Thursday, October 30, 2008

Steps towards improving our impact!

The ShareFair scheduled for January 2009 will be another step in our path towards finding innovative ways to do our jobs more efficiently and effectively.

The most asked question when we try to introduce Knowledge Sharing approaches is: "If this does not help me do my job, don't talk to me about it!". Fair enough! We are all busy, some very very busy. We have no time for "nice to have's", we only want to learn about things, those "need to have's" that are going to make us work smarter and have more impact.

Well, Knowledge Sharing is about learning to do things more smartly...and have fun doing it! There is always a better way of doing things, you can always find someone who is facing an issue like yours, who has been through the same situation and has learned a good way to deal with the old saying is not what you is who you know! A single tree does not make a forest!

So, we create opportunties to learn from others, to build parthernships, not to waste energy, time and money trying to reinvent the wheel (and getting frustrated while doing it!).

We have been doing a number of things already: from designing, developing and delivering a very succesful Knowledge Sharing workshop, and giving an opportunity to our staff to learn and experiment to carrying out a second workshop with a partner: FAO KS Workshop, to planning to deliver more next year.

We have been working collaboratively develop a Knowledge Sharing toolkit to empower those who want to find ways of doing things differently.

We have been extending the application of innovative knowledge sharing approaches to improve the impact of our research along the whole cycle.

So, it is not a once off experiment. It is a set of strategic interventions.

The Knowledge Fair in January is a new step towards building the momentum in the CGIAR to use knowledge sharing approaches to do things smart!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Share Fair: A perfect space for colleagues to share their KM activities

Knowledge Share Fair provides an excellent opportunity for development workers to share their KM related activities with each other. At IFAD we have had an overwhelming response. We've received 35 proposals and a lot of colleagues are really excited about show-casing their experiences and learning from their other colleagues.

We are very happy with the response. At first we were worried that not too many people would respond, so we started off by targeting colleagues who we knew had something to share. We then posted the call for proposal on our intranet and had an overwhelming response!

This just shows that people in the organization have grasped the fundamentals of KM and what they need is a space to share their learning and experience. We had a similar response, when in June 2008 we organized a KM open-house.

Where does this leave us? I was never convinced that to mainstream KM, you need an incentive system. What you need is to create a space for people to show-case and share their learning and for colleagues to have an enabling environment to systematically do so!!

I really would like to know what is preventing us to create this enabling environment and why is it that people have to wait for such occasions to come forward and why is it that they do not come forward spontaneously?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keeping up-to-date about the Share Fair using Web 2.0 tools

In the spirit of knowledge sharing, the Share Fair team has been looking at various Web 2.0 tools to keep everyone informed and up-to-date about the latest developments. The Wikipedia defines Web 2.0 as a:
term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web.
Web 2.0 has led to the development of tools and services that allow people to collaborate and share information online and involves user-generated content.

Using the Web 2.0 tools provides us with the opportunity to keep everyone informed and involved. Here are some tools that you can link to and participate in:A small team will be responsible for maintaining content of each of these sites but as the event comes closer we hope to involve more participants through hands-on demonstrations.

If you have examples of good knowledge sharing practices in the field of agricultural development and food security using any of these tools, please send in a submission! The call for proposals has now been extended to 31 October 2008.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Deadline for submission has been extended!

In view of the high volume of prospective proposals attracted, and in light of the limited time otherwise left to finalize them, the deadline for submitting proposals has been extended through 31 October 2008 in order to foster the widest possible participation.

Whilst thanking those of you who have already sent their proposals, the Knowledge "Share-Fair" Steering Committee looks forward to receiving your contributions!