Complexity in aid: An interview (by Ben Ramalingam) with Jaap Pels


Jaap Pels is a former colleague of mine and as he describes himself an ‘idea guru’. Pretentious you might think, but Jaap is close to his own mark, as he’s been one of the main sources of inspiration on KM for me and is a very thought-stimulating (and prolific) contributor on KM4Dev. In this interview, […]

Scaling, pacing, staging and patterning… Navigating fractal change through space and time


Change, change, change! So many clichés about change, so much ado about a big thing, so many ways to look at it and so many barriers to it! And just so it’s clear: I’m talking about social change (see some pictures about this concept), i.e. change that involves humans and their behaviour, as opposed to […]

How to navigate complexity in M&E and where KM can help


What’s happening in the world of monitoring and evaluation? How is complexity – the thinking and the reality – affecting it, highlighting gaps and creating opportunities? What can KM help to do about this? Here are some of the questions that this Prezi addresses. I’ll be presenting this in the course of next week at […]

What to put in a KM training, off the random top of my head


I was never trained on KM. I just learned it by doing. Errrr, I am learning it by doing. But if I was trained in agile KM next week, what would I love to find in such a training? Some people are wondering about exactly that on KM4Dev right now. So, let me think about this […]

Complexity in multi-stakeholder processes – how to manage, facilitate or navigate around it?


After almost five weeks without any blogging, I’m definitely coming to terms with the blank page/blank mind syndrome. A very useful experience – this drought of ideas – as it just reveals how daily mental discipline and a conscious effort of connecting thoughts is the ignition I need to let inspiration flow. Holiday had been […]

Through the blissful darkness of ignorance, with concepts-lights at my side


Ignorance is bliss So they say, and truly I can relate to this saying. Knowing all the details of sordid stories, knowing all the issues that await us when tackling a problem is not always the best guarantee for action. Sometimes it causes the paralysis of fear or concern… Ignorance is also the mother of […]

Capacity development: Taking stock


(This is potentially the first of a series of stock-taking posts about inspiring literature on topics I blog about – the series will start if you find this interesting, so plmk). Recently I met all staff of the Water Integrity Network (WIN) which stands for more integrity and transparency and preventing more corruption in the […]

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’ (http://ikmemergent.wordpress.com), from the organisation of a symposium on sector learning in the WASH sector to initial discussions around an IRC internal […]

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 […]