To address the issue and need raised in the last post on “Why knowledge sharing in research?” the ICT-KM program in its Investment Plan 2006 added to a planned second Phase of the Knowledge Sharing project- a component on Knowledge Sharing in Research. This component is aimed at identifying and pursuing opportunities to enhance collaborative learning and innovation. The goal is to improve the effectiveness of the CGIAR Centres and their projects in working with partners, delivering research results and supporting the achievement of development outcomes.

The project has three major components:

* KNOWLEDGE GENERATION
To learn about knowledge sharing concepts, approaches and tools which may be used and useful within the research domain of the CGIAR.

-this is done primarily through support to and learning from 6 Pilot Projects each testing out various knowledge sharing approaches in their research

-additional knowledge is generated through ongoing review of concepts and experiences from within and outside of the CGIAR through literature and web resources as well as face to face interactions

*KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND BROKERING
To share and broker knowledge gained through the project, both internally and externally derived, with the CGIAR and its partners and stakeholders

-knowledge will be shared through print materials and web resources as well as through interactive knowledge sharing at face-to-face opportunities

*KNOWLEDGE APPLICATION
To use information, lessons learned, experiences, impact and evidence on KSinR to influence its wider adoption within the CGIAR

-knowledge, experiences, ideas, and lessons coming from the Project will be used in supporting as well a developing activities and initiatives at Project, Centre and System levels

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Any thoughts or ideas on how a project like this can better learn, share and apply knowledge in this domain?

What do you think would be useful? have an impact?

More to come…

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The 15 Centers supported by the CGIAR and their many national partners are together creating a wealth of knowledge that can help rural communities in developing countries build sustainable livelihoods. Yet, formidable obstacles to uptake and use of generated knowledge as well as impact of CGIAR agricultural research remain. One of the missing elements which has reduced the effectiveness of our research and development (R&D) efforts, is appropriate and effective knowledge sharing, both within Centers and between them and their partners.

There is a longstanding tradition that separates researchers from those that take up their results. The traditional linear, transfer of technology approach has worked at different times for different purpose but does not offer the best solution for agricultural research to contribute to development outcomes. While this approach may have had some success in the past, the ever-changing nature of agricultural products, research development, actors and needs, this approach is no longer appropriate for all the whole of the agricultural research and development arena.

The CGIAR Centers and their partners need to shift to a more demand-driven, interactive approach, in which such methods are developed collaboratively through a shared process of learning and innovation. A key requirement for achieving this shift is that knowledge sharing should no longer be a mere afterthought in research. Instead, it must become an integral part of the whole research process, involving all stakeholders.