Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is important in knowledge sharing for innovation in development?

Next monday I will have an interview with a journalist of a magazine about international development cooperation (Vice Versa). The topic of the interview is knowledge sharing. I'm trying to put some of my ideas together and would really like your input as the topic seems so vast: what are the main trends in knowledge management/knowledge sharing within international cooperation that I should highlight?

I have a very short summary of what they are looking for which I will share with you: "The importance of knowledge sharing is more and more recognised within international cooperation. The big question is: how do you do this anno 2011? What knowledge to share, how to share, and what needs to be done for innovation in international development cooperation?"

What would you definitely want to highlight? Please contribute by replying..Even though the interview is in Dutch I will make it available in English later.


La Bretxa said...

on the issue of knowledge sharing I think that one point is that you are more prone to share with those you have some sort of relationship.

The social relationship is a good basis to build a knowledge sharing initiative. Presently there are tools that help to establish, keep or develop those relationships with people that otherwise you will reach more costly.

Joitske said...

Thanks- good point I believe in the power of communities and networks for knowledge sharing. Will definitely talk about that!

Scott Bechtler-Levin said...

Our experience with building an online information resource sharing exchange nonprofits and social enterprises ( is the key to moving knowledge sharing from "I really should" to "I just did" is a combination of individual incentives (often recognition within and from outside your own organization) and organizational incentives (often brand building, desire to increase impact, and the potential for earned income).

So I might suggest a question about how they make knowledge sharing 'urgent' enough that it actually happens.

Joitske said...

Hi Scott- thanks! Urgence will come from having a stake in it? I see a link to personal mastery, the ideas of motivation to learn and work by Daniel Pink

guglio1001 said...

It seems to me that one of the interesting trends we are seeing is that the "innovation" buzzword is taking hold in the development sector: from UNICEF's innovation labs to the Global Pulse, to the World Bank innovation unit and on to smaller and more agile outfits. It would be interesting to reflect on the reasons behind this phenomenon, and its implication for knowledge sharing activities. It seems to me that there is a growing recognition, on one hand, that traditional approaches based on capturing lessons, log frames, etc. are inadequate in an increasingly complex and real-time world. On the other hand, smaller, much more agile outfits like Ushahidi or new private sector players (a la Google Flu) have demonstrated that they are much more apt at filling certain gaps and needs in the development sector. Hence the need to rethink the knowledge and innovation "nexus" in traditional development players to promote more agile, rapid prototyping approaches.
Hmmm... not sure this is of much help!
Let us know how it goes

Joitske said...

Hi Gulio, thanks, nice observation that there is more attention for innovation. As part of KM or as a new discourse?

Interestingly I mentioned the Ushahidi example, as an example it is quite known now, but the way it came about as a co-creation between some people from Global Voices and Kenyan bloggers is interesting.

I am still wondering whether to blog the interview or wait for the official article in October, but you stimulate me to blog it anyhow!

giulio quaggiotto said...

It seems to me that an interesting trend we are seeing in the development sector is that the innovation bug (or fad, depending on where you standing) is catching on and prompting a rethink of traditional KM approaches. From the Global Pulse to UNICEF”s innovation labs, from the World Bank Innovation unit to smaller and more agile outfits focused on social innovation. It would be interesting to reflect on the reasons behind this. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two factors: on the one hand, the increasing recognition (at least on the side of practitioners) that the traditional approach based on documenting “lessons” and log frames is inadequate to account for an increasingly complex and real-time world. On the other, small outfits like Ushahidi and newcomers from the private sector (a la Google Flu) have demonstrated that they are more suitable to fill specific needs and gaps in the development arena. Hence the need for traditional players to adapt their km strategies to reflect more agile, rapid prototyping approaches and the emphasis on opening up to encourage innovation (from open data to making expertise easier to access via social media).
Hmmm… not sure this helps you much!