As the workshop moves into its second week of on-line discussions, and learnings (week one we talked about Why KS, now we explore the Who via a network mapping exercise), I wanted to share with you the amazing role that our two workshop mentors are playing. Not only do we have two former participants (Pete Shelton from IFPRI and Gauri Salokhe from FAO) as facilitators. We have also two mentors who volunteered to redo the workshop and bring in additional perspectives: Michael Riggs from FAO/Asia and Alexandra Jorge from ILRI/Bioversity are doing an amazing job in bridging the two workshops, supporting participants with tips, and linking many ideas. Congratulations Alexandra and Michael.

The Knowledge Sharing Project of the ICT-KM Program is proud to announce the active participation of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in the upcoming Knowledge Sharing Workshop. 15 FARA staff and focal points of the Regional Agricultural Information & Learning System (RAILS) will participate in the event, that will held its face-to-face meeting early May 2008 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “Our particular interest in this workshop is how to strengthen the RAILS’ team capacity to facilitate knowledge sharing among and within national RAILS network and our main expectations are that key RAILS team are capable of sharing their lessons learnt from this exercise to their fellow network members as well as document their learning appropriately that can facilitate dissemination”, states Myra Wopereis-Pura, the RAILS coordinator. 

The workshop is now fully booked with 40 participants for its on-line phase and around 22 participants for the face-to-face meeting.  We warmly welcome all 21 participants from CGIAR partner organizations, our colleagues from FAO, as well as the 19 CGIAR staff.
 
The Workshop starts with a first on-line phase on March 24.

The Institutional Knowledge Sharing Project was invited to attend a Workshop organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI), the Global Development Network (GDN) and the “Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento” (CIPPEC), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 19 to 20 February 2008.

The theme of the workshop was: “Bridging research communication and policy impact through knowledge management”. 20 participants from several Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as from USA and Europe with regional offices in LAC met to discuss how GDN could develop and offer a 5-year program designed to address the above issue.

After a presentation of the Bridging Research Policy (BRP) synthesis paper several case studies were presented and discussed in plenary. We then split into groups, to work on different scenarios and suggestions for GDN. It was interesting to see that the participants of the group discussions came up with ideas that were quite different from the original focus that was put forward by the organizers.  Their initial thoughts included the development of a capacity building program that would address needs related to BRP. Participants rather suggested funding networking activities, and supporting opportunities for knowledge sharing between policy researchers, and policy makers.

The bulletin looks at knowledge management as a systematic and institutionalised approach in Development Cooperation. The articles elaborate on the success factors and cover major aspects of the theory and practice of knowledge management. In addition, it supplies some new tools for practitioners. Download at: http://www.gtz.de/en/themen/laendliche-entwicklung/15081.htm (1.8 MB)

This is a blog post about the host center of the Institutional KS project– the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)– the host country Colombia and one historical example of activities around ICT4D that I would like to celebrate.

Knowledge Sharing has been part of a CIAT project called Inforcom (www.ciat.cgiar.org/inforcom), now closed. Inforcom focused on strengthening local capacity for innovation by better enabling rural communities and the R&D organizations that serve them to obtain, create, and share information and knowledge, with the aid of new ICTs. It started with a project on community telecenters “InforCauca”, which was a pioneer project. Its objective was to strengthen communities in marginalized areas in their capacity to appropriate new information and communication technologies (ICT) for their own development. Models had previously and successfully been tested in southwestern Colombia. The project’s goal was therefore to implement three community telecenters in this area.  Then other subsequent projects looked at further steps that can be taken so that groups and individuals in rural communities can derive greater benefits from ICT services. One such intervention is to strengthen the role and capacities of information intermediaries, which are another key component of local information networks.

CIAT is not anymore directly involved in the telecenter movement in Colombia, but more than ever is ongoing, with for example the most recent 4th national meeting of telecenters in Popayan, entitled “Strategic Strengthening of Community Knowledge Networks”. It is with great pleasure that the Institutional KS project and CIAT colleagues contributed with a very small seed to the event by orientating the organizers in the set up of a Knowledge Fair and an After Action Review to allow informal conversations and exchanges of multiple local experiences.

One key actor in the telecenter movement is the Colombian NGO Colnodo. Colnodo provides information on and access to Internet since 1993, with specific focus on issues like human resources, digital inclusion, gender and governance. It’s Action Applications were one of the first Web content development systems with Web 2.0 features I experienced. This was in 2002.

More on telecenters in Colombia (in Spanish) at: http://www.telecentros.org.co/