Predictability versus emergence in development

Last year IKM teamed up with some participants in the Bridging the Digital Divide Group of projects and members of the Information Systems Group at the Judge Business School to look at the tensions between desires for predictability and control as against unpredictability and emergence.  This started with a critical look at ICT4D research and then broadened out to consider these issues first in relation to development research and then to development management more generally.  The work is planned to continue this yeat with proposals for a book, being led by Mark Thompson and Ineke Buskens, for involvement in the ICTD 2010 conference, which is being hosted by Royal Holloway in London in December, and possibly, meetings with similar interest groups in other countries.

A summary of where we are with the ideas behind this work is now available here

The report by Adnan Rafiq and Nazish Gulzar on the workshop held to explore these issues in September 2009 is now available as IKM Working Paper no 9


IKM Working Paper: Bridging knowledge divides

The fourth IKM Working Paper Learning networks for bridging development divides by Laxmi Prasad Pant in now online. The study identifies and characterizes approaches and initiatives to bridging a complex array of knowledge divides in international development, specifically the differences in learning and innovation arising from multiple realities and multiple knowledge of a myriad of stakeholders, from multi-lateral and bi-lateral organizations to diaspora communities, civil society organizations (CSOs), and destitute local communities. Continue reading

IKM Working Paper: Monitoring and evaluation of knowledge

The third IKM Working Paper Monitoring and evaluation in knowledge management for development by Serafin Talisayon in now online. The paper argues that monitoring and evaluation of knowledge management for development is a subject that is affected by four basic problems:

  • A lack of consensus and clarity in understanding the terms ‘knowledge’ and ‘knowledge management’ (epistemological problem);
  • The complexity arising from multiple actors in development, each with their own different world-views, interests, values, power and development agendas (sociological-politicalproblem);
  • The large variety, as well as gaps, among the approaches and tools for measuring or assessing the magnitude, utilization and impact of use of intangible assets including knowledge (methodological problem); and
  • How to use knowledge to demonstrably create value or other desirable development outcomes (operational problem). Continue reading

New member of Working Group 3

Valerie A. Brown, Emeritus Professor and Visiting Fellow, at the Australian National University, is a new member of IKM Emergent’s Working Group 3: Management of knowledge.

Valerie Brown’s research applies integrative methods to exploring the construction of knowledge in generating locally sustainable responses to global social and environmental pressures. Past research programs have addressed the capacity for achieving integrative decision-making in the Local Government sector, the community sector, public health, and the environmental sciences, respectively. Current projects include principles for collaborative engagement for the Murray-Darling Basin; an interactive knowledge management framework for sustainable development in the local government sector; the introduction of sustainable development principles into the national Public Health post-graduate curriculum; and Indigenous communities’ environmental health workforce development.

Studies underway on knowledge management

Working Group 3 ‘Management of knowledge’ currently has four studies underway which will be expected, in final versions, at the end of this year and for publication ealrly in 2009. They cover the following subjects:

  • Monitoring and evaluation of knowledge management strategies – Parallel study I (Joitske Hulsebosch, Sibrenne Wagenaar and Mark Turpin)
  • Impact assessment of knowledge management  – Parallel study II (Serafin Talisayon of CCLFI, The Philippines) 
  • Bridging knowledge divides (Laxmi Pant of the University of Guelph, Canada)
  • The link between knowledge and policy (Nicola Jones, Ajoy Datta, Simon Hearn and Harry Jones of the Research and Policy in Development Programme of the Overseas Development Institute, UK)

Knowledge and development – beyond KM

Mike Powell, Director of IKM Emergent, has written a Letter to the Editor of The Broker in response to an article NGOs learning from experience? Aid as a knowledge industry by journalist, Mariëtte Heres.

In the Letter, Mike argues:

I have much appreciated the attention given to issues of knowledge and how it can be applied to development in recent issues of The Broker. Your contributions on access to knowledge within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, development research policy and knowledge management within NGOs all reflect different aspects of these issues and their complexity and difficulty. I believe they also reflect an alertness in the Netherlands to their importance, which is not as widely appreciated elsewhere.