‘Scale up’ your empathy, not your ‘pilot initiative’


I always felt there was a problem with scaling up. And this week it dawned on me much more clearly what the problem was. For a while, I thought that while the activities of a given initiative could not easily be scaled up, perhaps the conditions in which they were taking place could be scaled […]

Linking knowledge management with monitoring and evaluation


A short while ago, I gave a small brown bag seminar on the connections between knowledge management (KM) on the one hand and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) on the other hand, for a group of people from the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), both located in […]

The delicate balancing act of collective decision-making, between transparency and trust


Any group of people – and by extension any organisation, network or more complex form of such groups – needs to have a clear decision-making process – a ‘decision rule’ – in order to attain agreements that people genuinely subscribe to and that lead to effective implementation. Good learning and knowledge management depends on it just […]

Technology and community: don’t get mistaken about the real deal


Most people who are approaching knowledge management -for the first time- from the standpoint of building a community end up focusing on technology. Technology just enhances communities. It expands the opportunities that communities bring but it doesn’t create communities, and it can also worsen communities if the technology is not user-friendly or if the community faciltator(s) […]

Of partnerships, DEEP and wide


PARTNERSHIPS! The holy grail of development! Well, when you bother about collaborative approach that is. And some prefer to use partners for results rather than relationships. But for any development organisation with the right frame of mind, partnerships are central. Only it tends to be a lot of discourse and perhaps not enough action. Let […]

KM for Development Journal news, zooming in on the facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes


Some news about the Knowledge Management for Development Journal, for which I’m a senior editor: the upcoming issue (May 2013) is just about to be released and will be the first open access issue again after three years of commercial hosting by Taylor and Francis. This is a really welcome move – back to open knowledge […]

What’s really new about social learning?


In the recent annual science meeting of the CGIAR research program on climate change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS), the theme for the event was ‘social learning’. Upon hearing what social learning referred to, a lot of the workshop participants were wondering what was really new about social learning. For reasons that are too long […]

Research, KM and multi-stakeholder processes: cross interview with Cees Leeuwis and Mark Lundy


Last week, I had the privilege of sitting with two people I’ve been following with interest over the past few years: Cees Leeuwis, Professor of Communication and Innovation Studies at Wageningen University and a lead thinker on multi-stakeholder processes and social learning processes involving research. Mark Lundy, senior researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture […]

Profile of the social learning hero


Social learning is back on the menu. It’s always been around but somehow the social media age and the increasing recognition of the complexity we have to put up with all point forcibly to the social nature of learning. And social learning is no easy task. It means grappling with others, getting hands dirty in […]

Reducing complexity to a workshop? Wake & step up!


A short shoot post today. The white screen syndrome is kinda hitting me at the moment. But one thing is coming to mind: the delusion of packing the complexity of multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder, multi-perspective programs into planning activities in a planning workshop of one, two or even three days. I have recently facilitated a number of […]