Blogging, and the value of continually learning from patterns: take 2

I don’t like new year resolutions, I know for a fact that they never work for me. Yet this year, considering that nothing puts me to update my personal blog on learning and knowledge management, I decided that a new year resolution could perhaps help. I decided that I would block once every week. And […]

Emergence through energy?

Chaos can be such an incredibly ordered state of things. These days, on the professional front, I am running from a workshop in Benin to a working group meeting for the project ‘IKM Emergent’ (, from the organisation of a symposium on sector learning in the WASH sector to initial discussions around an IRC internal […]

The Giraffe

This is the blog of working group 3 from the IKM Emergent programme. Our working group is supposedly dealing with the ‘management of knowledge’ which is a very doubtful concept (can we manage interactions between people and the cognitive processes triggered by these interactions? Hmmm , don’t think so…). Anyway, this blog really has some […]

Where to start with chaos and order?

Will I ever get more certain about anything ? Just as I thought I started gathering quite some ideas on sector learning, resource centres, learning alliances, learning and knowledge management in general, my hopes to make sense of this world are crushed again – or my hopes of making sense of it the way I […]

Live and direct from Almada: from KM4DEV to learning4change?

Almada, Portugal. Watching over Lisbon from the other side of the bridge, a group of over 70 people have gathered at the KM4DEV annual event. I am one of them and loving the interaction as usual. This non-event (no formal rules, no death by powerpoint, no stress on formality, no sweat, big fun), the great […]

Process documentation – Sandbox to influence donors?

I am currently involved in some process documentation work for this project in Ethiopia, RiPPLE ( and back in my organisation there is a lot of discussion as to what process documentation is or is not. In order to underestand what it is, let’s rewind here a bit: the term process documentation refers to a […]

Knowledge management and learning

Interesting how the terms knowledge management and learning are sometimes used almost interchangeably when they indeed refer to distinct things, as pointed out by Julie Ferguson her meta-review of literature reviews on KM. The author prepared this review in the framework of the Information / Knowledge Management emergent (IKM emergent) programme sponsored by DGIS, the […]

How do you do? How do you do-cument?

An eternal struggle in Knowledge Management remains the balancing act between actually doing things: implementing a project, organising an event, writing a case study and documenting those: reflecting about them, collecting insights, analysing them, taking a neutral role to observe what is going on. At an individual level, it is hard enough to find the […]

The future of Resource Centres

In its Resource Centre Development (RCD) programme, IRC has been working in about 20 countries between 2002 and 2006 to set up resource centres (‘RC’s – independent organisations or networks) so as to manage information and knowledge on water, sanitation and hygiene at national level. The results of the programme – partly available on: […]

The one true KM challenge

As I view mailing list threads dedicated to KM, read documents about KM, talk with colleagues and partners about KM, work on KM programmes, it is becoming clear to me that the one main challenge we are struggling with is this: How much should we try to document (i.e. observe, analyse, write and arguably stock) […]