At a pre-meeting of CGIAR participants for the Share Fair starting tomorrow, it was exciting to learn about the diversity of the CGIAR presence at the Fair.

The participants are representing a number of Centres and Programs including WARDA, ICRAF, WorldFish, IRRI, Bioversity, ICT-KM, CIMMYT, ICARDA, CIAT, IWMI…

The participants are diverse in where they come from too both by birth and location including Syria, Mexico, Malaysia, Colombia, Rome, Philippines,  Benin and more.

The group includes KM specialists, people working on GIS, communciations personell, a web designer, someone working on learning and innovation systems, soemone working on indigenous communities and climate change and more…

The CGIAR participants are also presenting a wide range of interesting and exciting activities, projects and approaches based on knowledge sharing of various types–which we will try to share with you over the course of the Share Fair…so stay tuned.

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Rome-based international agencies are jointly organizing a 3-day Knowledge Share Fair to showcase success stories and learn from each others good practices and experience. The open-house event will provide an extensive insight into the agencies’ many efforts and related activities in the field of agricultural development and food security.

The Fair will be a platform for people from different agencies to informally and openly discuss their personal experiences and lessons learned, to build networks and to share knowledge and information using modern web-based communication tools. It is the first time that an event of this nature has been organized by the participating agencies.

The Fair is jointly organised by Bioversity International, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

More information and the schedule of this innovative event can be found on the Share Fair website at http://www.sharefair.net/

Video-feeds and blogging will make it possible to follow and participate in the event online.

Watch this blog for interesting and informative posts on the event.

After more than one year since the Inception workshop for the ICT-KM Knowledge Sharing Project, many of the 6 KSinR Pilot Projects have carried out and completed their activities and piloting periods within the KSinR project. On Monday 17th November 2008 a Synthesis workshop for the Knowledeg Sharing in Research Project will take place. The aim of the workshop is to bring all the Pilot Projects together to discuss their activities and capture lessons from their piloting activities.

The Workshop will take place over three days (17th, 18th, 19th) on ILRI Campus in Addis ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop will include:

  • Review of project activities, outputs and outcomes–using Rive of Life Activity
  • Evaluation of Knowledge Sharing strategies employed in the research project–through using and revisiting the Impact pathways approach
  • Most Significnat Change exercise
  • Discussions on Communication and outreach of Project knowledge and lessons
  • …and more!

We look forward to some fruitful discussions and exercises and being able to share more information derived from the project through this space and others.

Stay tuned…

On Thursday 13th November David Raitzer from the Centre for International Foresty impact-assessment-workshop-brazil-08Research (CIFOR) will be presenting a session on “Prioritizing Agricultural Research for Development:Experience and Lessons from CGIAR” at the INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON METHODOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS IN IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH in Brasilia, November 12-14, 2008 at Embrapa Headquarters and Alvorada Brasilia Hotel.

raitzer-session-presentation-highlighted

His session is based on the work being done through the Knowledge sharing in Research Pilot Project he is leading on behalf of the Systemwide consortium on priority assessment which has been trying to use knowledge sharing approaches to compile and share methods of priority assessment from various CGIAR and non-CGIAR groups and their experiences in using them.

The Pilot Project has been working on the following activities and approaches:

* Meetings to discuss method and experiences

* Compiling methods and experiences as chapters of a Compendium

* Virtual forum for reviewing and sharing comments on chapters

* Options for additional online availability of the Compendium content or wider sharing

At the recent Annual Research meeting of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the KSinR Project leader- Nadia Manning-Thomas, was asked to develop, together with the Communications Director and Director for Impact, a session on “Creating a Culture of Impact”.

The two hour session started with an introduction about ‘WHY?’ we need to think about impact more systematically within the institute and the changes it may require in the ‘way we do business’. Following on from this was a presentation on the Impact Pathways approach as a framework for planning, tracking and evaluating impact- given by Nadia Manning-Thomas. The presentation introduced the four main stages in the impact pathway:

  1. Developing a logic model to make explicit the goal being worked towards and the causal links to achieving this
  2. Identification of key actors, what relationships and activities they currently have and what is needed for the future. In this case it is also good to further identify those Boundary Partners which a project/program can most realistically work with and influence, and can take project results forward.
  3. Development of key strategies to be undertaken by the Institute/project/program to bring about the necessary changes using project results and outputs. This helps tie the project activities to the final goal.
  4. How to monitor and evaluate all of this

The next part of the session consisted of three ‘stations’ in the conference room which everyone was expected to visit for a 20 minute session. The stations, representing some key strategies or frameworks were:

1. Knowledge Sharing in Research: ideas, experiences, lessons–Nadia Manning-Thomas

2. Uptake Strategy–Joanna Kane-Potaka

3. Outreach strategy designed for a a specific project being proposed–Meredith Giordano

These stations elicited so much discussion that groups were only able to make it to two stations before it was time to return to plenary for a quick discussion, before breaking for lunch, on:

* How to operationalise this at IWMI?

*What strategies can we use at IWMI in our projects?

*How can we do this?

The whole session was very interesting and filled with lively discussion. The overall result was that most people now seem to accept and believe in the fact that we should be doing things differently to achieve imapct and need to learn to think and act differently, making us of new tools and approaches. The big question that then came up was ” How do we do it?”. There is now a need to bring in information, experiences, guidance, training etc to make this a reality at IWMI.

At the recently held “Maxmising the impact of agricultural research in Africa: A workshop on research communication” in Addis in October, a number of ways of capturing, documenting and sharing the workshop were carried out. These are becoming available though a number of different channels–read on for ways to find these resources.

Peter Ballantyne, President of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialist (IAALD), was not only a participant at the recently held “Maximising the impact of agricultural research in Africa: A Workshop on research communication” but played an active role in documenting the workshop through blog posts as well as blips (small video clips) of interviews with various organisers and participants in the workshop.

You might be interested to see some of the material from the workshop at:

These comprise a series of short blog stories with links to some short video interviews taken by Peter in Addis.
Everything is listed from this page: http://iaald.blogspot.com/2008/10/stories-from-addis-research.html

Additionally, I-Nadia took hundreds of photos to document and share with you what was going on at the workshop and who was there. The photos are available online using the Flickr account of the KS project at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8764209@N07/sets/72157608287846090/

Furthermore GDN has been updating a few sections on the workshop briefing page on the GDNet website (http://www.gdnet.org/middle.php?oid=1492 ) and added the workshop agenda online with links to all material shared at the workshop (http://www.gdnet.org/middle.php?oid=1564 )

As part of learning about and trying new tools and approaches to communication, as well as wanting to share with others out there about the workshop- some of the organisers and participants will be blogging on the event- “Maximising Impact of Agricultural Research In Africa: A Workshop on Research Communication” which starts today- October 21st- at UN ECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop is being organised by IFPRI, WBI, GDN and ICT-KM.

Check out this space for more posts on the event.

Also check out the IAALD blog at http://www.iaald.org/