interest is received?

The applicant will be notified via email upon receipt of the Expression of Interest, and within four weeks after submission will be informed whether the country has been shortlisted as a potential partner.

EIFL will visit the country to:

  • Assess whether the public library system is an appropriate fit for the initiative.
  • Obtain reassurance from the identified government agency / agencies that will be providing the matching funds.
Once a library system is accepted, the capacity building initiative will run for approximately three years, comprising the full cycle of training and skills evaluation, awarding of project grants to libraries, and project implementation.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Janet Sawaya at