At the IKM table: linearity, participation, accountability and individual agency on the practice-based change menu (1)

(Originally posted on KM for me… and You?)

On 20 and 21 February 2012, the  London-based Wellcome Collection is the stage for the final workshop organised by the Information Knowledge Management Emergent (IKM-Emergent or ‘IKM-E’) programme. Ten IKM-E members are looking at the body of work completed in the past five years in this DGIS-funded research programme and trying to unpack four key themes that are interweaving the work of the three working groups which have been active in the programme:

  1. Linearity and predictability;
  2. Participation and engagement;
  3. Individual agency and organisational remit;
  4. Accountability

This very rich programme is also a tentative intermediary step towards a suggested extension for the programme.

In this post I’m summarising quite a few of the points mentioned during the first day of the workshop, covering the first two points on the list above.

On linearity and predictability:

Linear approaches to development – suggesting that planning is a useful exercise to map out and follow a predictable causal series of events – are delusional and ineffective and we have other perspectives that can help plan with a higher degree of realism, if not certainty.

Linearity and predictability strongly emphasise the current (and desired alternative) planning tools that we have at our disposal or are sometimes forced to use, and the relation that we entertain with the actors promoting these specific planning tools.

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KMIC 2: Entering the challenge

After the webinar I was inspired to enter the KMIC challenge by adding the story of the IKM Emergent evaluation by Chris Mowles and Anita Gurumurthy to the growing collection of stories. It was the last day for entries – so it was a bit of a rush – but you can read the story Taking a complexity perspective to evaluation here. Continue reading

KMIC 1: Webinar on monitoring and evaluation of KM

Last week, I attended my first webinar – a seminar on the web – which was organised by the Knowledge Management Impact Challenge (KMIC) and the Society for International Development (SID) in Washington DC. Louise Daniels, working for the Challenge, posted some information here about the KMIC a few weeks ago.

I’ve never been to a webinar before – or any virtual conference which may seem a bit surprising – so it was a new experience for me. Actually, I was rather sceptical about the form although I had high hopes of the content. But, in reality and for lots of reasons, it was a wonderful experience. Continue reading

Around the MandE table: a cooking lesson?

Much has happened since Simon and I started working on this paper about the monitoring and evaluation of knowledge management (M&E of KM, see original post here) and the cooking lesson continues, for us anyway and hopefully for you too, as in this case there are not too many cooks!

At the M&E cooking class, there's never too many cooks (Photo credits: vår resa)

On the KM4DEV mailing list, there has been a useful exchange on this topic of M&E of KM and this has triggered more reflections on our side to approach this paper. By the way, special thanks for Sarah Cummings, Roxane Samii and Patrick Lambe for getting this discussion going!

Simon just introduced in a blogpost one of our suggested theoretical models to address the different paradigms (what I profanely refer to as ‘world views’) on knowledge management, offering a spectrum from positivist to constructionist and from cognitivist to social learning).

In this post I’d like to share a refined version of the framework that we would like to offer to your scrutiny. This framework will eventually include a series of questions helping to crack the nuts for the M&E recipe, but for now let’s focus on the recipe itself. Continue reading

Methodological paradigms of the M&E of KM

I’ve been working on a small section of our paper on the monitoring and evaluation of KM (see Ewen’s earlier blog) and wanted to share some emerging ideas. The section is attempting to communicate IKMs epistemological perspective by introducing two dimensions (originally described by Chris Mowles in his comments on Ewen’s blog): the perspective of enquiry and the perspective of knowledge held by the evaluator (monitor). This is fairly abstract at the moment but do let me know if this is (1) accurate (I’m not a philosopher or even a social scientist) and (2) useful…

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Measurement of knowledge management

Yesterday afternoon, together with a Context colleague Peter Das, I went to a knowledge cafe (kennis cafe) on the measurement of knowledge management. It was organised by the Centre for Research in Intellectual Capital (Kenniskring) of InHolland University for Applied Sciences. There were two presentations: one of a research project by Guy Mestrini to measure the value creation  in Fokker Stork; and another by Christiaan Stam on different approaches to measuring knowledge processes.  Both of these were very interesting and were followed by a world cafe to discuss the main issue: how to measure knowledge management initiatives. Continue reading

KM Growing but lacking agreement

A recent survey which shows that KM  keeps on growing but lacks consensus:

If these results are to be taken at face value, they suggest that after a period in which interest in KM declined somewhat, there has been a substantial renewal and expansion of worldwide interest amongst enterprises of all types. But, in the face of this increasing interest, KM, as a discipline, is – it is fair to say – in a mess. [read more]