A new sub-category on this Forum for "knowledge management (KM) tools" - as part of capacity development, is that OK?

  • muench
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A new sub-category on this Forum for "knowledge management (KM) tools" - as part of capacity development, is that OK?

Dear all,

I have created a new sub-category on "Knowledge management (KM) tools" here on the Forum which I have placed below the category on "Capacity development". This was prompted by Arno's post from last week where he made us aware of a new knowledge management tool by FAO to document best practices ( forum.susana.org/component/kunena/279-kn...t-goodbest-practices ).

Could those of you with an interest in knowledge management tools and in capacity development please tell me if I am correct to say that KM tools is a subset of capacity development? Does it make sense like this?

Please also see the existing forum threads that I have moved to here by now:
forum.susana.org/component/kunena/279-kn...-management-km-tools

I think these are the main KM tools that have been highlighted on the Forum so far. If there were others that I should also move please let me know.

Sometimes the differentiation is not so clear cut: what is a general capacity development tool and when does it become a knowledge management tool?

As this point I want to remind you of the definition of knowledge management that Pete Cranston reminded us about in his post here ( forum.susana.org/component/kunena/279-kn...ation-wsh-team#17709 )

For the BDS KM work we focused on four activities that would be included in most definitions of KM:
Information management: the collection and management of material from one or more sources and making that material accessible to and usable by one or more audiences;
Knowledge sharing: a set of practices that enables people to share what they know with others in the application of their work;
Learning processes: both individual and collective or social, focusing less on the “sending” and more on the “receiving”, particularly the processes of sense making, understanding, and being able to act upon the information available.
Communication: in the sense of a meaningful exchange, as a foundational competence for the interactions that are at the center of learning, sharing and managing knowledge

Capacity development is defined on Wikipedia like this (good definition? If not, can we improve it?):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_building

Community capacity building (CCB), also referred to as capacity development, is a conceptual approach to social or personal development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their development goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.

The term community capacity building emerged in the lexicon of international development during the 1990s. Today, "community capacity building" is included in the programs of most international organizations that work in development, the World Bank, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Oxfam International. Wide use of the term has resulted in controversy over its true meaning.

Community capacity building often refers to strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities of people and communities in developing societies so they can overcome the causes of their exclusion and suffering. Organizational capacity building is used by NGOs to guide their internal development and activities.


What are your thoughts on this? Are "KM tools" a subset of capacity development or should it be separate?

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. The BMGF-funded SEI project on “Supporting SuSanA and the broader Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Community of Practice through an online platform” which I am part of, is also doing a lot of work on Knowledge Management (see here on the forum: forum.susana.org/component/kunena/10-ann...l-knowledge-platform )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • Silvia
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Re: A new sub-category on this Forum for "knowledge management (KM) tools" - as part of capacity development, is that OK?

Hello Elizabeth,
I am new to this forum and am particularly interested in KM. I have just posted about our upcoming IMA International KM course in Brussels ( forum.susana.org/140-courses-including-o...els-2nd-5th-may-2017 ). For me, KM Tools can be part of broader capacity development. However KM as a way of working, an approach and a discipline is more about organisational development (OD). Good KM is now widely recognised as critical for organisations as it surfaces tacit knowledge and knowhow, allowing this to be collected, documented, shared and developed. The idea is that KM processes, systems, tools and a culture of sharing + learning can be positively institutionalised, thus supporting innovation.
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  • muench
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Re: A new sub-category on this Forum for "knowledge management (KM) tools" - as part of capacity development, is that OK?

Dear Silvia,

Welcome to this Forum! How did you find out about us? I assume you are not from the WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) sector but are looking at knowledge management (KM) across all sorts of sectors?

Do you have any advice for us at SuSanA how we could do KM better? Which other tools should we provide? And how about the SuSanA partners - organizations working in WASH - do you have any advice for them? Perhaps you have noticed common challenges for people working in the WASH sector that are different to people working in other sectors? Like perhaps the problems of working across language barriers (English-French-Spanish or also English versus native languages) or working across different levels of internet access speed, or an unwillingness to share knowledge amongst oldies and novices or amongst different levels of hierarchies?

I am "all ears" to hear from an expert on knowledge management. You'd probably say "you should have taken our course in Brussels!" ;-)

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Community manager of this forum via SEI
(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
Wikipedian, co-founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

Location: Frankfurt, Germany
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