August 2008

GFAR through their electronic website and portal known as E-GFAR has been supporting the promotion of the KS project by adding information on and links to the project in various places on its website.

GFAR is a multi-stakeholder initiative that contributes to eradicating poverty, achieving food security, and conserving and managing natural resources. It enhances national capacities to generate, adapt and transfer knowledge. The CGIAR is a stakeholder in GFAR.

EGFAR is a key tool through which GFAR plays its facilitating role. EGFAR is the website of all ARD stakeholders and all are welcome and encouraged to visit us, subscribe to our information tools and contribute to keep the contents of this website updated.” [EGFAR-website]

In keeping with their mission to develop an electronic platform to which stakeholders can contribute to the content, GFAR has supported the CGIAR ICT-KM program’s Knowledge Sharing project in promoting itself through this valuable mechanism.

Information on and links to the KS project on E-GFAR includes:

– being able to find the latest News items from the KS blog under the ‘News from Partner websites’ page at

– the KS website is now one of the selected websites that are searched in the E-GFAR Google Custom search engine at

– the KS website is now on the list of useful links in the E-GFAR WebRing section at

The Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) recently closed the call for sponsoring three young professionals to participate in the upcoming FAO-CGIAR Knowledge Sharing Workshop, a three-phased event that combines online and face-to-face interaction.

There was an overwhelming response to this call out of which 3 participants were selected based on pre-defined criteria. And the winners are:

  • Batungwa Frank Tumusiime (Uganda)
  • Ahmed Omran (Egypt)
  • Taraneh Ebrahimi (Iran)

We congratulate the winners and look forward to a successful workshop!

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research has released two important documents on Information and Communication Management for Agricultural Research for Development.

– Advocacy by Regional Forums for Improving Information Sharing and Exchange in Agricultural Research for Development
This document represents a collaborative effort by the GFAR Secretariat and the Regional Forums to agree on a common policy for advocacy on ICM.

The document details what and how the Regional Forums should advocate and what the role of the GFAR Secretariat should be.

– The ARD Web Ring
This document describes the idea of a “web ring” of ARD web spaces and proposes an approach based on a distributed architecture.

The Global ARD Web Ring is a “voluntary coalition of web spaces that share information related to agricultural research and innovation for development.” These web spaces make ARD related information sources more accessible through each other.

The International Water Management Institute(IWMI) has this week, at the Stockholm Water Week, released a report on a study they conducted based on “case studies from 53 cities in developing nations examining where wastewater was being generated, how much was being used in urban agriculture, and to what degree the water was being treated“[BBC website]. The study resulted in a number of interesting findings about both positive and negative effects of wastewater use in (urban) agriculture).

This has been covered by a number of news agencies including the BBC website article.

This study has also identified a number of practices which can help to alleviate the negative effects often incurred in wastewater use for farmers, caterers and others who are involved.

It is really just about minimising the risks from field to fork with a series of simple measures,” Dr Chartres explained. “[These include] letting the water settle in a pond, so a lot of the eggs from worms drop out of the water, and irrigating around the crops rather than on top of them.When the crop is harvested, it also needs to be washed with fresh, clean water in the market, and that water needs to be constantly changed so everything else is not contaminated.” [Taken from article on BBC website]

What this highlights therefore is that research such as this generates valuable knowledge which is required for informing and changing behaviour, practices and policies. In order for the research to influence these things and have an impact it must consider and work on the necessary next steps to get these messages out and knowledge about such practices into the hands of those who are using wastewater or handling products which are derived from wastewater irrigated agriculture. This may involve working directly with farmers or others using wastewater but may also involve equipping other intervention agents, such as extension officers, NGOs etc, with the right information and tools to work with communities directly.

How can we get key outcomes and impacts from this kind of research?

This is something that the IWMI Wastewater KSinR Pilot Project is working on. Based on findings from wastewater research projects conducted in urban areas in Ghana, the Pilot Project has been using knowledge sharing approaches in these research projects to:

  • better consult with, learn from and collaborate with various actors and stakeholders about the situation on the ground including the complexity and issues around wastewater use in agriculture (using Stakeholder meetings)
  • understand the adoption potential of various messages and practices being promoted from the research findings (using World Cafe approach)
  • disseminate research findings and messages about practices in appropriate and useful ways to the target groups intended (using flip charts, training and awareness videos, radio programs, etc)

Many of these efforts have been successful and efforts are continuing in trying to find ways which can better improve the impact of this valuable wastewater research.

e-Agriculture at the IAALD-AFITA-WCCA World Conference
(24-27 August 2008, Atsugi Japan)

Plenary session, Wednesday, 27 August, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will facilitate an e-Agriculture panel to deliberate issues of ICT as enablers in various critical areas of development, as well as the role of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in support of e-Agriculture.

The session will be an interactive discussion with the audience, with the panel anchored by:
– Alexander Flor, Dean, Faculty of Information and Communication Studies, University of the Philippines Open University;

– Manish Pandey, Deputy Director, Katalyst-Swisscontact;
– Michael Riggs, Information Management Specialist, FAO Regional Office for Asia-Pacific;
– Roxanna Samii, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);
and Stephen Rudgard, FAO, as the moderator.

The panelists will share knowledge and experiences, and the audience encouraged to contribute on topics such as the use of mobile telephony use in rural areas, with particular reference to ameliorate global soaring food prices, and knowledge brokering services in support of agricultural development, including Communities of Practice and approaches to building capacity.

There will also be a reprise of the issues arising in this year’s PPP online forum and eIndia conference discussion session entitled “Making e-Agriculture Work through Public Private Partnership in Asia”. Experience and lessons in Bangladesh (Katalyst) and West Africa (Tradenet) will be contributed.

Full details of the PPP online forum, and reviews of the two sessions organized by FAO, the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), OneWorld South Asia and Katalyst in the e-Agriculture track of India’s largest ICT Event, eIndia 2008 in July 2008, can be found on

For more information on IAALD-AFITA-WCCA World Conference please see

Bioversity International, the CGIAR ICT-KM program, FAO, IFAD and WFP are jointly organizing a 3-day event entitled Knowledge “Share Fair” for Agricultural Development and Food Security to be held at FAO Headquarters on 20 – 22 January 2009.

See the newly launched (but provisional) Knowledge “Share Fair” website


The Share Fair will provide an interactive experience, allowing staff and our Rome-based constituents to:

  • share and learn from each others good practices;
  • experiment with tools and methodologies for knowledge sharing;
  • create linkages and networks for future collaboration between the organizations;
  • develop ideas to support and enhance knowledge sharing within and across our organizations.


The purpose of the event is to showcase examples of good knowledge sharing practices in the field of agricultural development and food security. Specifically, we have structured the Fair to allow staff to learn from each other how knowledge sharing practices, methods and tools have enhanced their work and made their project(s) more successful and effective.

The Share Fair will showcase examples of knowledge sharing strategies, policies and operational practices using case studies, anecdotes, and face-to-face events.

We would like you to tell us a story about how you and/or your project dealt with one – or more – of the contexts (see Section 2 and 3 of the Call for Proposals).

Download Call for Proposals


All projects will be refereed through a peer review process. Potential contributors are strongly encouraged to submit their proposals no later than 15 October, 2008. You can submit your proposals via email to:

Please note that this is a provisional Web page intended to advertise the Call for Proposals of the Knowledge Share Fair prior to the publication of the official Web site

A key assumption underlying this issue’s rationale is that mutual learning between Northern and Southern stakeholders is an important success factor, not only for knowledge strategies, but also for development processes overall. Therefore strategies aimed at facilitating mutual learning need to be woven into the very fabric of the development organisation. However, it is not clear how knowledge strategies have so far contributed to mutual learning and, if they have, what indicators they have used to account for this.

This issue of the journal aims to showcase studies of knowledge management for development strategies, and how these facilitate and catalyse reciprocal learning among different types of development organisations — NGOs, bilateral and multilateral organisations, community-based organisations, etc — in different locations, both North and South.

The submission deadline for the title and abstract is 15 September 2008.

If you would like to submit a paper, or be actively involved in this initiative in any other way, please send your abstract (minimum one paragraph — maximum one page) or your message by email to

See document– km4d-j_call_for_papers_vol4_2

Guidelines for authors are available on the journal website:

The Knowledge Sharing in Research(KSinR) project has been invited to participate in and provide support to the organisation of a workshop on effective use of research communication entitled: “Maximising the Impact of Agricultural Research in Africa: a workshop on research communication” organised by GDN, ODI, WBI and IFPRI. The workshop will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 21st and 22nd of October 2008.

To find out more:

Rationale and Background
Agricultural development in Africa is regaining attention, particularly in the recent light of food security challenges. The World Bank and other donors, as well as African initiatives such as NEPAD, FARA, AGRA, etc. are investing major resources to stimulate agricultural production across essential food staples and commodities for both agribusinesses and smallholder farmers. Research and technological advancements represent a key to enhanced productivity and are also receiving much attention. In fact, Robert Zoellick of the World Bank recently proposed that funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research should double in the next five years. However, research by itself does not necessarfily lead to change either in the field or at the policy level. How can this link be strengthened? This workshop will explore in detail how research institutes working in agriculture can maximize the impact of their work through enhanced communication efforts.

The Global Development Network (GDN) has partnered with the World Bank Institute (WBI), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Bellanet , Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative (BROSDI), Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), and Centre d’Analyse des Politiques Economiques et Sociales (CAPES), to organize workshops (held in Cairo, Kampala, Johannesburg, and Ouagadougou) to build the capacity of African research institutes and networks to better understand and apply the tools and approaches of knowledge management, thereby strengthening their research communication initiatives. The focus of these events was to share experience and insights on the challenges faced by research institutes in managing the knowledge that they are generating so that they can strengthen their operations and offer better services to their clients.

Given the focus that agricultural research in Africa is getting, the need to communicate that research to the people who need it the most – policymakers and practitioners – is even more critical. The proposed workshop is an opportunity to take a concrete step in this direction.

Workshop Objectives
  • To examine past efforts at partnerships, peer learning and experience sharing and to explore the causes of success and failure.
  • To develop the capacity of staff in improving the impact of the research being produced by their research institutes and universities, and to examine how this has been done by their peers.
  • To facilitate the sharing of knowledge among key research institutes and to discuss ideas on how to strengthen this exchange.
Sponsors and Organizers

The workshop is designed to accommodate about 35 from major research institutes, universities, and networks in Anglophone Africa focusing on agricultural research and policy analysis.

Selected applicants may qualify for grants to cover travel and other expenses.
The workshop will be in English only.


A detailed program will be drafted shortly. The workshop will be a two-day interactive learning event followed by a day that will comprise a field visit, separate meetings, and other activities.

Application Process

Deadline for application: September 7th, 2008
Download call for participation More
Download Application form More

The application must be completed and sent by email to:
Ronald Kim,
Enrique Mendizabal,
David Spielman,
Shahira Emara,
Download application form.
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An article about the Knowledge Sharing in Research Project is the opening piece for the most recent News Bulletin of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)-see it at the following link.

The article opens with a description of the IRRI-lead KSinR Pilot Project, which is developing and strengthening the Laos Rice Knowledge Bank as a mechanism to get valuable research-generated knowledge to farmers by making it appropriately packaged and available for use by extension agents.

The article goes on to further describe the KSinR project as a whole and providing information on the work of the other 5 KSinR Pilot Projects.

On the front page of the website of the International Water and Sanitation Centre-IRC is a new article entitled:

Documenting stories from the field(s)

This article describes the ‘process documentation’ work being done in the ‘Wastewater Agriculture and Sanitation for Poverty Alleviation’ (WASPA) project funded by the EU and lead by IWMI, IRC, SEI, COSI and NGO Forum. The WASPA project is also supported by the ICT-KM’s Knowledge Sharing in Research project to develop, use and learn from a monitoring and evaluation(M&E) framework applied to the Learning Alliance approach being used in this project. The M&E framework is meant to provide lessons, both for internal and external audiences and uses, on the operation, role and value of the Learning Alliance approach in such a research for development-type project.

As part of its own M&E, the KSinR project has been making visits to its Pilot Projects to take part in events , observe activities, carry out M&E and conduct interviews with various stakeholders involved in the knowledge sharing strategies being piloted.

These interviews have also been useful for the process documentation and process monitoring initiatives of the WASPA project.

From story on website:

“As part of the CGIAR Knowledge Sharing in Research Project, the project team in Sri Lanka and a range of stakeholders were interviewed about their perspectives on the project approach. These stories, interviews and other group reflection efforts are part of the process documentation work: documenting for a better understanding why and how a project follows a particular course and the stories behind its successes and failures”

The interviews conducted with the IWMI WASPA LA KSinR Pilot Project (in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka), and other project interviews, are available on the KS website on the Documentation and Outputs page.

FAO and ICT-KM are not only joining forces on the next edition of the KS Workshop. We are also working together to improve, and expand the KS Toolkit. That is why the Toolkit is now accessible through a new URL: (the former one is redirected) and why you can see the FAO and ICT-KM logo since the homepage.

Also, between September and December 08, we plan to continue our work with the support of Nancy White to improve and expand it further. Some ideas are:

  • Include a KS literature section
  • Improve the situational entry points, tags and links to corresponding tools
  • Think about presenting more general entry points as KM strategies, KM assessments, tools for learning
  • Look further into collaboration with the authors of other toolkits. 
  • Boost some tools like Mobile Phones…
  • Translate into other languages
  • Work on the master list of tools and methods classify them better

We are currently in the brainstorm mode and any comments, priorities, additions to the above list would be welcome.

The ICT-KM Knowledge Sharing Project has continued to enjoy active engagement and interest from the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF). In this second Phase of the Project many of the six Knowledge Sharing in Research (KSinR) Project’s Pilot Projects are either directly involved in or related to the CPWF. These projects not only help to provide valuable lessons about the potential of knowledge sharing in research as an overall principle to help improve the impact of research, but showcase the reality of use, role and value of various knowledge sharing-oriented approaches which can be adopted in research programs, projects and activities.

An article about the work of the Knowledge Sharing in Research(KSinR) Project has been included in the latest edition of the newsletter of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food(CPWF) newsletter- see link.

Water & Food Edition 27, CPWF Newsletter Aug/Sept 2008

The article outlines the rationale, objectives and activities of the KSinR project overall, see excerpt below:

It then focuses in on the KSinR Pilot projects which are either directly related or somehow connected to the CPWF, highlighting their particular knowledge sharing strategies and initial lessons emerging.

We are pleased to announce that the Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) and ICT-KM would like to sponsor three participants to the upcoming FAO-CGIAR Knowledge Sharing Workshop, a three-phased event that combines online and face-to-face interaction (download announcement). If you are under 40, working in Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) and are interested in exploring new ways of sharing knowledge with your teams, partners, and stakeholders, then don’t hesitate to apply to this call.

The YPARD sponsorship covers your travel expenditures (ticket) and venue costs. The ICT-KM sponsorship covers the registration fee.


If you are interested in participating please send your application by Thursday August 14 to Balasubramanian Ramani answering the following questions:

  • Please indicate your full name, contact information, the organization you work for and your current responsibilities.
  • Why and how do you think that your participation in this workshop could be beneficial for your work?
  • In what way do you feel you can contribute to this workshop?
  • How do you plan to share your learnings and the outcomes of the workshop with the wider YPARD initiative, FAO, the CGIAR, and your team members, or partners?

A group of 3 (YPARD, ICT-KM, and FAO staff) will be reviewing your replies and select the winning candidates. We hope to hear from many of you soon.

Are you interested in what researchers, NGOs, community members, implementing teams, farmers and others think about various knowledge sharing approaches used in research?

In the Knowledge Sharing in Research (KSinR) project we definitely are, and have been trying to find out some of these thoughts and ideas from a variety of stakeholders involved in the range of knowledge sharing approaches being used by the KSinR Pilot Projects.

As part of the monitoring and evaluation(M&E) of the knowledge sharing strategies being used in the Pilot Projects being supported by the Knowledge Sharing in Research project, visits to the Pilot Projects are being undertaken by the KSinR Project Leader. During these visits, in addition to the more formal M&E being done, interviews with various actors involved in the projects, and the knowledge sharing strategies being used, are being conducted to gain their perspective.

So far two visits have been made to:

The interviews are being conducted with various actors to better understand their perspective on the knowledge sharing approach of the projects in which they are involved, including:

  • project implementors/pilot project teams
  • researchers
  • communities
  • farmers
  • NGOs

These interviews have been documented in easy-to-read ‘Interview sheets’ which can be found on the Documentation and Outputs page of the Knowledge Sharing in Research section of the KS website.

The Interview sheets now available are:

  1. Follow-up interviews on ICARDA’s Farmers’ Conference:

2. Interview on IWMI’s use of Learning Alliances in the WASPA project: