Certificate in Resource Centres for Learning and Change

* This certificate is not currently offered. *

Development organizations around the world recognize the power of information to raise awareness and mobilize action for social change. They also recognize the need to develop their own capacity to access, organize and use information effectively. The rapidly growing focus on technology is causing many NGOs to look at how they manage their development information. They need methods that are both locally appropriate and globally connected.

To meet this challenge, many NGOs have established (or plan to establish) information resource centres. Well-managed resource centres are a valuable component of learning organizations, and can help reduce unproductive duplication of effort both within and among NGOs. They can also serve as centres of community learning and participation in civil society initiatives.

The Certificate in Resource Centres for Learning and Change will provide participants with the opportunity to gain or improve skills in managing information, as well as to analyse the dynamics of indigenous knowledge, appropriate media, information sharing and networking. During the program, participants will develop an action plan for their resource centre's contribution to the community-based development, and the information and education strategies of their organization.


The specific content of the program will be developed with input from the candidates. The overall framework is likely to include:

  • Planning a resource centre
    • Participatory planning of information services
    • Resource centres and information management strategies within NGOs
    • Planning for sustainability
  • Collecting and organizing information
    • Identifying and locating appropriate materials in various media
    • Classification and cataloguing methods
    • Records and database management
    • Use of Internet resources
  • Promotion and evaluation
    • Developing a user-friendly environment
    • Strategies to promote effectiveness and sustainability
    • Supporting advocacy for social change
    • Participatory monitoring and evaluation methods


As a result of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Use participatory methods to plan, organize, and evaluate resource centres that support the aims and programs of NGOs
  • Improve the effectiveness of existing resource centres
  • Develop critical perspectives on the role of information in development
  • Develop creative ways to identify and acquire materials and information
  • Use information and communication technologies to discover, manage and create information
  • Recognize the role of resource centres in adult learning and social change

Who Should Attend

This program is intended for those who have little or no training in information management. Applicants should:

  • Have a good working knowledge of English.
  • Currently be working in an information resource centre, or planning to establish and work in an information resource centre
  • Have at minimum a secondary school certificate


The Coady Institute is able to offer its participants access to:

  • A library specializing in community-based development
  • Comfortable residences
  • All university resources, including newly constructed recreation and athletic facilities, campus library and renovated dining hall
  • Many on-campus activities including guest lecture series, socials, intramurals, theatre and music

Where is the Program Offered?

The Coady's Certificate in Resource Centres for Learning and Change is offered at the Institute's facilities on the historic campus of St. Francis Xavier University. The campus is nestled in the heart of Eastern Canada's scenic coastal town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. With a population of almost 6000, Antigonish boasts a diverse heritage, rich in Scottish, Aboriginal, French and African-Canadian ancestry. Program costs are quoted in Canadian dollars and are subject to revision.

Admission Requirements

  • A good working knowledge of English
  • Currently working in an information resource centre or planning to establish and work in an information resource centre
  • Minimum secondary school certificate

Note: Applicants should be actively working in, or planning to establish, an information resource centre.

For more information please contact:

Sue Adams
Coady International Institute
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Canada B2G 2W5
E-mail: sadams@stfx.ca