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

Monitoring knowledge (management): an impossible task?

It isn’t an impossible task to monitor/evaluate (M&E) intangibles, knowledge or knowledge management (KM), but it requires a series of tough choices in a maze of possibles. This is what Simon Hearn and myself are discovering, trying to summarise, synthesise and build upon the two M&E of KM papers commissioned earlier, as well as the reflective evaluation papers by Chris Mowles.

We are still at the stage of struggling very much with how to set the ballpark for our study. So this is a good opportunity to briefly share a blogpost I wrote recently about this very topic, and to share some preliminary thoughts. If we get to engage your views it would certainly help us to get going. Continue reading

Questioning the IKM-Emergent pointers en français : Mais de quoi parle-t-on ?

A belated post but a lot happened in the last six or sevent weeks.

At the dawn of that period was an interesting moment of organising an entire day for the Francophones, generously sponsored by IKM-Emergent as a testimony of its will to walk its talk on the multiple knowledge’s – or shall I say les connaissances multiples? Continue reading

Meta-analyses of organisational strategies for KM

RKMDThe first issue of the Knowledge Management for Development Journal to be published by Routledge (Volume 5, Issue 1, 2009) has now appeared, focusing on the subject of KM in organisations. Guest editors of this issue comprised Ewen Le Borgne, Catherine Vaillancourt-Laflamme and Ivan Kulis. The issue has been produced in the context of the Information and Knowledge Management Emergent Research Programme (IKM Emergent) Continue reading

Giraffes and tools

Giraffes are fantastic animals, very well designed for their environment. Yes, they are wise and far-seeing and take a broad perspective of their environment, but they are also equipped with some fantastic tools. The obvious case is their neck, superbly suited for reaching the fruit that no one else can get. Then there’s their tongue which can navigate through the maze of thorns and thistles unscathed while seeking out the fruit buried within.

Giraffe tongue

My point is that wisdom and far-sightedness are great but pretty useless if you don’t have the tools to stay alive in the environment you’re faced with.

Of course, on the other hand, the giraffe’s design wasn’t centred around its tools but on the environment. The needs of the giraffe led to the development of tools that addressed the needs – this is important.

If we, Working Group 3, are associating ourselves with the noble giraffe, should we, along with all our valuable conceptual thinking, also take a view on KM tools? Is that within our remit?

I’m a bit of a techie, some might even say a geek. I’m the first to admit that I often get over enthusiastic about ICTs and web based communication tools and become somewhat technology driven. But I’m learning. I now realise that there’s a whole world, in fact a whole history of social tools that different cultures in different times have used for KM. For example, we were hearing about the culture of coffee drinking in Ethiopia, how it’s an informal knowledge exchange process that been going on for centuries. We can learn a lot from this stuff.

The question is this then; what is the right balance of conceptual thinking and practical thinking and how do we achieve this? (While also bearing in mind that WG2 are looking more closely into tools and WG1 are looking into Southern knowledge creation and use).

Any thoughts on this?

The giraffe kicks!

Welcome to the new blog of IKM Emergent Working Group 3: Management of Knowledge.

Why ‘the giraffe’, you may wonder? Wise and farseeing, it is an elegant, swift animal, capable of outrunning and conquering many of its foes, surviving in harsh circumstances. Its long neck, sharp ears and far-sighted vision contribute to a strong sense of perception to what is going on in its wide surroundings.

Similarly, this working group takes a broad perspective on the role of knowledge specific to the environment in which it is fostered, while maintaining a long-term vision.

On this collaborative blog we aim to keep you updated on the progress, ideas and thoughts we develop in the process of this working group.