Talking within and among NRENs

In making the case for NRENs, talking within and among NRENs and adhering to best practices, are just as vital as lobbying and other outreach activities.

We have collected reports and research with a wealth of advice and best practices on how to organise an NREN, make it sustainable and, by doing so, strengthen the overall case of the NREN from within.

Essential NREN reading


A concise overview of economic benefits, organisational best practice and service pricing of NRENs is provided by a set of papers authored by research and education networking veteran, Dai Davies.

NREN – Organisational​ best practice
This document analyses the functions that an NREN needs to perform. It also ​​develops an outline of organisational best practices that address how an NREN should be structured to implement these functions.

The Role of an NREN from a functional perspective
This document outlines the two groups of functions in an operational NREN: the basic functions and the functions that more mature NRENs are expected to deliver.

 ​NREN​s – The Economic Case
There are various economic benefits that an NREN can bring to a country, particular as a knowledge procurer of services and as a barometer of market competitiveness. This paper deals with how an NREN can contribute to national value.

NREN network access ‐ evaluating value for money
This paper deals with the question of pricing of NREN services, illustrating how money is saved in the commercial world by ‘cutting corners.’

Additional useful guidance material


Cookbook for ZAMREN applicants
This Cookbook put together by Robert Janz is a guide to assess the ICT maturity level of institutions applying to join an NREN and its services. The ‘recipes’ should help an applicant reach the entry level for NREN membership. Whilst specifically catering for ZAMREN applicants, this Cookbook contains useful guidelines for other developing NRENs when considering a membership application.

The role and status of NRENs in Africa
This report by Michael Foley, on behalf of the World Bank, provides guidance to governments, institutions, and development partners on how to approach the provision of ICT services to the higher education and research community in Africa.

​​What is an NREN?
This paper by Michael Foley from the World Bank defines what an NREN is and looks at threats and opportunities.

Understanding NRENs and key considerations for setting them up
Paper by Alex Twinomugisha

GARR and the NRENs: Q&As about R&E networks
An example of a succinct way of presenting your NREN in FAQs.

Stages of NREN development
Based on the NREN Capability Maturity Model, this paper by Michael Foley from the World Bank, provides an overview of NREN development and connectivity status across Africa.

NREN Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
This paper by Duncan Greaves describes the typical stages of development of NRENs, which can serve as a useful guideline as to where on the scale NRENs in a region lie.

Implementing NRENs in landlocked African countries
This paper by ZAMREN representatives looks at the challenges and critical success factors in implementing sustainable NRENs in landlocked African countries.

Need assistance?

If you would like help in using these tools, templates and documents, contact us.

If you are an NREN starting up and need advice and guidance, research and education networking representatives in your region are available to assist and mentor you.​​​​​​​​

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