Knowledge management – a visual guided tour of ‘KM as a mindset’


Last week I was invited to help a group unravel the mysteries of knowledge management. It was a great opportunity to intervene both as facilitator and subject matter specialist. Triggered by the opportunity to connect with my main area of expertise I quickly realised I was hit by the ‘curse of knowledge’ ie. how could […]

‘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 […]

The death of nice communities of practice?


An interesting conversation is happening in KM4Dev – when is it not the case? – in relation with Dave Snowden‘s recent inputs to the conference on ‘Knowledge for Development (#DIEK4D see https://tagboard.com/diek4d) and his reflections on this post (full meeting wiki notes are available here). Oh and close down those communities of practice which are now so hide bound as to be only […]

Development is CAPACITY (to move all together through learning loops)


Yes: Global development (#globaldev) is glocal capacity – to move from single to triple loop learning, all together… It just dawned on me in all its patent obviousness as I was running last weekend. Of course it’s more complicated than that, and global development is made of various distinct components: ensuring safer homes, having sustainable […]

Communication for development, KM and blurred boundaries: an interview with Michael Victor


In December 2013, a couple of very interesting workshops took place on the ILRI Ethiopia campus around the topic of knowledge management and communication. On that occasion, I interviewed Michael Victor, communication ‘Comms’ and KM coordinator for the Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF) and for the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and […]

Learning-blind development (aid) and the missed opportunities for a real difference


The global development sector is a learning universe, a space of experimentation and failures. One can read this positively – as in “a lot of learning is happening in it” – or negatively – as in “a lot has to be learned still and so much effort goes to waste”. Are we blind to learning […]

Managing contacts, as impossibly as knowledge flows?


I promised myself never to deal closely with a customer relationship management (CRM) system ever again. Back in my IRC days, I did end up in that position and came to know about all the horrible details that make CRM any information manager’s worst nightmare. Indeed CRM systems are among the most difficult systems to keep up […]

Interview with Ann Waters-Bayer: of KM, social learning and rural innovation


Following the interview with Carl Jackson in March this year, I also had the pleasure of interviewing Ann Waters-Bayer on the same occasion, whom I just came across some weeks ago again around the workshop on Agricultural Innovation Systems in Africa. Ann is agricultural sociologist with the ETC Foundation in the Netherlands and a well-respected author, […]

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 […]

Social media for empowerment – a guide for African climate change workers


After a couple of months of hard collective work on it, and after several other months of to-ing an fro-ing between AfricaAdapt and ILRI, the Social media guide for climate change practitioners in Africa is finally OUT! The final version of the guide as a PDF doc is only 10 pages long (about 2000 words) […]