The IRRI Knowledge Sharing in Research Pilot project held a workshop entitled “Workshop for Enhancing Knowledge Sharing in the Northern Uplands of Laos through the Laos Rice Knowledge Bank (RKB)”. The workshop was held on 12th February 2008 at the IRRI office in Luang Prabang.

Eleven Lao professionals from various agricultural research and extension centers and departments, Universities and Colleges attended the workshop. Dr. Noel Magor, Head of Training Center at IRRI and Dr. Benjamin Samson, Agronomist and Leader of the KSinR Pilot Project led the workshop.

The workshop included an activity to build a problem tree for the current process of knowledge sharing in Luang Prabang which resulted in the key problem identified being a “weak linkage between research activities and the extension service in Northern Laos”. Further identification of problems and causes from both researchers’ and extension workers’ points of view yielded the following common points:

1) absence of coordination between researchers and extension workers

2) lack of access to information and training of extension workers

Sharing of knowledge between researchers and extension workers was recognized as a win-win proposition for both parties.

The second half of the workshop consisted of an exercise to identify validated, documented and disseminated rice-based technologies. The objective of the exercise was to identify technologies which the researchers, teachers and extension workers knew about and to then develop a table to evaluate their status according to:

-are these being disseminated?

-are there extension materials based on this available?

-is this available to extension workers? to farmers? to Universities?

-is this recommended to be part of the Laos Rice Knowledge Bank?

A final exercise involved the tracing of possible pathways that technology may be disseminated from the Laos Rice Knowledge Bank, as a source of extension materials.

After a successful workshop, the next steps identified were for the development of fact sheets based on the technologies identified to be included in the RKB and training of personnel to use the RKB.