Find the full call for articles and papers for the December 2009 issue of the Knowledge Management for Development Journal at km4dj_call_for_papers-december-20093

Volume 5, Issue 3, to be published in December 2009, will focus on the effective (and potential) contribution of approaches to learning, collaboration and knowledge management (KM) to the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, and the integrated water resource management (IWRM) sector. The issue will introduce various academic and practitioner perspectives, thought pieces and case studies on the possibilities and concrete applications of learning, collaboration and knowledge management strategies, activities, processes and systems to address the critical issues of the water sector in a context-specific way.

The contributions are highly encouraged to explore the following questions:

  • ·How can knowledge management, collaboration and learning contribute to addressing the challenges of the water sub-sector, to achieving sectoral goals, to innovating and to reducing fragmentation?
  • What thinking / concepts guide the KM frameworks, approaches and tools in the water sub-sectors?
  • Where is the current thinking on learning headed in the water sub-sector?
  • Which frameworks, strategies, approaches and tools are being used in the water sub-sector?
  • Which promising learning, collaboration and knowledge management-related developments could have a significant effect on the way water sector actors operate and co-operate?
  • How does the call for increased networking and knowledge management materialise on a personal, organisational and institutional context?
  • Is there a need for a more systemic ‘sub-sector learning’ initiative in the countries and, if so, how could it shape up?

We invite practitioners and academics to submit, in the first instance, an abstract of a full paper, case study, story and or opinion piece by 11 May 2009.

As this is an English language journal, we would, if possible, like potential authors to submit proposals and contributions in English.

Submissions deadlines

Submission deadline for the title and abstract    11 May 2009

Acceptance of paper proposal                                   29 May 2009

Submission of paper                                                       26 June 2009

Peer-review completed                                                17 July 2009

Final version of paper submitted                              14 August 2009

Publication date                                                               31 December 2009

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 e-mail to km4dj-editors@dgroups.org

With best wishes,

Ewen Le Borgne and the guest editorial team (Jaap Pels, Russell Kerkhoven, Nadia Manning)

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Today is Thursday 22nd January- and the third and final day of the Share Fair. For the first session of the day I am attending the session on ‘Assessment methodologies and learning for policymaking’ being convened in the India Room.

The session invovles the presentation of a group from FAO including Stephan Baas, Claudia Hiepe and Selvaraju Ramsamy. Their presentation is on Livelihood adaptation to climate change- a socio-institutional learning process: experiences from a  project in Bangladesh. 

The session will be run as a peer assist as the group would really like to get some feedback and ideas from those attending the session on their project and tools.

 1. to develop a methodology to bridge the gap between global circulation models and local farmers–needs to be translated into local realities

2. how can we come to some very concrete actions-what can we do at this point while we still have uncertainty

3.based on  analysis-how can we inform policy makers to develop an enabling environment for local actions

First they introduce the context by showing a film looking at the effects of climate change in Bangladesh and some interventions that FAO has been undertaking there.

The project wanted to build on existing processes and make use of them for promoting learning and doing dissemination around climate change adaptation. One example of this was using existing Farmer Field schools and making them into Climate Field schools.

The next part of the session involved Claudia Hiepe showing the group a number of the various knowledge products that the project had produced for various stakehodlers. A list of things developed and available was handed out to the attendees. Products were designed for various groups to disseminate the information. Three main levels were showcased including:

1. Information collection, knowledge generation and sharing at farm/community level

  • picture field guide
  • theatre, drama songs
  • field days
  • demonstrations
  • climate field schools

2. Knowledge generation with and for Field Practitioners/NGOs/national research

  • written adaptation option menu
  • training manuals
  • guidelines and practices

3. Knowledge sharing at national/international level

  • technical reports
  • formal publications
  • BBC radio broadcasts
  • documentary films

Then Salvaraju showed us the online tool that has been developed as a training tool.

It was developed out of a need for a more interactive e-learning tool since it is not possible to reach all extension agents with face-to-face training programs or even published materials. The tool was developed also as a way of fitting into the technology transfer process that is being carried out by the extensionists.

The project found that when they tested out the tool with some extension agents the feedback they got was that the extension personell needed some exposure to working on computers as many of them don’t have much experience in working with computers.

Some issues and challenges experienced:

*overload of materials developed, but still need to find good and effective ways to get information to the particular target groups

*how to translate this learning that is being created at the local level to higher level policy making

*how to institutionalise this issue. Working through extension but struggling with the question of how to do this more effectively and sustainably. Sometimes people go back to business as usual–and just go back to old ways of doing technology transfer and calling it adaptation to climate change—so how to keep them on track.

 One of the big questions that came up in the discussion was really what are the best ways to share knowledge and make effective linkages with the policy makers. This is something that many projects have as  an aim but do not know what approaches to follow. It is not easy!

Some suggestions, ideas and discussion threads included:

  • Need to develop personal relationships with some key players in the policy field
  • Need to build capacity even amongst policy makers and future policy makers
  • Need to be more clear about what policy change you want to bring about to be able to truly develop a strategy for dissemination and interaction
  • Need to consider policy demand and not just push our own supply to policy makers–we need to learn about what policy makers need and what opportunities exist

Learning from successes in agricultural development is now more urgent than ever. Progress in feeding the world’s millions has slowed, while the challenge of feeding its future millions remains enormous and is subject to new uncertainties in the global food and agricultural system. To learn and share lessons from past successes, IFPRI, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is leading an initiative titled “Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development” to document evidence on what works in agriculture—what sorts of policies, programs, and investments in agricultural development have actually reduced hunger and poverty.

IFPRI invite nominations highlighting interventions that have had a significant impact on food security, including those that have empowered women and vulnerable groups to improve their livelihoods. Nominations may include, for example, research and extension programs that have improved on-farm yields and outputs for small-scale farmers; public investment programs that have helped food-insecure consumers meet their daily nutritional requirements and accumulate assets; community-led efforts that have conserved soil, water, forests, and biodiversity; or market-based interventions that have strengthened the ability of small-scale farmers and food-insecure consumers to gain access to production inputs, rural services, and agricultural commodities.

You can submit a proposal at http://www.ifpri.org/millionsfed/call.asp . Call open until 31 December

Learning is also about celebrating successes!

ksinr-synthesis-workshop-137Day 2 of the Synthesis Workshop (17-19 November 2008) of the Knowledge Sharing in Research project was heavily focused on learning. Building on the previous day of review and reflection, Day 2 was aimed at a much more defined and in-depth evaluation process of the Pilot projects and other KSinR activities towards learning.ksinr-synthesis-workshop-132

The first exercise in the agenda was to look at the projects in terms of what happened, what didn’t, what went well, and what didn’t go well in terms of the changes planned and the strategies (KS approaches) used.

The participants all prepared answers to these questions to be presented back to the group. Time was given after each presentation for questions, comments and discussion.

Other activities held in Day 2 included:

  • Report-back by synthesizers
  • Most Significant Change(MSC) stories presented by each project
  • Fishbowl exercise with two ‘outsiders’ discussing the MSC stories and criteria for selecting ‘best’ ones
  • Matrix exercise to look at the bigger ‘Why’ question and meaning around using KSinR

Further posts will be made on these activities, and results of all Synthesis workshop exercises will be available soon on the KS website.

The International Water and Sanitation Centre-IRC, is one of the partners in the IWMI lead Wastewater, Agriculture, and Sanitation in Poverty Alleviation (WASPA) project which is using a Learning Alliance approach in the two project sites: Kurunegala, Sri Lanka and Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
IRC has been championing, supporting the use of and learning about Learning Alliances in a number of projects around the world.

Given the common interest in better understanding the use and value of such a knowledge sharing approach as Learning Alliances–IRC and KSinR have linked up and are trying to establish some joint activities around learning and communicating about Learning Alliances.

IRC now features the Knowledge Sharing in Research project on its website–under its WASPA project Learning Alliance theme–see link

Knowledge Sharing in Research section on IRC\'s-Learning Alliance section webpage

Knowledge Sharing in Research section on IRC's-Learning Alliance section webpage

According to Carmen Dasilva, an IRC researcher working on the WASPA project “the KSinR blog also provides some interesting lessons and questions relevant for our own work on multi-stakeholder learning.”

The Institutional KS Project has started to undertake an evaluation study of project phase I (2004-2006).

The Project Team of the first phase undertook a self–assessment, which provides the background for the proposed study and can be considered as its starting point. An independent evaluation of those experiences should help us to explore an entry point for the development of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for KS.  We have recently identified a consultant for this activity, Bernhard Hack. 

Discover the evaluation concept and Bernhard’s bio on our Web site.

There has been a fairly active response to the blog post on

Learning Alliance- light?!: exploring models that work

posted on July 3rd 2008. Some interesting comments and perspectives have been shared–check it out and give us your own thoughts too.

In addition, with a general agreement by a number of contributers to the blog that we do indeed need to look at models that work and highlight their beneficial characteristics and activities, the discussion has also turned to how WE– as practitioners in these multi-stakeholder processes- can share with and learn from each other.

If we want to discuss, share ideas, share documents, make plans, do some other activities, promote the concept etc-what kind of knowledge sharing approach can we ourselves employ?

Should we set up a Community of Practice? a discussion forum? plan a face-to-face meeting? use a wiki, a blog or a del.icio.us account?

The comments included with this post follow the discussion between a few interested people who are trying to answer these questions and find a productive way for practitioners in the area of multi-stakeholder platforms/processes to engage with each other.

Good for us to practice what we preach and have to figure out what KS approach can help us to achieve our goal of finding and using best practices in knowledge sharing.

As many of us work on learning about and promoting knowledge sharing, and this is true of the work in the Knowledge Sharing in Research project, how can we also encourage the sharing of knowledge, experiences and lessons between those who are using approaches with each other and with those not yet adopting these kind of approaches?

Join in with any ideas or inputs you may have on the subject matter or the way in which we can better organise this kind and other discussions and activities to learn about, promote and use effective types of multi-stakeholder engagements.